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Sunday, September 7, 2008

It's That Time Again...

My wheels are turning... ... ... ... ...

It's that time again... Goal setting time. Now that the kindelah are back in school, it is mama's time to write. This year though, I am stretching myself rather thin (if only that was a literal phrase...). Anyway, I began a very part-time job last week teaching 3-year olds at a preschool. I applied for the job because I thought the hours were perfect - Tuesday/Thursday mornings from 9 - 12:30. It will let me put my kiddies on the bus, then off to work for me, and I'll still come home with time for either my freelance writing, or my novel writing... grocery shopping, cleaning... what-have-you...

Well! Let me tell you... this was not as easy as I thought it would be. Not the being with three-year olds part. They're adorable and I have no problem handling a room of three-year olds. No. It was just wrapping my head around the fact that I was WITH three-year olds and not in upper elementary school teaching English. I was helping one wee-one in the bathroom, when it hit me... How did I get here??? How did I get from teaching foreshadowing and writing a five-paragraph essay to wiping tiny tushies!!!

I was in a dark place...

But then a very good friend of mine reminded me of all the reasons I took this job in the first place... Remember, she said, it let's you focus on what's most important. Oh yeah! That's right. I took this job so I can be home for my daughters and write my novel! Anyway, the dark clouds (slowly) blew away and I kept repeating my new mantra - this is not a career, it is a job that allows me to be home for my girls, put food on the table, and write my novel...

I think I'm starting to believe it...

But it's hard. Has your life ever wound up in an unexpected place and you wondered how the heck you got there???

Normally, once September starts, I begin my major writing days again. I used to write from about 8:30/9:00 am until about 3:30/3:45 pm. Basically from the time the school bus picks-up my girls to the time the school bus drops them home again, gigity-gig. I would take short breaks for lunch, email and blogging, but pretty much, that was my writing schedule. Now that I have this Tuesday/Thursday morning job... I am worried it will throw my whole glorious writing schedule off.

Plus, the fall is the last hurrah for the real estate market. And I have actually (thankfully!) been busy with my freelance writing. This takes time away from my novel too!!!

Oh and I decided to take on tutoring students too... Well, someone asked me if I would consider tutoring again and I said, sure... what the heck... Well, I didn't say that to their face, but I thought it!

Wait, let me see... there is...
  1. taking care of my girls/family/house etc
  2. writing my novel
  3. freelance writing
  4. teaching preschool Tues/Thur
  5. tutoring
  6. and substitute teaching

NO WONDER I FEEL SO BUSY AND OVERWHELMED!!!

I am going to have to try to sort out a new writing schedule into the above crazy schedule and I can't forget time to exercise also.. shish, are there enough hours in the day???

So this week's goals are...
  1. Make a plan Stan! I am nowhere without a schedule. First things first. Monday's already busy with appointments. I have a meeting in the morning, then two MSs to read/critique for a writer's meeting, a student to tutor, and a real estate copy and room-by-room description to write.
  2. Tuesday - work in the am, then grocery shop in the pm and finish Monday left overs, if any.
  3. Wednesday - Yay, this day is wide open... so I will devote this day to my novel. I will keep the goal of how many pages kind of low because I am just easing back into it. I never write a lot when I am just getting back. So, if I wind up with five new pages that are worthy, I will be very happy.
  4. Thursday - work in the am, write in the pm. If any houses come on my schedule this is when I will book seeing them...
  5. Friday - Yay another whole day devoted to my novel! Pick up where I left off on Wednesday. Also, if I see any houses on Tues/Thurs after work, I will try to get those copies done in the afternoon so I can enjoy time with my family during the weekend.

So, those are my goals for this up-and-coming week. I have to admit, I am not loving the above itinerary. It feels very choppy and disconcerted. I like having 5 consistent days in a row to work on my writing. But I write best in the mornings. Writing Tues/Thurs afternoon is not plausible yet, as last week I came home from the preschool and my brain felt like it was MIA. Maybe as the school year progresses, I will become less mind-numb on Tues/Thurs, but we shall have to wait and see.

Like I said, I am not too excited by this schedule, but I'll have to make the most of it.

17 comments:

PJ Hoover said...

You have a plan. You have goals. You have motivation! I know it will all work out for you.
And...
there's not much cuter than 3-year-old tushies.
You have to admit that.
Must go hug my kids now. They're just so darn cute.

keri mikulski :) said...

