I’m having a hard time with time these days, or just a hard time period, with no time to sort it out.
I’ve felt out of sorts since the school year ended and the kids went off to their various camps - a whole new set of drop off and pick up locations, start times, end times, supplies and belongings to misplace or lose, likes and dislikes to air.
In the past, from the vantage point of my 9-5 government Dilbertish cubicle, the seasons looked the same. At 5 pm I’d shut my computer and either get picked up at my son’s daycare across the road or meet the kids at home where they’d been dropped off by an adult with more flexibility than I had.
Now that I “work from home”, I’m the flexible one, or more accurately my schedule is. The impact of all this change is acute. The first victim is my writing.
I am flexible about some things – what to have for dinner, where to go for a walk, what movie to watch, which dishwashing soap or toothpaste to chose. But veering off-schedule in ever-shifting directions requires a go-with-the-flowness I can muster only to a point.
Writing feels strangely like grad school, where free-will alone determined the boundaries between work-time and “free-time”- i.e. play time always taken at the expense of something else I ought to have been doing.
With my own writing it’s worse. Despite frustrations, meanderings, and trash-worthy paragraphs I spend hours crafting, I want to be writing all the time! Unlike school where deadlines were driven by profs and the threat of more tuition fees, the pressure now is wholly my own.
But it’s summer. Time to relax. My trip to NYC and the Poconos with my girlfriend, a week-long writing course off the coast of New Hampshire, weekends at the cottage- these all provide diversion and quality time. But I’m terrified that even with my diminishing sleep requirements, there isn't enough time to write everything I have to write. I feel anxious, overwhelmed and ungrateful. Is this typical of my late bloomer cohort?
It’s weird that I feel more anxiety about my literary clock ticking than I ever did about my biological one. I’d tell myself to breathe, but I’m not much of a breather – at least not to the desired end of patience with myself and others. Instead I’ll post my fears and take solace in the likelihood that others share them.