We’ve all been there. Well, most of us, anyway. We take the time to plan ahead, we think we’ve got all our bases covered, then that thing called life gets in the way and derails everything we had already set in place. Not in stone, but queued up in the hopes that things would go smoothly. I can hear Ron Howard’s voice now, deadpan, “Things, in fact, did not go smoothly.”
I’m sure my daily routine, such as it is, would go off without a hitch, if there were more hours in a day. Like 48, maybe? You know, sleep for 12 of them, but not all in a row–unless required. Then we can space work and leisure time more appropriately and our day wouldn’t be wasted on commuting, and so forth.
Oh, sure, you’re gonna tell me that with many people working from home now, they already save so much time in their day. They have it easier. Let me tell you, as someone who was forced to work remotely even before the pandemic, it’s no picnic. Because of the pandemic, our sanctuaries were transformed to a catch-all: office, school, playground, home?, prison.
Essentially our homes turned into the junk-drawers of life. Amidst this disarray, there still hovers the many deadlines we’ve either been given or have given ourselves. And since we have nowhere to go for a reprieve, the walls tend to feel like they’re closing in and it can be overwhelming. Sometimes, we just need to take a day, you know?
I have to ask myself, therefore, echoing the acronym of a title this week, “What would Ferris Bueller do?” For every attempt at working on my writing, be it blog posts or upcoming submissions, there would be one distraction after another. I have admitted to procrastination in the past, but it was never intentional. Yes, these distractions and delays are partially due to procrastination, but that’s because of fear, self-loathing and self-sabotage, not laziness. Come on, people. I put the “tortured” in tortured artist.
There are two amazingly wonderful and awesome kids in our household, both under 12 and on opposite ends of the autism spectrum. Personally, I think they’re the smartest ones under this roof. The adults here can hardly keep up. I’ve mentioned my nephew a couple times already, but it’s my niece that has captured my attention this week. Literally. My sweet Izzybear is a cunning 9 year-old, non-verbal, and very expressive. I lovingly call her X-23 and have the war stories to go with it.
Since they were born, I’ve always put their health and happiness ahead of my own, so even when pressed against a deadline, I could not and would not pass up an opportunity to spend time with them because I had already missed so much when we lived apart for five years. Seeing the world through their eyes is beautiful and humbling. They inspire me as a writer and as a human being. So, when the kids need me, I drop what I’m doing, if I can, and try not to think about the million things I should be doing and focus on being the best I can be for them.
The other night there were internet issues, and I got my post out later than usual. As long as it came out on the day that’s in the post title, I’ve learned to let some things go. I’m not there yet where I have weeks and weeks worth of posts already pre-written and scheduled for upload. I don’t give myself grief anymore for the small stuff. I know just how menacing and sadistic stress can be on a person. Stress, more than those who cause the stress, has been my antagonist these past few years. It’s a work in progress but I’m learning how to slay the beast.
I think Ferris would take a step back and be present in the moment. I’d been neglecting that bit of mindfulness right along with the whole self-care thing, so it’s all very new to me.
My plans have been altered, not thwarted. And I say this with a deadline just days away. However, what makes this different from previous times my life went off course is that I’m okay with this detour and I still know where I’m headed. We all need to take a day, sometimes. A day to refresh, a day to recharge, a day to completely veg out and do nothing. Whatever you need to help you keep on keepin’ on.
I can think of at least five things I need to do this weekend, but I can hear my niece giggling not too far away, because she knows as soon as I finish typing this up, we’re in for another night of dancing/tag/Simon Says/conga line through the kitchen madness, and I’m here for it.
Stay creative, stay weird, be kind to yourself and others.
Until next time,