A day in the life. Associative hive mind? (Image credit: Iva Muskic via Pexels)

Day 13: Tonight is Rice Night

“Tell us about your day.”

04:11—I wake up naturally and feel fairly rested; thrilled to see the time. I know the early start is thanks to finally having gone to bed before midnight—back on schedule! Nonetheless, I idle, lying cosy under the blankets. My thoughts, truth be told, are mostly negative this morning. A kind of disgruntlement and fresh disillusionment, with regards to the writing industry and my attempted part in it. Also, continued disappointment in my own social awkwardness. I’m over the top with everything. Will I ever learn to be cool? If history is an indicator, the answer is no, I’ll never be cool. I’m repeatedly warm or hot or icy cold, but never, never cool.

04:38 —I finally force myself to get up to do my morning pages. My pages are what keep me sane. It’s like an addict moving toward her fix in the morning, filled with a mixture of excitement, guilt and resignation; or like someone with a diagnosed illness taking their medication.

I tiptoe down the two sets of wooden stairs, leaning most of my weight on the handrails, to avoid the loud creaking and snapping sound that the pine boards make if I actually step in the centre of them. My toes only touch the very edges of each stair. I hear a child mumble in the second bedroom as I pass. I freeze. I listen, I wait. Silence. Relief. Then I continue.

I’m happy I’ll be the earliest up-and-about today; just like old times, before T leapfrogged. I plan to go write in the van, where there is the least chance of interruption. But then, I arrive downstairs and figure I’ll stay in the kitchen, where it might be warmer.

I feel an ominous sadness at the fact that summer holidays are ending and winter is coming. The days are already cool enough to wish for a fire in the wood stove. We still haven’t quite gotten ‘round to installing central heating.

I purge a bunch of wordy crap into my digital journal and have the usual petty epiphanies while I’m at it. My associative brain, as always, begins to chart a new life direction, completely different from the day before, also typical. I do a bit of DuckDuckGo-ing. Passing thoughts about my passing thoughts, wondering how T puts up with me.

I almost sign up for this course in “Nature Writing” at Cambridge ICE (no entry requirements except “near-native command of the English language”), but then remind myself that a few seconds ago I’d decided I’m no good as a writer, and should pivot toward graphic art instead. I don’t take any immediate action, since tomorrow might be different. (Sometimes I do take immediate action, and then tomorrow is different—for at least one day.)

06:30—T comes downstairs. We say good morning to each other, he disappears ‘round the corner and I go upstairs to finish up with the purge pages. The kids, and my visiting parents down in the guest-slash-office-caravan, are all still sleeping. T will be making coffee for himself, and oatmeal for the kids, in a minute.

Having successfully crept back upstairs to the master bedroom without disturbance from the kids, I check out Day 13’s writing prompt. It’s “Tell us about your day.” Thank goodness, an easy one. I was ready to give up on this project. I guess I’ll continue for one more day, I think to myself. Just one day at a time, that’s how it’s done, I suppose.

I plan the rest of the day: 15 minutes of exercise (calisthenics, yoga), and a walk outside — likely with the kids. Grocery shopping (bread, rice, eggs, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, red beans, lettuce, carrot salad, some kind of dessert), lunch for 8 (as usual it will be salad and sandwiches, or maybe egg-in-the-hole), chores with children. Call new schools to make registration appointments for the four boys; remember to discuss elective language options. Plan this week’s shopping trip for school supplies. Plan this week’s sightseeing day in the city with mom. Finish scale drawing of the proposed windows for the former storage room. Find out from T which building supplies need to be ordered this week. Plan campout/sleepover for the older two boys and their friends, if it can still be squeezed in before Friday. Call B&B or campground, to book my and T’s yearly couple’s weekend. Tackle 3 items off the mending pile. Sort through all the kids’ school files, with the kids, and cram them into a single cabinet.

If I’m lucky maybe half of those things will get done, in between mediating and helping with various kid projects and problems, and likely visits from the neighbour kids as well — not to mention publishing this post, which always takes longer than I think it will. Then it‘ll already be time to make dinner. Dinner for 7 (including my parents), since T will be gone again for the week; he works in Holland, I mean the Netherlands. Tonight is rice night.

Then it’ll be clean up, bedtime prep, and story time with the younger kids, while the older kids do silent reading. After the kids are in bed, folding laundry (4 piles of boys’ clothes). Finally, I’ll either give into my compulsion to stay up till midnight, reading online; or I’ll successfully force myself to get to sleep by 22:00. We’ll see how it goes.

Nothing exciting here. Just another “day in the life” of a typical hermit crab mom, on summer holidays.

xo n

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  • This is Day 13 of a self-imposed 31-day “Write AND hit Publish” challenge, mostly using Jeff Goins’ “My 500 Words” prompts. Day 13’s prompt is “Tell us about your day.”
  • Thank you so very much for any claps and comments. Besides coffee, commitment and perseverance, they’re this writer’s only fuel.

You might also like: Day 15—Evaluation Day and/or Day 11—A Hermit Crab’s Room, Sew Literary