Making Mistakes

Recently I was applying a thick coating of antibiotic cream to an abrasion my eldest error-101407_1920achieved from doing something she realized (in retrospect) was a bad idea. It was while listening to her hiss in pain as she attempted to hold still that I was struck with a thought. Kids are a second chance to learn from your own mistakes.

You see, the thing she did was something I easily could have done once upon a time. I have even considered it before. However, by that time I was old enough to think the idea all of the way through and realise what the end result would probably be. She is still at the age of: “I have an idea! Let’s try it.”

Being a parent of really creative children is a joy and a challenge. They come up with some wonderful insights but they also find their fair share of trouble. Sometimes they find that trouble earlier than they are prepared to deal with it. Mostly it is because they simply haven’t learned to think things through. It can be a hard lesson to learn. Some people never learn it.

doctor-1015624_1920Bumps, bruises, scrapes, and embarrassment help encourage us to look ahead to possible outcomes. This is a good thing for self preservation but it can also be a bad thing if you only weigh the negative outcomes. There is a balance that has to be learned. Sometimes it is worth it to take the chance. Sometimes it is not. The important thing is to think about things before you do them.

I would like to say this is a lesson I know well, but that would be a lie. In some things I am good at looking ahead and going “Nope. Bad Idea. Okay, Plan B…” In other things it never occurs to me. (Hence the three novels currently being worked on all at the same time.) Sometimes I see the mud puddle and jump it without look to see what the ground is like on the other side. That is a good way to lose shoes. (I know from experience.)

If my daughter had thought things through she wouldn’t have gotten hurt. It is a lesson she has learned and will not repeat soon. It also reminded me of my own mistakes and the things I learned.

Parents like to repeat: Look Before You Leap. There is a reason. It is cliche but it is ancient silhouette-1082129_1920wisdom we try to pass on. We try to warn our offspring. Often they don’t listen to the warning and end up making their own mistakes anyway, just as we did.

One day they will grow up and pass that phrase on to their own children, who will roll their eyes and make mistakes. It is part of the learning process. However, if the same mistake keeps getting repeated over and over then the lessons aren’t getting through and it may be time for extra guidance. (Unless you are trying to make something. Then those “mistakes” turn into “drafts” or “experiments.”)

Advertisements

A Monday For Facing Fears

Hello. It is Monday again. The sky is overcast and the grass is still damp with dew. I have been up for a bit but I am just now sitting down to write this. I have been stalling.

You see, if I sit down and write a blog post that means it is really Monday. This Monday. The Monday where I once again have to do something that I don’t really want to do because it scares me a little.

Now before any of you get ideas of doctor appointments or tightrope walking into your heads, it really isn’t that big of a deal to the rest of the world. Once I go and get things over with it won’t seem like a big deal to me either. It is the time before I actually step out of my door that is the worst.

I have to go out into the world and adult today. Yes adult can be used as a verb. If you don’t think so, just wait. One day you will do a thing and it will be something that is necessary but not really something you want to do. In fact you would probably like to avoid that thing all together. However, you will take a deep breath and do it anyway. That is adulting. (In some cases “adulting” can be not doing a thing you do really want to do.)

I have to put on my adult costume and go pretend to be something I’m not. I am an adult. I have bills, pets, kids, laundry and everything. It all gets paid, fed, or washed. But to the rest of the world I get the feeling that I am just not quite adult enough. I have to go confront the local school board over my son today. I may even be home schooling before the day is out.

(Summary of the issue is that they want my social anxiety afflicted son to move schools during his last year of primary because he is not zoned for the school he has attended since kindergarten. Makes sense except for the fact he has never been zoned for that school but it hasn’t been a problem until now.)

Sometimes I feel I have to over adult because once someone in power find out I am a single mom, for some reason my adult meter drops. I watch it happen. There is this little smirk that comes up in the corner of their mouths and their eyes say “Oh, that’s what we are dealing with.”

If they find out I am pursuing the dream of being a writer the meter drops even more. It is like I am a little kid dressed up in her mom’s shoes and no longer have to be taken seriously. I hate, hate, hate being humored or patronized. If you are going to look down on me at least do it in a way that gives me a chance to fight back.

I am not on welfare. I am paying my own mortgage. I work 72 hours in one week, then come home and do all the other stuff people have to do and be mom.  (Okay my incredibly wonderful mother helps me out with some of that.) Then I write because I am a writer. I can and I will pursue that dream. Just because I happen to not have a mate does not mean I have to give up on everything and go wallow in how hard life is.

