Saturday, June 29, 2013

Only nickname I ever had was "Sloth" - or, Timothy Olyphant is my other spirit animal

Me neither, Johnny.

I am entirely blocked.

Oh, there's an entertaining first line for ya. Feel free to steal it. "I am entirely blocked. We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold." "I am entirely blocked. Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins." You would read either of those books, wouldn't you?

I am so frickin blocked that, let alone writing,  I haven't even been READING. I have Charlie Higson's new Enemy Novel on my coffee table and I haven't cracked it. I have The Shining Girls, which everyone wants to read, and I have barely read the flap copy. Instead, I've been reading TWOP recaps of Deadwood and Tom & Lorenzo bitching about "ladystars" in spinkly dresses.

Jennifer Lawrence doesn't give a shit that I am in a rut.

That hasn't been a total loss, by the way - I have learned many wonderful uses of the word "clench" and discovered that Naomi Watts is my spirit celebrity. If I could wear a shirtdress the way she can, I would wear nothing but shirtdresses.

It's weird though. This is exactly the opposite of what I expected to happen.

See, I sort of quit my job. I got this job, a little over a year ago, working full-time doing what I'd previously been doing part-time, and although I really enjoyed it - it was in a new part of town for me, and I like having responsibility and agency, and most of all I had great co-workers who were willing to let me crackpot around, from the start it seemed like maybe it was a bad idea. The kids were extremely kerfuffled about it, especially Ezra; it ruined summer, since I didn't have any vacation time accrued; and I was always scrambling to manage rides and supervision when Bob was out of town, which was often. Plus, working part-time for so long, I had encumbered all kinds of additional commitments. Articles to write, reviews, school things.

And yes. I KNOW. I am such a whiner. Everyone deals with this. It's hard, and it's hard for everyone, and nobody told us it would be otherwise.

When I grow up, I'm going to have six kids and a
full-time job and an 87% chance of getting breast cancer.
But right now, I am feeling so sorry for you
that I am going to jam this into my aorta.

So I kept with it until I had this dream that Milo (who is ELEVEN) had a presentation to give in Milwaukee, and he missed his flight, and somehow convinced me to let him drive there. I had to go to work and Bob was in Kansas, and I let him go, and later got a phone call that they'd found him in the car by the side of the road in Indiana and he had alcohol and cake in his system. I woke up in tears, and fired off an email to HR essentially saying "GET ME OUT OF HERE," and four months later, I am back to working part-time.

Which is, like, ideal, right? It's summertime, we can go back to our pajamas-swimsuits-pajamas attire schedule. I can make dinner every night. I can catch up on review assignments that were due I shit you not in APRIL.

But I can't seem to get started on any of it. The few things that people need from me RIGHT NOW, I've done those things. But the stuff that's been hovering - nothing. I have two marvelous books to review for my other blog, but I can't seem to write a word about them.

I think it's not a coincidence that, in addition to me not having to go to work every day, the kids have been off in the Land of Relatives for a week and a half, stomping around in streams in Virginia with aunties and uncles and grandparents. If they don't need to get fed, I don't make food. If they don't want to go to the pool, I don't put my bathing suit on, and so I stay in my pajamas.

Is this what happens when we become parents? And is this why people - some people, not me - have kind of a fearful reaction to adults who choose not to have kids? Is it a universal perception that, absent external demands, we revert to a natural slothful state?

I better get off my ass.