Friday, June 6, 2014

Fifteen Days Until The Kids Are Out

I am not taking any spring or summer session classes this year. I considered it but it just didn't work out with my schedule. The kids are still in school until the end of June and I was looking forward to two months of mornings to myself.

It's kind of nice on the occasional day that I've been able to just relax. But most days, I don't really seem to have any time to myself anyway. After I do my volunteer tasks in kindergarten, I don't have much of a morning left. I had great plans to reorganize all kinds of things in the house and most of them have been left untouched. I've scraped through a few big jobs but not nearly as much as I had hoped for. Eight months of slacking on the homefront has left me a little overwhelmed. So many stash and dash places are overflowing.

I miss my classes quite a lot. I had direction provided to my days through various professors. I had a reading list given to me and didn't have to search out my own materials. I can always find things to read but the assigned readings generally make me extend myself. I read things that I might not have chosen on my own. I often find myself bored now and this is not a common occurrence for me.

I am normally busy, looking after my kids and their schools, making dinners, tidying toys. Usual stuff. I read. I volunteer. It has been exceptionally nice to be able to attend a field trip or two. I miss that while my classes are running. My first semester was hard. It was very difficult to develop a decent groove that allowed me to get assignments and studying done on top of everything that is normal. Second semester was incredible. I felt so totally in control most of the time.

And now, I have time that is not so full. My daily life is comparable to carrying money. When you have a hundred dollar bill, it lasts longer than if you have a hand full of twenties or smaller bills. Things just get spent little by little. With the multiple stops I make each day, I am interrupted from many things. My mornings result in an hour, two on the best days, of time to devote to other projects. Kindergarten ends, then Art comes home for lunch, then the afternoon with Angel until Macboy is done, 40 minutes until Art is out. My day is full of stops and starts, so it is hard to really accomplish anything bigger.

I have been reading and writing so much, especially these last few weeks. Something about reading John Green novels sparks a wildfire of creativity in me and the words just flow as though they never were mine to begin with. The story is just pouring itself from my brain to the page. I love this feeling, it is the closest thing to escape I can ever manage. The rest of me just drifts away and I am nothing more than a vessel for the story to be written. My mind doesn't wander. I don't think of anything that needs to be done. Stress triggers drift away. For the time that I have devoted to the writing, Wendy ceases to exist. I drift into the character and his story is my own. I become him. I become his voice and write his words.  I can feel his feelings and think his thoughts, not because I am creating them but because they are from him.

I don't always feel this connection in my writing. I do sometimes have to place myself into the mind of another, I have to craft their thoughts and expressions. But sometimes, the best times, it just comes so naturally. It is not a desire to create a story but the need to release a story that exists already.

I have never felt so successful with my writing. I have never lived the flow quite like this. I know the direction the tale will follow. I do know the future of my character, but it seems most like he his telling me how he got there instead of myself having to brainstorm anything.

If it were not for this writing frenzy that has caught me, I would be going slowly insane. I hope that this lasts at least until the kids are out of school. Once they get out for the summer, I know that my schedule will change again. I am sure that I will be missing classes then too, as I really don't get a break away from the kids at all in the summer.

University has absolutely nothing to do with socializing and friends for me, it is entirely for myself. I pursue subjects that I love, that I choose. I exercise my mind and learn so much. Oh, how I love learning new things. I don't always love doing stuff with things that I learn, but I LOVE the process of understanding things that I didn't before. Or understanding something in a totally different way than I had ever thought of it. This is what I am missing the most. Discovery. Accomplishment. Pride. I like to have my house clean, but it is not the same kind of pride I get from a good mark on an essay.

Being graded on everything is hard for some people. But I don't strive for good grades to please a teacher or anything else. Each A that I've earned tells me not only that I understand what they have taught me, but also that I can explain it in a way that another understands. It's the achievement of communication. And as being a writer is the strongest drive within my soul, mastering these milestones of communication are very important to me. I miss that. I miss those benchmarks and reminders. Even if a grade is lower than I hope for, I spend the time reviewing my words so that I can say it better next time.

I know the summer will drift by so fast, especially once the kids are home all day with me. I'm grateful to have this time. This is an opportunity I've never been able to have before. I also know that when September rolls back around, I will be ready for it.

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