Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Successful Failure

I was pretty excited to tell you about the success of my big November failure.

It turns out that sometimes you just CAN'T squeeze just another extra hour into your day for something you love.

I already get up at 5 AM to workout.  4 AM just doesn't seem human.

I don't watch TV.  Really, at this point I don't watch TV.  At all.  Have watched one full show - Supernatural - for as far back as I can remember.  One show.  Two weeks ago as a date night with Damon.  Love that show but someone has GOT to put that show out of its misery and give those boys the chance to do something else.  What about killing them off?  And KEEPING them dead this time?!

I am rarely online.  This last time it was two weeks between email and fb check-ins.  I don't have time.  If I am online, Ryan isn't getting her schoolwork done.

And fuck...the baby just woke up.

(Two days later....continued...)

That was the first ten minutes I have had to sit down alone and write something in over three weeks.

I carry a notebook.  I jot down notes.  I have ideas going on all the time.  Brain-writing, Michelle, another busy mother of young children, calls it.

But ten whole minutes?

Haven't got them.

I could give up working out.  And gain back the 30 pounds I have lost and go mentally insane.  The gym is the only time I have without the responsibilities of children all day.  From 5:30 - 6:30 AM.  Where fit women yell at me asking me cheeky things like " are you giving it your all?" 

And "show me what you've got."

"Push it.  Push it.  Until the tank is empty."

There are times I have cried during rpm class, warm silent tears in the dark as I keep pedalling.  Because I STARTED the class with an empty tank.  And because when I finish at 6:30 AM, I still have to dress and feed five children and make it through a day.

How long can you run on empty?!


Uh no....THIS is my beach.  My mountains are waiting for me at home!

Of course, the gym is also where I get such gems as "wow, you look fantastic.  You have really lost a lot of weight."

And, "you have really increased those weights, good on ya mate!"

And, " you did 5 kms in 35 minutes...way to go!"  Even though she's done 10 kms in just about the same time!

Last Monday I walked in feeling really sorry for myself.  OMG.  My daughter has Asperger's.  She will never ever be able to live life fully independently from me.  I will be pushing and pulling and - uh, yeah, gently guiding - her through life FOREVER.  She will never leave home.  I will be doing sixth grade math with her forever instead of sitting beside her writing my novel as I'd envisioned in the homeschooling scenario.  AND I AM GETTING ABSOLUTELY NO WRITING DONE!  Nothing for me!  (I have left my protagonist walking home from school alone with the good-looking but enigmatic bad boy next door.  If I don't get to them soon, she'll be pregnant before they discover the hidden door to the magic kingdom that will change their lives and help them discover who they are!!)

And I get "she is your challenge."  (My daughter, not my protagonist.)

Goddamnit, it's hard to work out next to little Miss Sunshine sometimes!!

"Challenge yourself.  Go go go.  Don't give up.  Don't stop.  You can do it.  YOU CAN DO IT!!!"

You can see why I need the gym.

I made it through the week running on empty.  I thought I would collapse.  I remembered the last time I felt this beaten and exhausted.  When the twins were about two and I couldn't make either one of them happy all the time, when I couldn't meet any of my childrens' needs, when I was so tired and beaten that all I wanted to do was lay down and never get up.  And I just dragged myself from one chore to the next.  Nothing was fun.  Nothing was ever finished.  And I was never there - for anyone- enough.

Ian is 1.  Ryan needs constant supervision if she is to do her schoolwork.  And here I thought I was done with not being able to meet the needs of two people simultaneously.

Then the other three come home. 

I end the day with a dirty house, no dinner planned, no nap (for me, not Ian), no writing done, and the feeling that all I have done all day is sixth grade over and over again. 

There has been nothing for me all day long and I am too tired at 9 PM when the kids are in bed and the dishes done - by then I have been running from one task to another for 16 hours without a break - to do more.   

The last time I was this run down I ended up in the hospital for two weeks.  With a false diagnosis.  Ever consider sheer exhaustion you friggin' morons?

Failure just wasn't an option this time.

And so I amped it up.  I kept going.  I did more with less.

And now I think that maybe, just maybe, I CAN wake up at 4 AM to write my novel. 

I can at least give it a go!

That gives me 2 and 1/2 hours a day for myself instead of the 1 1/2 I take now.

And so National November Writing A Novel which I managed 5 days of writing....wasn't a complete failure just because I didn't finish.

I started. 

I started on empty.

I ran out and I stopped.

But I can start again.

And start again as many times as I have to.

The only thing that is going to fill my tank is writing. 

And so I will do sixth grade.  And go to baby time.  And sports events and assemblies at school.  I will clean the house the best I can, cook some fairly healthy meals, read bedtime stories, hang up awards, make art projects and collect shells on the beach.  Grocery shop, replace outgrown shoes, decorate the house for Christmas, sort through last year's schoolwork and cover next year's books, keep my veterinary education points up to date, meet for playdates, have people over, take the car in for repairs, make that psych appointment and the hearing test, read up on Cognitive Associative Processing Disorder, wrap Christmas presents, laundry...

And yeah, the baby is up.

I was going to tell you that starting my novel showed me that there is no way in this world that I can finish a novel in a month.

Instead, I realise that I don't have to to be successful.

I can write for me.  Because I want to.

Because I have to if I have any chance at all at keeping up with any of those other things.

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