Good plan... I totally understand what you mean about schedules and balancing everything. Enjoy the three-year-olds and your week! ;)

Sheri said...

Thanks guys. it will take some adjusting but eventually I will have it all sorted out.

JeanieW said...

I stopped subbing (in an elementary school) because I was too wiped out at the end of the day to write. I was also catching every single cold virus the kids brought to school. Now I'm looking for another flexible, part-time day job, perhaps back in an office again (although I hate the cubicle life). Oh, to have a bestseller!

My favorite thing about fall is the kids going back to school (leaving the house empty for longer hours of uninterrupted writing time).

Lapillus said...

Wow you're certainly busy. You can do it though! We're rooting for ya.

I can't seem to find any sort of schedule in my day but a lot of that is having a toddler, I think. It's going to be even crazier when the second arrives. Oi.

My writing is definitely going to be on the back burner for a few years, I fear.

Good luck with your schedule!

Gottawrite Girl said...

Sheri, you can do it! Just like PJ says, it's all broken down into accomplish-able bits. We are all routing for you! I feel overhwlemed, too....writing, day job, freelance projects, and blogging. But, there's love driving this bus! For you, too!

Gottawrite Girl said...

Sheri, you can do it! Just like PJ says, it's all broken down into accomplish-able bits. We are all routing for you! I feel overhwlemed, too....writing, day job, freelance projects, and blogging. But, there's love driving this bus! For you, too!

Sheri said...

I'm with ya, Jeanie! As I put my kids on the bus that glorious first day of school, I sang, It's the most wonderful time of the year... They never appreciate it! I also agree... cubicle life is not for me either!

Thanks Lappilus! Ugh, toddler days! They were great for being a mom. I loved those days. But not for being a writer. I just couldn't get any time to myself and when I did, I wanted to nap!

Thanks Gottawirte! It's so nice to know you are all behind me routing me on! I really appreciate it everyone!

beth said...

I just find it so ironic when I read all these blogs from mothers who are at least a little glad to have their kids back in school so they can finally get some writing done--I'm the exact opposite--now that I'm back teaching, I'm spending all my time with kids and no writing :)

But, I think goals are important, and that you're on the right track. Even if you can only allot a certain number of minutes or words, the important thing is to keep writing.

Sheri said...

You're right Beth. Even if I just eek along, at least I'm writing. I used to be like you btw... when I was teaching elementary English - I had no time to write during the school year and had to cram it into the 2 months of summer.

Amy Tate said...

Welcome (er ugh should I say welcome back) to my world! My daughter is 4, so I still have to help her wipe every now and then. I have to be constantly reminded that I'm not wasting time when I play with her. Sometimes it's hard to remember how to play, isn't it? Especially when there are millions of items screaming for attention on the to do list.

Sheri said...

Amy, cherish these days with your daughter. They go so swiftly and then you wish you had them back to appreciate. When my kids were little, I did barely anything else besides be with them - play with them, go for walks with them, etc. I really focused on being in the now when they were little. ANd I try very hard to do that now too. But at this point, I am ready to reel in some hours to call my own.

Barrie said...

Wow, but you are busy. I can relate because I'm generally over-extended! I'm sure that's a New Year's resolution waiting to happen. Good luck with your schedule. I'm sure you can pull this off.

Sheri said...

Barrie, is this a new photo? I love it, btw. I meant to say so on your blog.

I am overextended and feeling the strain. But I am going to try my hardest to never schedule anything on Wednesdays so I can ensure I have the whole day for writing.

Today, being a Wednesday, was a great writing day. I am sooooo tired though! Thanks for stopping by!

cindy said...

go you! yay for plans! i'm working on revisions, so let's work hard together! =D

Sheri said...

You got it Cindy! I'd be thrilled to be 'on the same page' as you any day!

LEEZY said...

I have every bit of confidence you can do this Sheri - because you ARE doing it... treat each day and every item you cross off your daily to-do list as one more stepping stone that brings you closer to your bigger dreams and aspirations.

Those three-year-olds are very lucky to have you and remember that one day, they may very well be the children buying your books!

:)

Stick to the plan Stan - you got it going ON!

“Personal limitation exists only in our ideas of who we are. Give up all notions of who you are and your limitations will vanish.”

- Anonymous