I am in a funk. All day it felt like Thursday, on Friday. All day I struggled to feel at ease in my skin. It’s just a funk. That’s all there is to it.
(Image from Forbes)
I wrote two different posts today, and then didn’t want to post either. Funk. I got a half dozen errands done in barely an hour (all over town), but then didn’t want to do anything else. All day. The funk: The kids are driving me nuts. Nuts. I’m sick of fart jokes; I’m sick of figuring out what they want to eat, and whether I have to cook it. I am tired of picking them up five days a week, from track/tutoring/choir/after school/insert something else. I’m just tired of kids. I’m tired of the dog shedding ALL over! I swear the big lug loses half his body weight every day, in hair on the floor… then somehow reproduces more, for me to vacuum the next day. Twice. I’m sick of trying to figure out who is sincere and who isn’t; and whether I should care. I’m not getting enough sleep, but hate to go to bed early. I don’t want to defend blog posts that are my experience, and I don’t want to let it go either. I’m really excited to see Coldplay, but bummed that friends can’t make it. Not nearly as fun without them. I’m excited to see my (college age) age kids this summer, but dread the issues that will come home with them. I’m excited to see my daughter graduate from college in May, but overwhelmed by the prospects that lie before her. I feel a little older this week (almost 70!) and yet feel as restless and adventurous as when I was in my twenties… only wiser. I’m bummed that publishers asked to read my manuscript twice; that I started to hope for the best, and then it got rejected. It doesn’t matter that I know the odds and expected exactly this, it’s still a bummer. I’m in a funk.
I’m not looking for reassurance or explanations. I get it. So I’ll lay it down here: It’s just a passing rut. I’ve been running around for years, so a few days here and there when I just feel like doing nothing (when I can) is ok. As moms however, I think we tend to feel guilty when we’re not keeping pace. This will pass. I’m officially semi-retired now (two kids out, one almost there), I better get used to this. The kids are good kids and it’s not that unusual to reach overload with your kids. Having taken on 2 (TWO) exchange students this year, there were bound to be times when it just isn’t as fun as other times. We have all kind of reached our max: the kids are ready to go home, and yet sad that it’s ending. We will be sad to see them go, but also look forward to getting back into our own groove. It’s been a challenging year for Little Man, at school, and I’ve put in a lot of time there. I’m a bit fried on kids. Period. I am so sick of dinner: cooking dinner, thinking of what to cook, factoring in no cheese (x3), no tomatoes, too much rice (rice, rice, rice), and how to make each of them happy, when, I’m just sick of dinner. If I vacuum the kitchen one more time and then see more dog hair, I may scream. Ok, I screamed today. Luke is gonna be bald before he settles into his summer coat! I am thinned-skinned. I’ve known that for many years, but some days it hits me right between the eyes. I worry too much about what people are saying, not saying, and what I feel about it. I was stunned to find myself on the outs (out, cut off and ignored) for some things I’ve written, that seemed very straight forward to me. My experience. Ironically, the point I’d made was that I’d spent so much of my life worrying about being cut off for speaking my own truth, and there it was. Working through that took some focus and energy, and I certainly know where my own head is, but the ride has been draining. Regaining my balance, has taken some work. (There’s no hiding Lukie; you’re in the dog house!)
Keeping my head straight about kids who are becoming adults is an ongoing challenge. When they were little, I looked forward to seeing them grow up and find their own groove (even as I wanted to keep them little forever). I’ve hoped for them to be their own selves, to find their own fire, and catch that fire. And yet…yet, it’s hard when they go a different direction and I’m left figuring out how to keep up. Stepping back, to let them move in their own direction, even as I want to run forward, is one of the biggest challenges, I’ve ever faced as a parent. Those moments of connection are all the sweeter when they come from adult children who choose to connect with you (versus wee ones who need you and connect in a very different way, no matter how sweet those little hugs are). To have my adult daughter tell me she’s proud of the woman I am, means more than I could have ever imagined, when she was little and “your the best mommy” was not uncommon. It’s just too strange to realize that she’s graduating from college in just a month. When I was at that point, her dad and I were already together. That’s impossible to imagine now. Watching her go out into a world, that’s changed a bit in the twenty-five years since then, is startling, thrilling, breath taking. To have a meaningful chat with my son, on his twentieth birthday, and have him remind me that whether or not I get published isn’t what counts: it’s what I’ve done to get to this point. His wise words struck a spot that I needed to touch that day… before I’d heard anything from the publishers, and was still wishing. Listening to my boy, it didn’t matter for a few minutes. Sweet moment, before the fall.
