My son said this to me a couple of months ago and I’ve been guilting over it ever since.
Well, it’s because I’m stressed. My work life kind of exploded some time last summer when I decided to escape the (dying) industry I’d been in for the previous seven years in favor of the formatting work that was falling on top of me. I kept thinking I could do less work for more money and spend time with my kids, but… That’s not the way it worked out.
Is it ever?
In January, my career took a sharp upward turn when I was presented with an offer it’s taken me four months to stop resisting. (Details later, when it’s all finalized.) The deciding factor was time, because, in a totally unrelated twist, I was suddenly presented with a project I won’t be able to resist at all.
On the formatting front, I’ve got a backlog of work and I’m behind. I’m stressed. My house, until two days ago, was a complete wreck (thank you GroupBuy for that cheap house deep-clean). I have to do my taxes. My kids are after me for attention (as is their right), but they’re somehow easier to put off. I was sick most of December and February. Dude’s been sick for the last two months. I have a book coming out on Easter (in case you hadn’t heard). I’m publishing a book for someone else this month. I have another huge project for another client. I’m in charge of producing an important work from Peculiar Pages coming out June 30 and working on edits for the Monsters & Mormons anthology coming out in October. And we come around again to people who come to me for formatting their ebooks.
It’s exciting and nerve-wracking and stress-inducing and I haven’t been able to sleep without some serious medication, which happens to give me a hangover. I like it. I like helping people self-publish. I feel…important. Like I’m accomplishing something with my meager little life. I love it.
“Mommy, why don’t you smile anymore?”
So today I went to get the final item for the Magdalene Easter swag basket (spirit gum, if you must know) and it’s just down the street from Crown Center, across from which is a fountain.
(Well, in Kansas City, you can’t take two steps without falling into a fountain, so that’s not saying anything.) It’s 88F today, but the trees are still bare, which should give you an idea about how bizarre our weather has been.
I decided that, in spite of my backlog of late projects, I’d take the kids to lunch at Crown Center and then let them play in the fountain with about 40 other children. They didn’t have bathing suits on, but who cares? This is an issue of being spawntaneous.
They were happy. I was happy.
And I smiled.
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We’re gonna do stuff like this more often.