Faithful readers may recall that I was struggling last summer because one family member was recovering from surgery and another one needed to be moved out of her house and her house emptied and sold. After getting down to working only three or four hours a week, I gave up and took two months off from writing. In 2012 I was working two days a week dealing with two elders and being all supportive of a brand new, and very small, family member. In 2011, I took five months off from writing because a family member was ill. The same family member who is ill now, in fact. Illish.
We have been dealing with elderly relatives' health problems for a decade now. Things go up and down. We're not at the same level of intensity all the time, though for the two we have left we have constant monitoring of living situations, health, finances, and clothing. We're interacting with medical professionals, exchanging information with other relatives, etc. That's the weekly stuff. Then there's the periodic crises, like the one we experienced here the day after Memorial Day. We'll be dealing with the fallout with that for months or even years to come. The weekly work has gone up and will stay that way for the foreseeable future.
While all the grandparent issues have been happening, we've also been dealing with more mundane life things that come with ten years of living. Then, of course, there is work. While I've been spending a decade dealing with older family members, I've also been spending a decade dealing with what the 2008 economic downturn did to publishing and mid-list writers like myself.
This lifestyle/workload/whatever you want to call it cannot be sustained. At least, not by me. Mistakes are happening. Things are being forgotten. My surroundings are often chaotic, which makes things worse.
Throw In The Towel Again Or Try Something Else
On some level I've known the struggle can't go on forever for quite some time. Back in 2016, I wondered if I could do more, if I slowed down. The subject came up again last year when I was preparing for that family member's surgery. I was really concerned about it around that time. In addition to covering a couple articles on slowing down I addressed the issue of rushing. And then I looked to Einstein for help. Then I gave up, took a couple of months off, and when I went back to work, I had a lot of other things to do and forgot I was going to slow down.
I don't want to quit working altogether this time, so I'm going to pursue this slow work business. It could work. Or, at least, it could be better than doing nothing.
What I'm Doing This Summer
Reading about and trying to use:
- Slow work (It's a thing, I'm not making this up)
- A little voluntary simplicity, because a family member is into it
Instead I'm going to work on submissions, because I hope that can be done in little chunks of time.
I'm also going to continue with a promotion of Saving the Planet & Stuff planned for next month because, again, I think I can manage it in small amounts of time here and there. And it will be done by the end of July.
I'm going to limit the blog to Time Management Tuesdays, the Connecticut Children's Literature Calendar, and things that really grab me, like this thought I've had about Laurie and Professor Bhaer after watching the PBS version of Little Women. Except for the Connecticut Children's Literature Calendar, I'll only be posting when...well, I hate to say "when I feel like it." Maybe I should say "when I can." "When I have the energy." Yeah. That's it. When I have the energy.
So, you see, I am back. But only in a manner of speaking.