A Tough Tuesday

It is November 2nd, and I have written nothing.  Nothing for NaNo, unsurprisingly, but also nothing for my blog or Patreon yet this week, so here I sit catching up on the word game while I have a spare hour.  Blog comes first, followed by a Patreon update, then perhaps I will grab 1500 words out of my WIP and see what I can do with them.  Alas, I suspect that by the time I get to task number three, I will run out of time.  I had all morning yesterday to write, but I forfeited it to go drive down and visit my mom, instead.  She is currently in a nursing home and rehab facility in Salamanca, so the drive was a little better than when she was in Erie.

She seems ok, same as usual, and I spent a little while trying to get her to communicate with me in some way, but nothing really came of it.  So, I got frustrated, and gave her a good firm talking to about how if she doesn’t start swallowing and speaking she’s never coming home, and then she just starts swallowing, as if showing off!  “Good, now do it with some food!” I said. 

I went to leave, and I did hug-a-head.  It’s this silly thing we have always done, where we hug each other’s head and say “Hug a head!” and then the other person says “Hug a head!” and it’s just this cutesy nonsense we have always done.  So, I hug her head, and I say “hug a head!”

And doesn’t this woman respond, raspy, but clear enough: “Hug a head!”

I screamed, and cried at the same time; I was so startled, and also happy.  When I was in Salem, I was sad because all but one of my voicemails from my mother was deleted from my phone, and I wanted to be able to hear her voice.  It made me sad that I couldn’t remember the last thing she said to me.  I know it was something along the lines of “I’m sleeping in tomorrow, so don’t come over too early…” but nothing specific.  Now, I have something!  The last thing my mother said to me was “hug a head.”  No recording, but at least I have this memory until her speech expands again. 

I drove home, and when I arrived, I noticed that my car was behaving strangely, for the third time this month.  Reluctant to return to the mechanic, I spent the time I should have been writing driving to the gas station and checking the oil…of which there was none.  I mean…zero.  Dry as a bone.

Checking the little tag from Valvoline, I discovered I should have gotten it changed about 700 miles prior.  I am, of course, unsurprised that this detail slipped my mind during the past month or so.  I got some oil and put it in and then drove back to dad’s house to borrow his car to go to work.  Then…it was time to go to work.  So, no words dropped, for anything.

At work there was a gas leak, so we had to evacuate to the community center, which caused chaos to reign, particular in my K-1 class.  Little kids suck at change in setting and activity…so, of course, we dropped them in an unfamiliar building and had them do their homework in the gym, instead of at a table in a classroom.  Many of my kiddos didn’t have homework because they were evacuated before folders were handed out, so really I just had to corral them for an hour or so.  Then the littles were taken down to the basement to a game room, and I manned a computer lab that none of them were very interested in once they discovered the computers lacked both Roblox and Minecraft. 

When I got home, I was exhausted, because I didn’t sleep much the night before.  I went to bed early, again forfeiting my writing time for the day, and slept soundly until I awoke to go get an oil change this morning.

You know, I really love my jobs.  They are both very rewarding, but on days like to day I am sad that I have so little time to devote to my writing.  Even now, it is almost 1pm, so I need to wrap this up and post it before I get ready to go.  I have just enough time to finish this and post my Patreon, but I don’t think the WIP is getting touched today.  There are just not enough hours in my days anymore.

A New Endeavor

Today is the first day of my new job.

Now, I haven’t had an actual jobby since 2012, so to say I’m a little nervous is an understatement.  Also, I’m working in a Covid world now, so it is a virtual position.  It’s only part-time, because I truly cannot do more than that for heath reasons, but I am excited to finally do something every day and make a steady paycheck.

Now, of course, I am also terrified my stomach will betray me, as it has in the past.  It’s the reason I lost the job in 2012.  I loved that place, and would have stayed there forever if that were an option, but I was getting sick too much.  I was a teacher assistant at a day care, and a main thing with that is staff ratios.  It’s a big legal thing, so me throwing off the ratio made for issues.  It was a lovely firing, as firings go.  They seemed to genuinely not want to do it, but their hands were tied.

