5 things I’ve learned so far this month.

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1. Don’t run important errands with your kids the day after Halloween. In fact, don’t go anywhere. Make like Charlie with his golden ticket and take those sleep-deprived suckers straight home. October 31 may claim to be a holiday of all things spooky, but November 1 is the true day of little zombies and monsters. Nothing is more frightening than a 4-year-old throwing a five-alarm tantrum while waiting in line to vote early. I was attempting to vote at a library (of course the quietest of all the places), and was so flustered that I ran out of there with her and a book I did not check out under my arm.

2. I have a doppelgänger at Walmart.  I live in a two-stoplight town just north of Asheville. “The Walmart” is the epicenter of everything. It’s the closest place to buy all the things without driving into The Big City. Judge if you must. So I was at The Walmart, when one of the employees tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and he was all, “Whoah! You’re not her, but you look just like her!” He didn’t know her name, but apparently there was a woman who used to work in customer service there who is my twin. Apparently she still shops there a lot even though she no longer works there, so perhaps I will run into her one day. And if I see her in the check-out lane with a case of Mountain Dew, I’ll remind her what refined sugar does to our midsection.

3. Job hunting is like, HARD. Searching for a full-time job after freelancing part-time and mom-ing full-time for the past nine years feels like re-entering public school after being homeschooled. Only there aren’t any cool kids wearing pink or even art freaks dying to take me under their wing. I just keep putting myself out there, trying to sit with anyone in the proverbial career cafeteria who has an open chair. And I’m wishing I spoke Korean, had technical writing experience, or a deep love of vaping. Because that’s what these companies want, and I don’t have it. That being said, if you know of anyone looking to hire a stellar communications professional in Asheville or to work remotely, I’m your woman! (Kidding, not kidding.)

4. The “Insta” in Instagram is lost. I’ve really noticed more and more that both professional and personal accounts on Instagram have taken the instant spirit out of what used to be a spontaneous social media platform. If you’re scheduling out your Instagram posts or running your images through Lightroom and not simply using the filters readily available or (gasp!) #nofilter, you’re going against the entire purpose for which Instagram was intended. I’m an old school Instagrammer. That’s why most of my images aren’t of the highest quality and my comments are only as quippy as my brain is sharp at that instant.

5. “Funky Cold Medina” is a song about date rape. They’ve revived this song on one of my favorite radio stations, and the more I listen to it, the more horrified I get:

She said, “I’d like a drink, ” I said, “Ehm – ok, I’ll go get it

“Then a couple sips she cold licked her lips, and I knew that she was with it

He also drugs his dog, and there are definite anti-transgender undertones as well (remember Sheena?). And I used to roller skate to this shit. Can you imagine if this song came out today? Although there was “Blurred Lines.” Nothing blurry behind the meaning of that song.

That’s all.

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Time is On My Side. (Yes, it is!)

clockI’m happy to report that the reason I’ve been absent from my blog lately is a good one… I’ve been busy with work! So busy in fact that I’ve had to enlist some help with Jed beyond his preschool hours. Starting today, his favorite teacher is taking him after school once a week for a few hours so I can have more time. I’m so thrilled with this extra time, I’m practically giddy! I have so many things that I want to do that I have to remind myself, this will happen every Wednesday, not just today. How many people can say they look forward to Hump Day?

I hope you don’t think I’m a horrible mom because I’m happy about this extra time without Jed. It’s not about not being with him… it’s about doing things that I simply cannot do when he’s here. Here are a few things I hope to tackle today:

  • Work projects. These comes first!
  • Shower. Yes, I have to put this on a list or it doesn’t seem to happen. It will be 12noon and I will have been on the computer all morning in my PJs, then time to pick up Jed…
  • Taxes. No, I don’t have the seasons mixed up. We are just the ultimate procrastinators and our very FINAL extension deadline is Monday. From April.
  • Walk the dogs. This is a walk for me and for them. I’m trying to exercise more and a walk up and down our road is quite literally a hike up and down a mountain. With Jed, we get halfway down and he wants to be carried. That’s not a workout so much as a death march.
  • Blog. Check!
  • Put new batteries in our mantel clock. It’s been 9:50 for more than a month. Time is not on its side.

What do you do when you find yourself with the precious gift of time?

 

NaNoWriMo Recap and the Creative Order

November was National Novel Writing Month, and I signed up for the challenge to write 50,000 words of my novel in 30 days. I will go ahead and say that I did not reach this goal, but I did come away with solid foundation for my novel (almost 8,000 words), which is a lot farther along than I was a month ago!

Lather, rinse, write!

One of the reasons I fell so far from my goal was that I picked up more freelance work a lot faster than I expected… and I’m not going to complain about that! I’m committed to my novel, but paid work has to come first. And, well, Jed really comes first. I’m learning to make myself write in the off-peak hours: when Jed’s at school, nighttime and weekends. These are not necessarily my most creative times, but beggars (and stay-at-home moms) can’t be choosers. I get my best ideas when I’m driving or in the shower.  I’m thinking of getting those bath crayons to use on the tile for my après shampoo brain bursts. And once when I was on the highway and had one of my revelations, I left an all too bizarre message on a friend’s voicemail. Luckily, she’s a writer, too, and wasn’t scared off by a message that involved late night greased-up twister and a has-been, almost famous rockstar. (Cell phone companies really need to allow you to leave yourself messages!).

I wish I would’ve pushed myself harder to meet my NaNoWriMo goal, but am happy that my excuses are positive ones. Hey, if I write 8,000 words a month, I’ll still have a first draft of my novel finished in five months! Not too shabby. It’s just a matter of balancing my “free” time between my novel, my freelance projects, housework and Jed. And I would like to squeeze in a workout or two every now and then. I hate schedules, but I think some sort of order is in order.

Do you stay at home? Work from home? How do you manage your time?