I have so many half-written blog posts from the last 9 months it is sort of ridiculous. I guess that is indicative of my state of mind. I have told myself that I won’t make excuses any longer and that I will publish at least one post a week–even if it sucks. This is going to get tricky next week because I am going to also write a novel during the month of November. Same “doesn’t matter if it sucks” rule applies. I will finish it this November– National Novel Writing Month. I attempted this twice before and once got a decent amount of words down (the rules are 50,000 words=finish line). The other time I pretty much gave up after the first couple pages. My dear old friend, Joel Williams, may he rest in peace, had done it and always encouraged me to do so and really believed that I could finish. He believed in me in so many ways and this year I am going to prove him (and myself) right.
One of my half-written posts was from last February and had a funny story that I had forgotten, but I could have written yesterday:
“This is what happens when one tries to write during child-waking hours. You may be able to start something, but it is difficult to complete. Maybe that is why my house also currently looks like a tornado blew through it. For every one thing I pick up, three more get dropped down. Sometimes by me. I think I have become almost as scatter-brained as I was after the boys were born, which was a LOT. Anyway, I asked my ever-patient and helpful babysitter to put chicken breasts in the oven last night for dinner. When I got home she said she hadn’t done it because she wasn’t sure what I meant. We peered into the fridge together. Of course, I had forgotten to take the chicken out of the freezer. But wait, that isn’t quite right. I did take it out of the freezer. I put it on the counter and forgot about it. Then, when I saw chicken out on the counter, I put it back in the freezer and forgot about THAT…”
Yup, this is what happens when your mind is in so many different places at once. I tried to explain this to G today when I blew up at him for tipping in the kitchen chair after I had just asked him to make an extra effort NOT to tip in the chair because I keep telling him. Every. Single. Day. It gets to be a lot on this old broken record. So when I irrationally exploded over him doing it yet again and had to go in to apologize about it, I had to explain that I understand it is hard for him because he is an 8 year old boy and he can’t sit still and his mind can’t be still and that he probably has all these thoughts swirling around in his head all the time (this is done with my usual hand gestures, of course, trying to convey in charades the words I am saying in a desperate attempt to have it sink in on some deeper level).
But then I told him my secret. I have all these thoughts swirling around in my head too! Like, what I have to do for work tonight and how to explain the “Believe, Inspire, Dream” theme so they can do their creative project and what I should make for dinner and which bills need to be paid and to remember to get a ride home for C from his soccer practice because I have parent-teacher conferences and they have to go to their Aunt’s house and don’t forget the parent-teacher conference! and oh geez, Halloween is in two days and I need to touch up the paint on C’s turtle costume and when am I going to schedule the other medical tests for G and I really need to call my friend back and don’t forget to write a blog post tonight and do I have clean clothes for tomorrow and what will I do if that check I wrote bounces and will I be able to complete this novel and why does the time change always put me in such a funk and I really need to return those movies and…OMG, the kid is freaking tipping in the chair again!!! So, yeah, I am all over the place. I think (hope) it gave him some comfort to hear that a) I knew it was crazy to go through the roof over something so silly and that b) my mind goes all over the place like his does.
I try to be more centered and focused and only think about what I am doing at any given time. However, what I have found is that it leaves a lot of half-thought thoughts behind because I will start thinking about something other than what I am supposed to be thinking about, catch myself and redirect my attention to the task at hand, and then before I know it my mind is like my blog–filled with half-done posts. I guess the secret is just letting go of those thoughts altogether, not tucking them away with the intention of going back to them. This is difficult for me because goes against my pack-rat mentality of keeping everything that might someday be useful, but I think it is something that I need to really start practicing more diligently– if only for the sake of my sanity. I need to get in the habit of emptying my “drafts” daily. Obviously, I need to remember the important things: parent-teacher conference! pay your mortgage! hug those little boys and tell them how much you love them! Everything else should be allowed to scatter to the four winds.