Tuesday, January 9

Making Time @NanReinhardt




Okay, right off, I confess, I’m undoubtedly one of the most unorganized people on the face of the planet. I didn’t used to be. Actually, I used to be that person who always knew where everything was, what each day was going to be like, and what was going to happen next. Mondays and Tuesdays were housecleaning and laundry days—yes, I spent two entire days cleaning and doing laundry, including . . . get ready for it—ironing! I scrubbed my floors every single week, right down to using a toothbrush in the corners and I ironed everything that didn’t come out of the dryer perfectly smooth and wrinkle-free. I planned weekly healthy dinner menus, grocery shopped with an appropriate list, made lunches the night before, and always had fresh cookies ready for Husband and Son. Dust didn’t dare settle on the surfaces in my house and my gardens were weeded regularly. I went to aerobics class every Tuesday and Thursday, participated in events at church and cub scouts and my kid’s school . . . I was, frankly, a supermom. 

I was writing late at night, but it was just for me—notebooks filled with ideas and characters and stories that I never believed could become anything. Slowly, life changed—I got a job working outside my home, then I became a freelance copy editor and proofreader. When the kid grew up and moved away, I started following my dream of writing novels. Some things naturally got shunted aside. I confess dusting and vacuuming took a backseat to hours in front of my computer letting the people in my head have their way with my time and energy. 

My freelance editing business grew remarkably and I loved it, but with every new project, more dust gathered on my end tables and dressers and little dust bunnies romped under my beds and sofa. Meals went from a weekly dinner plan to Husband coming home from work and the two of us pulling together whatever we could from the meager groceries I had in the kitchen. He started taking on the grocery shopping, which delighted me because I’ve kinda gotten to the point where I dread going to the store. But I was really ashamed of the fact that my house didn’t sparkle and that somehow supermom had lost her magical powers.

Now, Husband is retired and I’m still editing and writing. however I’ve discovered that if the house doesn’t get dusted, nobody dies, lightning doesn't strike. There’s no shame in a house that looks lived in. It’s okay to no longer have a speaking acquaintance with my iron, although I do still love to iron and when I do it, it’s a treat. Husband has taken on several of the supermom chores and gives me space to write and work as I need to and doesn’t seem to mind if dusting only gets done once a month instead of once a week. 

Time feels so much more fleeting now and inside me, there is a sense of urgency, but it’s no longer focused on whether or not the dust bunnies are vacuumed away. Now, I worry how I’ll ever get a whole novel written before June (I have a contract, so I have to figure that one out) and whether or not, I can actually produce four books in two years (again, I have to. I have a contract). Copy editing deadlines sometimes breathe down my neck as I’m hitting social media to make sure my name and my books stay out in front of my readers. Promotion is a constant for every author out there.There are writing blogs I want to read, blogs I need to write, tweets and promotions that need to be posted, and one day, one day, maybe I’ll figure out Goodreads. I need to get more organized, so that each thing that needs doing gets done, instead of tasks looming over me like some fearsome overseer.

Honestly, I have no idea where I was going with this, except to say that over the years, priorities have changed and although, I don’t regret giving up scrubbing corners with a toothbrush in favor of writing one more scene before Husband comes wandering upstairs asking about supper, I would like to be a better time manager in 2018. 

So talk to me. How about you? How do you fit it all in?

9 comments:

  1. A great post. As you know, I don't fit it all in. I was just this morning trying to find the top of the dining room table--I couldn't. We are at a point now (age again) that doing what we want and having a good time and being with people we love all take precedence over dusting. Go with it and enjoy it.

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  2. I believe I will... thanks, Lizzy!! ;-)

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  3. I've never it it all in, Nan, and I've never really cared that I didn't. Must be the Gen-Xer in me. Not that we live in a sty, or show up an hour late to everything. I just figure, life is too short to work all day, spend all evening cleaning, and then falling into bed exhausted. So, I spend all day working, use the crock pot probably a little too often, and clean up as I go. And spend the rest of the time with RadioMan and bebe.

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    1. Maybe it is--my kids don't seem to worry that much either, although they do go on all-day cleaning binges about once a month. :-)

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  4. You’ve gone from being Super Mom to Super Nan! It will all work out... But I wish I had the secret formula to assure you :-)

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    1. Super Nan? I like that! I'm sure it will too, and if it doesn't, maybe it wasn't meant to be. Hugs, Ava!

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  5. I think we eventually come to the conclusion that since we can't get everything done, focus on what's important to us and let the rest go. Like for me right now, there are tons of household chores waiting to be done and I'm going to the movie.

    On a side note, there's a part of me that thinks you are a sick puppy to like ironing :) The only time I iron is when I hem my pants with stitch-witchery. LOL

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    1. Great point, Margie. And frankly, I'll take a movie over housework anytime! But ironing...I really do like it--I probably am a sick puppy... ;-)

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  6. The short answer is I don't fit everything in. I would really like a sparkling house, but I'd rather be writing and my husband doesn't seem to care. As we speak, my dirty dishes are gathering dust on the countertops. They'll get washed - eventually. About your ironing obsession, are you nuts? I haven't ironed since my husband retired and I don't have to iron his dress shirts anymore. Good riddance, I say!

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