Do your days ever start like this?
Coffee in hand, you open your writing computer and plop it onto the dining room table, excited to have this time to create, full of ideas you want to get down. You sit down and sip your coffee.
Your teenager’s alarm goes off. You tilt your head, glance at the stairway leading up to the bedrooms, type a little more, glare at the stairway, type another sentence, sigh heavily and lift yourself up to go wake up your daughter. Ten minutes later, after light-switch flicking, toe tickling and finally, threats to inflict bodily harm, you’re back at the computer, trying to remember what you were doing before you left. The ideas pop back into place and for five blessed minutes, your fingers fly again. Until you notice someone standing at the edge of your vision.
“Hi, hon. Sorry to bother you. But I can’t find those insurance forms we talked about last night. I need to turn them in today. Do you know where they are?”
Lifting yourself up, you cross the family room, sigh heavily and open the drawer of the end table your husband is standing next to, the one where you ALWAYS keep pending paperwork, and hand him the forms on the top of the stack. He kisses your cheek and turns to go into the kitchen to fill his travel mug with the coffee you made this morning.
You return to your dining room table and computer, realize your own coffee has gone cold, travel to the kitchen for a refill, receive a “bye hon. I’ll be late tonight” and another peck, then watch your teenage daughter fly into the kitchen, smelling like a perfume sample and looking like a make-up model with her pajamas still. She grabs a banana and retreats back upstairs to finish her morning ministrations.
Back at the computer, you sigh heavily and start again. Peck, peck, peck. Your barely notice when your daughter, now fully clothed, runs through the family then dining room with backpack in tow and somehow manages to kiss the top of your head as she whisks out the garage door. You’re going strong now, the rhythm of your fingers matching the pace of your thoughts. Until you notice someone standing at the edge of your vision. Or rather, sitting on her haunches, a look of hunger and desperation in her soulful eyes. She whimpers once and you sigh heavily, lift yourself up to go feed the dog, then let her out into the back yard, knowing she’d rather have a walk. Not until your writing hour is up! Those are your self-imposed rules.
While the dog is relieving herself, you’re working on that second paragraph you started. A hungry cat jumps into your lap, making you regret you didn’t put the cat food out when you fed the dog. A bark at the door interrupts progress on the second paragraph. You ignore feline meows and canine bow wows while you finish the second paragraph, but a tail in the face does not help productivity.
You sigh heavily, lift yourself up, feed the cat, let the dog in, rinse out the bowl your husband left on the counter, which leads you to rinse out the glasses and bowl from last night’s movie popcorn night, open the dishwasher and realize it’s full of clean dishes, empty the dishwasher and refill it, retrieve your mug and microwave your now cold coffee then turn back towards your computer. At the kitchen door, you gaze into the living area of your home and see that the rug needs vacuuming, something you meant to do before you went to bed last night. You notice your daughter has left school books and files on the coffee table, deposited from her book bag on her whirlwind trip to the bus. You gaze towards the window wondering how your daughter ever makes the bus and notice the streaks of dirt you’ve been meaning to get to. You turn back to your kitchen and the family calendar, suddenly wondering if today is the day you scheduled a hair appointment. Nope, that’s tomorrow, but you do have a doctor’s appointment in two hours. Better get started on your paying work a little early today. Maybe they’ll be time to work on that next chapter of your book before you make dinner tonight. And if not? There’s always tomorrow morning’s writing hour.
Sighing heavily, you pick up the dog’s leash. May as well get the dog’s walk out of the way.
And maybe it’s time to write somewhere besides the family room …