Today is the last day of a wonderful chapter in my life, one with time on my hands. Thank God for the internet or I would have gone even more bonkers than I already have.
I filled all that time with, among other things, being a member and then moderator in the forum at Homeworking.com - a fantastic resource for anyone who earns their living (or even a part of it) off their own bat, being full of funny, friendly, intelligent people all in the same boat. A goldmine for answers, advice and good ideas. My work there continues, so I aim to spend maybe an hour a night checking in and catching up.
I joined FanStory.com, a place to spew out attempts at creative writing or poetry, scripts or short stories or whole books, and I grew. In the beginning I gave every review equal merit; gradually noticing that there were different styles, and different groups of adherents, so I learned to watch for and value honest, critical and expert feedback from people I admired, like Poetboyomaha, who also has a blog, or Marillion. I may not have found my own style, but I made strides toward that, simply by working out what it wasn't.
I did try to get the hang of free style poetry. I can't do it, at least not until I can exorcise James T Kirk from my head
because he puts gaps and
in all the wrong
Nowadays I only go in there at the weekend to read the weekly half chapter of RazberryBullet's book, Wind Age, Wolf Age. I am on a promise for a signed copy when it gets published - I know it eventually will. I sometimes keep an eye on a few others like Lady Rae, a very young poet who is going to go far, if she allows it. I don't see myself finding a chance to post my own efforts there any more, but I haven't done that for a while now, anyway.
To an extent, life already reclaimed me during this time. I have steadily woken up to a subtly festering home, a thickening waistline, guilt that I had happily allowed my regular flow of home work to dry up to an occasional trickle, plus paperwork up to my ears for things like Lewis' ongoing Special Needs assessment. But I never stopped blogging.
You can tell when my mind is up to speed and I have time on my hands, because I end up, perhaps annoyingly, posting two or three times in one day. There have been days when time was even more freely available, but my head, or the sensation that I could communicate anything more than poor-me-itis or I'm-bored-isms, was not.
So anyway, now I have gone and got a job. Not a proper job, but a gold dust job, one that only runs term times and fits in between taking my own children to and from school. No childminders, no juggling, no guilt.
Tomorrow (scary) I begin to be paid for doing aerobics, I begin to regain a little fitness and earn money at it too. I am off to be a school dinner lady.
Quite what this will do to my energy levels is probably predictable - they will slump at first, I suspect, before increasing as I become healthier and settled in the job. What it will do to my available time is anybody's guess. I know I am the gumboots type, I function best under stress (but not too much stress!) - perhaps its better to say I am more productive when I have deadlines, when I have to juggle things. I may well become a better mother, housewife and blogger (and home worker - that, too, continues) when there is less time to be them in. (That's always providing I ever get over going five and a half hours without a cigarrette, not a situation I have had to face for six or seven years. That's possibly the most terrifying part.)
But I won't know until I get there.
So this is a heads up. If you come across my blog either with this post at the top far too long, or alternatively displaying something akin to "Gurgle, aargh" or looking like the same IQ could have composed either, then hang on, I'll be only in readjustment zombie mode, for however long that takes.
Off to re-iron the washed and packed school uniform, bath kids and trim hair, find school letters and school bags and plimsoles. But you know me, if theres even two minutes spare, I'll be back.
Wish me luck!