Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Itchy and Scratchy

I'm spending some time with Itchy and Scratchy at the moment.

Itchy is my desire to scrub up my grubby house of appallingness now that both kids are at school. Scratchy is my desire to ramp up more work and earn more cash. (Guess which DH thinks is more important?)

Itchy is my desire to throw myself into the latest idea the Idea Salmon has flicked my way. It's not all that new, it's been bubbling since before Christmas and I'm pretty sure it's going to be my next new project. On the other hand, Scratchy is my desire to re-edit Maureen and get her into the best possible shape. I read a page or two the other day and I still love what I've done; but it will take time to sort out, including rewriting the last third.

Overweening all this is my desire to spend some time for myself now that both kids are in school. The seems to show itself in constant procrastination and not actually achieving anything; mooching about, cleaning this and that, (a little bit of Itchy) but nothing systematic. Reading a chapter of a book, then feeling guilty and going off to half-do something else (a little bit of Scratchy).

I'm broken! Fix me! What's the right brand of oil to sort me out and get me going properly again?


Robin S. said...

Been there. It's frustrating- having the time but feeling just-about-guilty over it. Here's my prescription:

Wallow for a day or two. Wallow big. Watch junk TV- eat ice cream. Fart in the kitchen. Drink wine for lunch with a friend, and laugh your ass off at people at other tables. Don't say you've already wallowed- no- you haven't, sweetie.
You've been in a mommy-guilt-holding-pattern. Now: wallow big.

Next: spend a day or two in consideration of the way forward, McK style. Which pievces of your puzzle mean the most, the very most, to who you are at the very core of you - disregarding, for the first time in years, how anyone ELSE wants you to fill your days. Go there first, and get that work done.

Then, incrementally, you can add in other things.

But it is truly your turn, and you should make the most if it. You deserve it. Repeat after me...

pacatrue said...


sylvia said...

I make lists. Things I should do, things I want to do. If it's really bad, I make excel spreadsheets out of the lists with rankings of 1-10 for various criteria (How happy will this make me? How drastic is it if this doesn't get done this month? How many other people will this make happy?).

Then I rank it and resolve to work through the items, starting tomorrow.

Failing that, Pacatrue's suggestion sounds good.

blogless_troll said...

Fart in the kitchen? Does that work?

Sorry, McK, I don't have any advice, but robin's, paca's, and sylvia's sound good.

I really just wanted to type "fart in the kitchen." Oops. Did it again.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

I'm at the end of a project and the start of two more (can't decide) and I needed a break from the intensity. Also, my life seems to be catching up with me. So I've made a time line for myself. An hour at my desk--email and blogs. Trip to store for birthday cake, etc, leave treats at school. Another hour at my desk. Lunch meeting with our magazine's tech guru. Clean up toy room. Get kids.

I'll have to check back in and let you know if that's how it went. :D

Sarah said...

Yep to all of it. Permission to just take a break and wallow, lists for everything I'd like to do and what's reasonable to expect, Spending a limited amount of time on each daily thing.

But I'm a human doing and sitting still is a PITA.

McKoala said...

Thanks all for your advice! I know I'm lucky not to have to work full-time, but I'm having some trouble with focus. I think Robin is right, I haven't adjusted to this unexpected change. I'm not unhappy, in fact quite the opposite, but I am scrambling to refocus.

I'm going to take a combination of advice...

Today I will try and tie up work loose ends, then next week I will try not to work at all, other than emergency edits on work already done.

I'm a chronic list-maker, so I will try Sylvia's method and see what I get. Then I'll translate the most important things into a version of Sex's timeline. By the way, ss, whatever you do or don't do today, don't forget that last item. (Picking up the kids, not checking back. Oh, go on, do both! I want to hear how it worked for you).

Finally, margarita is not my drink of choice, but if 'true will permit an alternative selection I will wash down my thoughts with white wine and gin and tonic.

However, whatever I do, I will not fart in the kitchen.

ChristineEldin said...

McKoala, I sooo understand!!
That guilt thing can be overwhelming. The first year both my children were in school, I painted every room in the house (practically) and volunteered 3 days a week at school. The school year flew by and then it was summer, and I had no real break.

I have a much better balance now. I'm enjoying the 'me' time ---and I don't feel guilty anymore. I can think back to seven years of when I was the one getting up in the night, dealing with colic, taking children to hospitals, etc. YOu know the deal. I think it's okay to kick back and relax.

But I also am trying to have a writing schedule. It's not working out quite as well as I want it, but it's getting there. I want to make use of this while it's there. DH and I live by the mantra that 'things in life can always change.' So take advantage of it while it's there.

You sooo don't need fixing, btw! A little work, a little break. And fart in the kitchen. Sage words.

December/Stacia said...

There's an Idea Salmon?

Geez, I love salmon. I hope I didn't eat it.

Robin S. said...

McK- don't forget the important first stage of wallowing. It's important to clean your clock out before beginning.

So your mantra for the first few days should honestly be:

Wallow Big.


Conduit said...

"Geez, I love salmon. I hope I didn't eat it."

Yeah, I had a salmon starter at a big dinner the other night. The last idea that salmon had was "Hey, I'm gonna swim into that net!"

But seriously, maybe it's just winter doldrums, but every writing blogger I know seems to be in a non-productive phase just now. I think I'm slowly starting to climb out of mine, though, so some writing might get done over the coming weeks.

McKoala said...


You're funny, though, the pair of you salmon killers.

I'm working today (deadline), then I'm wallowing for the rest of the week. How does that sound?

I may blog. Or I may not. Check in and see.

Robin S. said...

Go, koala, go. Wallow away...for a little while.

Ello said...

I vote for time to yourself! FAcial? mani pedi? Or just go see a movie and enjoy! How often do you get me time?