The most challenging this week: Dealing with the manuscript is a bit dicier than I’d anticipated. Yet, I’m more ok than I anticipated, as well. I really did go into this knowing that it was a long shot. My first publisher and my first rejection. The fact that they asked to read it a second time got my expectations up a bit, so hearing that they weren’t interested in the end, was harder to hear, than if they’d rejected me outright weeks ago. I need to re-group and move forward, but which direction? To go the route of self-publishing, which is what most people suggest, or pursue traditional publishing, which I’ve wanted is hard to figure? The part of me that likes to dive in and grab it, isn’t as sure where to go next as I’d like to be. I’m practicing patience and focus, rather than allowing my passion to take over. So, I’m sitting quietly at home and thinking about this next move. There are so many amazing options out there: the world of self publishing is so different than it once was. There are so many reasons to go with that. As someone who has always wanted to be published, however, a big part of me still wants that. Ultimately, I feel good about the manuscript. It’s had excellent editing from my writing group, and an editor. The only two men who have read the first few chapters liked it a lot, even though I know it’s closer to “chick lit.” To have male readers like it too, was a real boost. But where next? Breath. Breath deeply. (Oh Luke, you can avoid eye contact, but it doesn’t hide the fur all over my kitchen this morning! When oh when will you learn to vacuum?)
So, after two other posts that just didn’t feel right to me, I’m going with the flow here. The flow of consciousness that comes from this day of funk… in a week of challenges.
What puts you in a rut? What gets you back in your groove again? If you’re a writer, or have thoughts about it: self-publish or traditional, and why? Inspire me.
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wow, Dawn, I just really felt this one and had to tell you so ~ plus I love all of your blogs that have a picture of Luke with a towel over his head!
Maybe that’s the key? When Luke needs a towel, I’m on to something! When you feel it, I know I’m hitting a mark… even if I was just rambling! Thanks for taking the time, and for reading along with my funk friend. 🙂
I have been in quite a rut this week myself. I finally wrote on my blog that I needed a clone. I think maybe then I would be able to get some rest and de-funk. If not a clone, maybe a good glass of wine! 🙂
Oh, if we could clone ourselves! Wait, would I like my clone? Or would we butt heads? The wine seems easier Jean. Amazing how things can turn around in a blink… so watch for those golden moments. Have a good week Jean and hope you find your groove again. 🙂
“As moms however, I think we tend to feel guilty when we’re not keeping pace.”
Wow, friend: Truer words were never spoken…or written, for that matter!
I can’t even imagine children being at or near college age. That’s amazing, and you have so much to be proud of! But despite my lack of college-age kids, I can understand the rut. Trust me, can I understand the rut…
Re: self- versus traditional publishing, I’m a pretty big fan of self-publishing…as long as you’re willing to put in some work. Consider that a typical royalty/advance for an unknown author at a traditional pub house is $1,500 advance and 15%, and you still end up doing all of your own marketing. Now consider that in self-publishing, you frequently keep 70% royalties. If you’re still expected to do your own marketing anyhow, that seems the way to go to me. Then you become famous because you’re a kick-ass marketer, your book goes viral, you have passive income…and then the big publishing house comes a-knocking.
Best of luck as you continue the journey. Sending virtual hugs and endless good juju your way!
I don’t think it matters how old our kids are, the rut is all our own! I know you get it friend.
The struggle with this decision should be easier: I have someone who has been publishing magazines for years and has published 3 books (2 on his own) and 1 book has been VERY successful… I think the answer is clear, it’s just giving up that dated dream of “getting published” by some established house. You’re so right, either way I will be doing most of the work on my own. Thanks for the feedback… it really helps as I stumble around my own head. :-p
I appreciate the juju for sure!
The publishing decision is a tough call – one I’ve been struggling with a lot lately. In the meantime, have you checked out this group? – Pacific Northwest Writers Ass’n at http://www.pnwa.org. They have a conference in Seattle in July that looks great – lots of opportunities to pitch to editors & agents as well as writing workshops. I haven’t registered yet, but I likely will.
Thanks “Rita;” I’ll take a look at the conference. I’d love to go to another, but our summer is terribly booked already… so it depends completely on timing!
I feel very fortunate to have such a generous and kind offer sitting on the table, and so much support behind me. Can’t go wrong, right? 🙂
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