I even have a freaking vegetable garden in the back yard! If anything I feel like they should be taking me more serious or at least trying help me out a little. But that is not the way it goes. Instead I am silently put into a stereotype box and anything I say from that point on will be viewed wearing shades colored by that box.

It is incredibly frustrating and I don’t like confrontation to begin with. Writing it all out here has helped. I don’t feel so uneasy now. I am going to go forth into battle before my courage fades. Wish me luck.

Starving on a plate too full

cat-peeking-out-from-under-beddingI didn’t post on Monday.  I meant to.  I even had the whole thing written out on paper.  I just never got the chance to transfer it from the paper to my computer.  I could come up with a dozen excuse as to why not, but to be honest I chose sleep over writing.  Sometimes that happens.  (It has to or at some point you become a danger to yourself and others.)

Working third shift, as a single parent, with two elementary school aged children, and trying to give a writing career a go is hard.  Doing all of that with two sick elementary school aged children, plus fighting off a cold/allergies-of-doom is nigh impossible.  Thank God for my mom or I don’t think I would have survived this past week.

Also with the threat of NaNoWriMo on the horizon, I have been striving to reorganize a few things.  If I am having trouble just getting through the day with all of my obligations now, then writing a 50,000 word book in 30 days will not happen. (And giving up NaNo is not an option.  As crazy as it sounds, it’s something I really look forward to.  I can write a book, just for me, and it doesn’t have to be good.  Think of it as the literary equivalent of screaming into a pillow.)

I’ve needed to take a look at my plate and push a few things around for awhile now but I im-najera-froissartam one of those people that say “no, I can do it” even when it is obvious that I am trying to fight an fully armored charging army, by myself with a toothpick.  (My friends have called me on this many many times.) I think it is a family trait.  My brother and my parents do the same thing.

I was on a friend’s street team.  (Which is a group of people that work together to help an author promote their books.)  I still respect her.  I still greatly enjoy her books and will throw it a plug here or there when I can, but it isn’t something I can really focus on at the moment.  Not with everything else.  I suffer guilt for giving it up, but at the same time I know it was the right thing to do. (And fortunately she is one of those gracious people that understands.)

Also with cold and flu season starting up, work has gotten a lot more hectic.  Saturday, tissuesjudging from the people at our pharmacy at 2am, you would have thought the ER had a two for one special going on.

I probably will still have to do some more shifting of all my obligations, but right now the portions on my plate look a lot better than they did.  During November, if blog post dwindle back to twice a month, don’t worry it is only temporary.  My Monday schedule of posting will remain the same, it just may not be every week.

“Our Heart’s there to conquer the world, but we’re only human beings.” -Aaron Rudolph Flinchum

Balance and money

charles delintI usually post what is on my mind here, though sometimes I hesitate.  Today what is on my mind is the balance of my bank account.  I hesitate to write about it because it is so low and I worry what people may think.  I mean I know it is low and how it got that low and I am not really worried beyond making sure I have enough gas in the car to make it to Friday.  If worse comes to worse I can always borrow from my kids. (Yes it is robbing piggy banks but I always pay them back with interest.)

My night/day job doesn’t really pay a ton, but it is enough to get by.  I have had friends try no-moneyto convince me to find a different job, maybe one that pays more and that is a little safer.  I always brush them off because I don’t think they really understand where I am coming from.

Nothing against them. They love and worry about me and I get that. However, their lives run differently than mine.  The friends that suggest this are happily married with two incomes and two people to pull kid duty.  I just have me.  My ex-husband and I are on good terms, and he loves his kids, but it is still just me day in and day out when it all comes down to it.  I don’t know what I would do with out my mom to baby sit while I work.

mugging forkTrue I work nights. True it is some what dangerous, but I don’t see it as more dangerous than working elsewhere.  Also I get every other week off to be home, to help at school, to work on my writing. (Which is what I love to do anyway.)  I am here when my kids get home from school.  I eat dinner with them and help them with their homework.  I sleep while they are at school and work while they are asleep.  I am here to pick them up if they get sick or to go to school functions when they need me. (Even if it means giving up sleep.)

So yeah, my job doesn’t pay great and I am just scraping by, but the benefits out way the money.  The money problem will be helped by getting stuff written and published.  Then I snoopywill be getting paid from both jobs.  Or at least that is what I keep telling myself and those that worry.