Journal

How Is It Already Fall?

I’m still here! Still alive, but very very busy. I’ve cried lots this year. The kids have cried more. Some days are good, but some days are just hard. I’m full time mom right now, and it’s exhausting. I haven’t watched any TV or movies since last year. If I’m quiet on social it’s because I don’t have the mental bandwidth to keep up with conversations and it’s very likely that someone is screaming in this house while you read this.

But it’s not all bad. I’m very lucky that I’ve been able to extend my leave from the day job into next year. Things are settling into a new schedule since Kid 1 started school. I no longer have to play roulette when choosing between “Write, eat, or shower?” The nights are getting less broken and the kids are so damn cute. I’ve read more than 120 books and counting thanks to library e-books. I <3 you librarians.

I didn’t think I’d get any writing done with a new baby, but I’ve chipped at my projects a handful of stolen minutes at a time to finish revisions on the monster book, and I’m halfway through the first draft of a new WIP. Those few minutes a day are a little bit of normalcy in my life, when nothing, even my post-baby body, feels like it’s quite right anymore.

I have no idea what’s going to happen over the next few months. I’m anxious about the future and about what will or won’t come to pass. I know I’m not the only one that feels like they’re living with a breath held in and that they’re waiting for the other shoe to drop (I really need to stop doom scrolling).

Maybe I really shouldn’t be querying in this trashfire of a year, but every query I send out feels like a message in a bottle. If I can’t go out, then at least I’m giving my dreamings a chance. Whether or not anything actually comes out of this; it’s the doing that matters to me. Hope is the only way I can keep going.

I hope you’re doing well. Honestly, if all you do this year is survive, that’s enough.

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Journal

Not As Usual

How are you holding up these days? It feels like everything is in some ways upside down, and precarious. We unfortunately live in interesting times. I’ve been thinking about the ways the world will be permanently altered, but I’m not going to muse on those here – at least not now, and not yet.

Things at our house are the same and not the same. Our older child is still young enough that she’s not terribly missing friends or school and she still wants to be with mommy and daddy all day. I’m lucky enough to be off on maternity leave for the year, so I’m not affected job wise, and babies really don’t care what is going on. There’s no time to do much other than scramble through sleepless nights and days, diapers and feedings, and dirty clothes, and spit up, and toddler tantrums. Between the two kids, we’re just trying to keep going and not be completely terrible parents even though we’re exhausted.

But there’s still always that feeling in the back of my mind that something isn’t quite right. It’s that uncanny feeling you get when you watch a horror movie. You can’t see it immediately, but you know something is not right somehow. That’s what every day feels like now.

My little bit of normal these days is still writing. It’s always been my safe space, and retreat from the world. It’s how I process my feelings and so without it I’m a complete mess. I’m not doing it to be productive – it’s self-care. It’s a few precious snatches here and there. And a few blindingly exciting ideas now and then. It’s likely terrible since I’m so sleep deprived, but it still feels necessary.

I’ve never really bought that the goal of life is to be happy all the time – but learning to find happiness even when things are shit. Baby snuggles and laughter are amazing. Those soft cheeks, and that soft hair. Bigger kids still wanting to hug you are still so welcome. There’s sunshine and spring flowers and things growing in our garden. There are recipes that turn out great (even though some flop). There are all the people stepping up and helping strangers, just because they can. Life is not all terrible – it never is.

I doubt things will be back to normal for a long time, but so far I’m still here, and you’re still there, and I’m glad you are. Stay safe and take care.

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