Daily Archives: April 25, 2006

Juggling Act

I finally got that review done on the writing that was passed to me three weeks ago.

Three weeks. That’s awful turnaround time. (Sure, there was Easter and an out of town trip in there, plus a week of insanity, and a little boy who’s thrown naps to the wind, but still.)

And it looks like I and four other people have finally successfully scheduled a meeting that we’ve been trying to nail down since the beginning of February. February.

I saw dozens of people at the gig on Saturday night who I hadn’t seen in months, friends whom I’ve known for years in some cases but haven’t been in close contact with for a while. And with the way life is for each of us, I probably won’t see them again till the next gig. But it was wonderful to see them, even briefly, and to exchange a hug and a couple of words. That will tide us over until the next meeting. In the meantime, I take a second to think of them when they pop into my head, send good energy their way, and wish them well.

I go to bed at night and as I’m falling asleep I remember at least a half-dozen things I wanted to do and didn’t accomplish. Sometimes it’s eating a meal. Sometimes it’s calling the bank. Sometimes it’s making a doctor’s appointment for myself. And these things drag on and on because there’s always something else to be doing or thinking about, like chasing Liam or doing groceries or running to band or orchestra or trying to prepare for coven or class. Time seems to telescope, and I don’t realise how long some things have been carried over from one day’s list to the next, and the next, and the next. The days all blur together.

I feel like I’m about three months behind myself, all the time. And the only way to deal with it is to let it go and focus on the immediate things in life in my main sphere of responsibility. Liam, me, HRH. Then parents and closest, dearest friends. Then other friends and acquaintances in order of how well we know one another, what kind of situation they’re in, who else they have to look out for them, and so forth.

I only have so much energy. I can’t do everything. I can’t take care of everybody. These are valuable lessons I’ve learned over the years. It has to be me and mine first. It’s the only way to stay sane doing this juggling act.


And in the interests of allowing the door to hit the inner critic firmly on its way out, I wrote a short story this afternoon.

It was meant to be a joke, but when Megan came home and told me that she’d bought a harpsichord I realized that she’d missed the punch line.

“Megan,” I said, “we don’t have anywhere to put a harpsichord.”

“I know,” she said, her cheeks flushed from her walk up the hill. “That’s why I also stopped by the realtor’s office and asked her to go through her listings and come up with a half dozen houses for us to view next week.”

It’s 793 words long; I was aiming for 750. Not bad. And I can probably tighten it to lose the forty-three extra words. But not now, because we have to go pick Liam up and give Devon her birthday present. And only now do I remember that I’d set aside this afternoon to read and critique someone else’s work, which I completely forgot about in the throes of “I know I’ll write a story serves you right stupid inner critic”. Gah. Maybe tonight, then.

Criticise This

It occurred to me on the way home from dropping Liam off to play with his Auntie Pasley that my inner critic has been taking over my brain for the past three weeks. It’s been scraping away at my spirituality (why do I bother?), my writing (I have a book coming out in a month, so of course now I’m waking up at night desperately wishing I’d left something out, or included something else, or said something differently), and my music (I’ve been tame in how I’ve expressed myself here over the past few days to protect audience and fellow bandmates from my self-loathing). I’m surprised it hasn’t told me that I’m a bad mother yet, because Liam’s not napping as long as he should and waking up at night.

But you know what? My inner critic can go take a long walk off a short pier.

We now return me to my regular scheduled programming. I’m passably good at some of what I do, really good at most of it, and I enjoy myself. So my inner critic can just go hang out with the bottom feeders in the cold murky muddy depths of the seaway.