Spring Break for my son’s (and many other children’s) school(s) ends today. As usual, a private chaos overtakes the house, and me especially, when this happens.
There are, of course, all the preparations that suddenly need to be made. Is the homework done? Did I remember pack an extra set of play pants for the muddy playground times? Signature on the Friday Folder? Lunches planned for the week? Did I remember to buy enough fresh fruit and veggies?
The last one doesn’t just affect us during school time, of course. The Boodle is an impressive veggie eater, and usually it’s hard for me to get any fresh fruit if he knows that it’s in the house. It’s just that when we aren’t trying to juggle the 45 minute (one way) commute to take him to school and are able to focus our energy on our needs as a family better. Of course, that doesn’t mean I remember to buy the mustard my husband asks me to pick up any time. Grocery lists are not my forté, but I do manage to buy tasty sushi that my son loves to share with me.
No, the end of Spring Break always feels wrong, and it has since we’ve started this school experiment (Winter Break or any kind of long weekend even have similar effects). So many thoughts… Is this right for our family? Why do I miss the Boodle so much when he’s in school (I’m usually the one driving him, so it’s not as if I don’t have more time than my husband does with him)? Am I throwing him to the wolves (he worries about wearing his pink stuff around other kids now after an incident at the school)?
Yes, yes, Mama Drama.
It’s my life.
It’s also part of why this week ended up falling somewhat flat for the check-in.
Simply put, I fell almost flat since Wednesday. Between fighting the forever rebooting PC (I have many reasons to love my computer; stability is not one of them) and the curse of migraines, I left out a lot of new writing. I got my sponsor duties done; I wrote my 750 words; I even managed a fair amount of typing and editing. But the creative spark? Oh, that was on Spring Break too.
I did find some amazing stuff online to read, and the Mash-Up I could pull out of this week’s virtual journey could easily fill several blog posts. I’m going to save most of those links for later. Nothing is so news-worthy that it needs to be passed on this instant. The truth is, it’s probably better to pass along these tidbits after the original posts have faded from their spotlight. It’s nice to know that the things we write don’t fade from the ether after the week or month is gone. (Yes, I know there is an amazing archive of everything posted on the internet out there, but unless you know what you are looking for, posts can stay lost forever.)
So for my “mini Mash-Up” I picked a few pieces that tweaked my creative side:
- first we have Askers vs. Guessers from Wendy Cheng a.k.a. Xiaxue which inspired a whole bunch of story ideas. Wendy really is an amazing blogger (there’s no wonder she gets the numbers she gets, although I’m sure a number of people will not like her style as much as I do), and I love her choices of hair color. Really feeling inspired to make something a blu-ish green lately...
- following that something that has been stirring in my mind since I started asking for opinions regarding people’s favorite character in the Tuesday Snippets: Why are we drawn so much to Darkness? I have to wonder, especially given the characters that I always hear are people’s favorites in my stories. ‘Listii? He’s an assassin. Andy? He betrays everyone he lives with. Even in myself, I find I prefer to explore my “bad guys” (who are often my protagonists). In last November’s NaNoWriMo project, my favorite secondary character was a prostitute who knowingly manipulates Alanii for her son’s social standing.
- And, because this is a check-in where the majority of the news was “No News“, I wanted to share this piece about Persistence. Yes, Joanna Penn’s focus is more on standing strong in the face of external rejection, but even that comes in more than one form. Because, sometimes, like last Friday when the computer crashed (actually it just rebooted itself) in the middle of working, bad things happen–I lost three days worth of notes. What did I do about it?
- I did not spend a few hours typing back in the story ideas that were still in my head, or finishing the blog post I’d planned, or so many other things…
- I did give myself about four hours of “pity time” and played Neverwinter Nights. I played the game without any intention of playing well. I cheat-decked my character by using the game editor to created some ‘extra powerful items for her so she could go beat up the bad guys in her “Teflon bikini’… I just wanted to bash my way through the mission and not think about the stuff I lost, at least for a little while.
- And only after I had wearried of my depression and the house was quiet did I bother to reopen my browser and editors and try to recover anything I could. I did still lose stuff, but I was able to accept it better then; and I was able to move on and create something different.
I still hate it when my computer acts up, but things like vehicle inspections, trips to see friends who need company, trips to Hoffman’s Playland with the Boodle…. Those are far more important than a few missing paragraphs on a harddrive.
If there is one thing that this week really taught me, it is that I cannot allow myself to be ruled by this machine (or even my wonderful laptop that never has a problem except that it is getting old and slow).
If there is one thing to regret not accomplishing this break, it would be the fact I did not take my day off from working on the computer. I had all the excuses: with the Boodle home, I wasn’t going to get as much time as normal; I missed a full two days from feeling sick; I needed to look up something and since I ‘was already online”… The truth? I just wasn’t making time for me. And that has to change.