Sunday, July 1, 2012

Three weeks

Just three weeks now till RWA...and this week was good on the writing front.  I worked on my copyedits for An Infamous Marriage, turning them in on Wednesday, and after that got back to work on my new manuscript.  It'll take a push, but I should still be able to finish the first draft before RWA.

The whole healthy eating/exercise thing?  Didn't happen.  The past two weeks have been Clean All the Things? time for me. For those of you who don't recognize that phrase, it comes from a Hyperbole and a Half blog post from a couple years back. In short, it's about falling into a pattern of overloading yourself with responsibilities, then crashing into a world of junk food and late-night websurfing. Actually cleaning all the things hasn't been my system failure breakpoint for months now, because when I got my new job, complete with higher salary, back in September, I contracted with Merry Maids to Clean All the Things for me twice a month.  And it's been well worth it.

But I've still got a busy life. There's the day job. There's the family, both spending time with them because I love them and all the schedule juggling of raising a kid in a family where both parents work full time. Now that school's out, this means summer camps, which typically have more stringent drop-off and pick-up time requirements than her regular before- and after-school care. I've finally got her into swimming lessons every Saturday this summer. She wants to learn karate, too, and I sometimes feel like the Worst Mother in the World, or at least in North Seattle, because I swear Miss Fraser is the only rising third grader at Daniel Bagley Elementary who hasn't been part of a soccer league since she was 5. (If she didn't want to play soccer it would be fine, but she'd love to--her busy parents just haven't got their acts together to make it happen, and I worry that she'd be irredeemably behind all the kids who've been playing since they were 4 or 5.)

There's writing, of course, just about the only responsibility I have that I could theoretically give up, but I'm not about to because it's too central to who I am. Then there are all the writing peripherals, like volunteering as a contest judge and as part of my chapter's conference planning committee, that I try to keep to a minimum but have a way of cropping up and taking more time than I expected when I agreed to them. Oh, and social media, which I enjoy but feel guilty for not doing more of.

Now, I need to eat better and exercise more.  I need to stop using junk food as quick comfort when I'm stressed. I need to journal my food because otherwise I'll just plain eat too much. The way I eat and (fail to) exercise now just plain isn't healthy, especially for someone whose family history includes heart attack, stroke, type II diabetes, and colon cancer to the degree mine does. It has to change. But my healthy eating and exercise plan is the first thing to go whenever one more thing gets dumped on my plate.

It doesn't even take much to throw me off course. These past two weeks it's been a combo of minor medical hassles--nothing dire or long-term, just one more thing to juggle and schedule around--and my daughter's summer camp schedule.

This has to change, but I'm not sure how. If anyone has ideas for how to trick my brain into thinking it's less busy than it is, or how to make my eating and exercise plan seem as crucial as writing, the day job, and making sure Miss Fraser has all she needs, please share them. I'm starting to reach the point where I no longer believe myself capable of change, and I know that's dangerous.

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