Thursday, September 19, 2013

This is what I started writing on Friday:

I'm sitting here in my gym clothes, eating chocolate. I'm going to the gym just as soon as I write this. Really. I am.

Last night was Parents' Night at Our Fine Upper School. About 85% of the moms were rocking the sleeveless thing. I mean, you would not believe the number of sculpted upper arms on this population. Not me. I have flabby, middle-age upper arms with knobby elbows that always look like they need to be scrubbed (this is also true of my knees: flabby and bony at the same time, plus they're always three shades darker than the surrounding skin.

Anyway, we went to all of Jack's classes and met all of his teachers. 

But that's as far as I got. Still, I think the part about my flabby arms is important to share.
Later today, I'm going to New Orleans. I just found out last week that I'd be going to New Orleans today. I thought I was going October 19th. Quite a shock to my system, as you might imagine. I need at least a month to get mentally and emotionally prepared for these trips. I'm going for a booksellers' convention. I'll be sitting on a panel tomorrow afternoon with other middle grade fiction writers called "Stuck in the Middle." I have no idea what we'll be discussing. Saturday, I come back home.

I don't mind traveling (though I don't particularly like to fly, as I'm prone to motion sickness), but I don't much like traveling alone. It gets lonely. I don't think we're built to be catapulted by ourselves out of our homes and communities into other communities 800 miles away where we don't know anybody and have no ties.

Having said that, I am looking forward to going down to the French Quarter and sitting on a bench that overlooks the great and mighty Mississippi river.

In general, things here are going well. I've been having some bouts of the afternoon blues, but I think this is because I haven't been social enough. I was really enjoying my alone time the first few weeks of school, but I let myself get too alone. Life is hard for an introvert, achieving the right balance. So I'm planning coffee and lunches with friends and doing some volunteer work over at the Folklife Institute. I need some human connection after my writing time in the morning. 

I'm doing my best not to sign up for extra stuff, though temptation looms large. Have I mentioned that I turned 49 this year? 49 is a seventh year, which means it's a sabbath year, and I feel that I should take this year off and get some rest. There's always so much I want to do, but I just have to accept I can't do everything.

I like volunteering over at the Folklife Institute, and there's a month-long seminar on poverty at the new church I've been going to lately that meets on Tuesday nights in October. I think I might attend that. Otherwise, other than school volunteering stuff, I'm going to try to keep my commitments to a minimum.

Parenting, writing, reading, gardening. That should be enough, right? Oh, and quilting and finally getting that attic straightened out once and for all and organizing the closets ...

Do you do too much? What are you thinking about giving up?


GretchenJoanna said...

Ha! What am I thinking of giving up...If you look at my house and yard and garage you would know that I don't do *enough*. Maybe I should give up sleeping...
But I am in a Sabbath Year too! I'm halfway through it already and I didn't even know about the concept. I must rest somehow, immediately, so that I make the most of the remainder of this year.

Gumbo Lily said...

Oh man, I have 5 years before I can take a sabbath year. I'm glad you're getting one. About those arms....if you were a cowpoke like me, you might get muscley arms in a jiffy. I don't go to the gym, but I think I get enough "working out." I hope you have a good trip to New Orleans and back.

Tracy said...

I am in a sabbath year as well. No wonder I am all but exhausted! I had never heard the term sabbath year but it makes complete sense to me. A person just can't go full steam ahead for the rest of their lives. Not when you work with kids anyway.

I was recently asked to go on a roster for something at church. Something outside of my spiritual gifting but a case of "you're there anyway...." I ended up withdrawing before it began. I have been reminded this term that the work God has given me to do is to be a mum, be a student and be an employee. I can't do more than that right now. Not when my kids are beginning to crack around the edges. It takes all my energy to keep them together.

wayside wanderer said...

I just took on new stuff, I can't give it up. But I would like to give up my co=op job after this year. This is my 7th year of directing it so I think it is a good number to end on.
Have a good trip!

Nancy McCarroll said...

You might be stuck in the middle of a boring discussion, but your arms will be smugly covered and you will look chic. So there.

I relate to your self isolation. Except tigon: your kids still need you lots. Think of all those older ones (I.e., my MIL) who are stuck in places where they can't get out, both literally and figurativley ... Now it sounds preachy. But my most recent hospice charge died two days ago, so he is on my mind.

Prayers daily for your mom, dad and you. Good speaking in New Orleans, too.

Pom Pom said...

Hi Frances!
You're funny, talking about flabby arms!
I think I only do what I HAVE to do and the rest of the time I'm busy sabbath-ing.

debbie bailey said...

This year I think I've finally found the balance between staying home enough and seeing friends enough to not get lonely and stay in the loop. It's taken a long time to get here. It's so easy to say yes when asked to do good things. But they I quickly find myself angry all the time because I don't stay home enough to get things done. Things like cleaning, gardening, ironing, canning, etc. The list goes on and on. I love being home, because I'm a domestic goddess who is only happy puttering around the house and doing my creative things.

Jo said...

Sabbath year, yes that's me, I'm taking the rest of the year off. Yay!
I will join your knobbly elbows club. And forcing myself to go out and be sociable club.
You have nearly persuaded me to get a kindle-type thingy, due to the difficulty and expense of getting most of your books in Australia.. or, I might have to, gulp, buy them from Amazon... anyway, determined to get my hands on them somehow, after just loving Shooting the Moon.
And I agree, it seems wrong to fly far, far away from all you know and love, for all of three days. It can't be good for our psyches. Enjoy sitting on a bench and looking at the Mississippi. Such a wonderfully introvert thing to do. I would do it too!