I knew then that I couldn’t work, really.  I would take occasional off the books jobs, but they never worked out for long, either because the kid aged out of care or I got sick.  I recall one nannying position I got that seemed ideal, but day one found me in the ER, so I lost it immediately.  I was terrified I would awake sick today, because of this past experience.  Alas, today I am well and raring to go.  And on the upside, when I do get sick, it is usually around 5am…which gives me plenty of time to heal up before work starts at 3pm. 

I will be working an afterschool care program for 3rd,4th, and 5th graders in the Buffalo school system.  Aside from homework help, I am not sure how much can be accomplished virtually, but my boss and the staff assure me that they have many ideas.  I would like to come up with something myself…I shall have to brainstorm.  The only thing I am really worried about with this job, though, is the math. 

See, I’m terrible at math.  I probably have a sixth-grade level.  And on top of that, they changed the math.  I don’t know how to do what these kids today are doing!  I’m going to have to go to YouTube University again.

Overall, I am excited to rejoin the workforce, though I do feel that I have a bit of catching up to do.  I mean, the last time I worked we had time sheets or cards.  Now, we have Paylocity.  Used to be you had to go to the place to see the kids.  Now, I don’t have to leave my office.  It’s a weird, weird world I’m in right now.

Anyhoo…wish me luck!  And as always, happy Monday. 

9 to 5

Today I spent the early morning working on my micro-chap.  I was not sure what to blog about so I dove into that, hoping inspiration would strike.  Then I headed off to take Hubs to work.  When I got home, I returned to the office and sat down to write this, but there was nothing.  Then Mark flashed though my mind, just a little image of him driving the forklift around the back lot of his work. 

Mark is a blue-collar worker.  Not to say he doesn’t have aspirations…his dream is to one day run a food truck or open a restaurant.  In his spare time, he is teaching himself to cook a little.  He watches food shows everyday.  He hopes he has something someday that he can leave to his kids. 

Alas, he drives a forklift. 

There are days he complains but no more than the average Joe does about their job.  Mostly he gets up and goes into work everyday and tries to do his job through a really enlightening view, actually: he likes to think that he is helping people.  And he is.  His company makes industrial safety equipment…like railings and ramps and such.  They send safety equipment to large warehouses, hospitals, concert venues, even into space, once.  He chooses to focus on that aspect instead of the grueling everyday task of loading pipe onto trucks.

I don’t have a job.  I haven’t been able to work for some time due to my health, so he is the sole financial supporter of our family right now, more or less.  But in the past two months, I have been able to contribute a small amount though my book sales.  Which means something other than extra money, to me.

It means that I have a husband who has supported me not only financially, but emotionally on my journey to publication.  He works his butt off so that I can stay home and write, the only work I feel able to do right now.  He tells me it doesn’t matter, because I am going to write THE BIG ONE someday, and he can’t wait to see me succeed in that.

I pretty much live the life of a fulltime writer, since I am not working.  I have a daily schedule:  Monday-blog.  Tuesday-poetry.  Wednesday-submissions.  Thursday-blog.  Friday-novel or kids’ book.  Saturday-marketing and promotion.  I don’t spend all day on these tasks, but I work these tasks every day.  And of course, as is the plight of the writer, when I am not actually working, I am thinking about working.  So somedays it feels like I never get a break.  At least, in my head.

But Hubs job uses his body.  We have had a couple of arguments over who is more spent at the end of the day.  His job is physically exhausting, mine is mentally exhausting.  I might not want to think anymore, but he doesn’t even want to move.  I can’t imagine that life.  When I worked in day care, I was beginning to get sick.  It was harder and harder each day to use my body for my work-and THAT is a more strenuous job than anyone realizes.

Anyway…the other day we were talking about his food truck aspirations.  He wants it sooner rather than later, and I totally understand that as it’s exactly how I feel about my book.  But I also know that without the proper planning and time and circumstance, things don’t come together, and they rarely come together in the time frame you want.  A lighting and set designer I used to work at the theater with, Mike Lodick, always said “You can get it cheap, easy, or good.  Pick two.”  That applies to most everything you want, I have found.  Certainly applies to fulfilling your dreams.

So right now, I am working on fulfilling mine.  And then someday a miracle will happen, and my novel will be published and sell a million copies, and I will buy my husband a food truck as a thank you for driving around that forklift while I sit here and peck out these words.

We will work to make each other greater.  We have worked to make each other greater.  I am lucky I have someone who helps me follow my dreams, and who I can help follow theirs.