From Cicero, the best quotation ever: "Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book."
This is 66-2/3% applicable to the Newman household these days. Times may not be bad, in the strictest sense of the term (the mortgage is current, and no one seems to have any buboes), but they’re not a stroll through a sunny park either. Children obey their parents no more than they ever have, and Rhys perhaps a bit less (is there some sort of horrendous pre-puberty thing that happens to kids’ brains just before their sixth birthdays? How do I get my sweet baby-head back?). But a major source of stress, at least for one of us, is that someone who’s supposed to be writing a book… is not.
The excuses are plentiful and varied. We’re in the midst of selling the house, for heaven’s sake. Things must be tidy and neat all the time, which I thought I would like but which frankly makes me itch. Books go unread; floors fairly gleam. Strangers tromp through in our absence, leaving no sign of their passing but business cards in the bowl on the dining table and the vague feeling that someone’s been rifling my underwear drawer. Deadlines loom, deadline-like, at the end of this week (the October/November Digital issue) and the end of this month (the meerkat article). My cell phone lies mutely at my elbow, which is usually fine with me but now signifies all the many realtors who are not calling to make appointments to show the house. So in the presence of these ample stressors, how could I possibly work on the book?
It comes to this: right now, not working on the book is stressing me more than (one hopes) working on it ever could. It’s the unscratched itch, the unremarked-upon dreadful outfit worn by a fellow restaurantgoer, the unmade bed lurking rumpled out of view. It’s the totting up of one unwritten line after another in the Regrets column; and as the Butthole Surfers once wisely said, "It’s better to regret something that you have done than something that you haven’t done." (And the next line of that song is "And if you see your mother this weekend… tell her that… SATAN!" Cue dive into an awesome Sabbathesque headbanger riff.)
So I guess the only thing to do is just, er, write the damned thing. Butt in chair. Fingers on keyboard and moving. Not blogging. Not reading other people’s blogs. Um… yeah. I’m doing it for the shorties. Because Stressed-Out Mama is ohhhh, about one-point-four seconds and one "MAMA HE HIT ME!" away from Insane Ragemonger Mama, and we all know how well that turns out every freakin’ time.
Also: whatever you do, do not go check out this relaxing and enjoyable game. It will eat your life and leave you damaged.