Meaning, I’m currently at a mental place where I don’t miss work.
Some of the people, certainly. But being out of the house 50-55 hours per week to see those people while I bring home a paycheck, not so much. Oh, I’ve been there during this enforced shutdown of my industry, and I’ll get back there too, but right now I’m good.
Since I’ve been off, I’ve pounded down the list of household projects to about a quarter of its original length. Of course, there are a couple of big projects (<cough> kitchen <cough>) we can’t afford with me off work, or even very easily if I’m back at work, but in terms of the small stuff and the small-expense stuff, I’m kicking it. Painting, de-cluttering, tree, brush, and stump removal, cleaning out the garage, tuning up our bicycles, small repairs… I’m probably going to be okay until I run out of stuff to do that isn’t just housework.
Yes, finances are tight. Not precarious, but we have to pay attention to every dollar. There’s no real disposable income anymore (if there ever really was, but now we’re keenly aware of it). The 27% increase in Ontario’s COVID “recovery” hydro rate isn’t going to help that, but we’ll adjust.
And I’m getting a lot of writing done.
And I’m going to more marital arts classes, albeit virtually, than I’ve had time for in a really long time.
And I get to be more politically aware and able to learn and write and comment and express.
And I’m available for my kids all the time. (Although they’re old enough that they mostly don’t need me.)
And I’m learning how to not suck at cooking. (Ask me about the sesame mushrooms.)
And my dog loves having me around. So do the cats, but the dog is more active at expressing it.
And my wife, who is in a very essential service and so has worked through the whole thing, claims she likes having me around all of the time, although maybe that’s because I’m doing all of the household chores instead of the half of them that I don’t actively dislike.
I do want a new normal at some point, but it needs to be different than the old normal and I’m in between wanting that right now.
I actually feel kind of guilty about that.
So the question becomes, what else should I be doing? Can I do more to make the world a better place while I’m at it? I’m trying, but I don’t know that I’m trying hard enough.
Stay safe and be well, everyone.by
by So as of yesterday, I’m on a two week vacation, not returning to work until Monday, November 12th, and I’ve got, as one or two of my kids might say, a crap tonne of stuff to get done.
Aside from World Fantasy Convention in Toronto from the 1st to the 4th of November, about which more (probably a lot more) over the next few days, I have a pretty big To Do list. This includes:
- Pounding out some serious new wordage. For every day I’m not at WFC, I’m looking for at least 1500 words of new fiction plus a blog post as often as I can manage.
- Doing a lot of editing. Setting aside at least an hour every day specifically for editing one of the three Warforge novellas I wrote last year. Revision notes are already accomplished. Long past time I made these fit to read so I can get to the next piece of the story.
- Finish planning on what I’m calling the Small Realities Indie Publishing Experiment. This is also past due, and part of my overall 5-year publishing plan, that I’ve also roughly planned.
- Record the raw audio for at least four short stories. And I even have them picked out. Yes, I’m finally going to start podcasting some of my fiction, as I’ve been promising myself I’d do for the last couple of years. The raw audio for two stories is already complete and one just needs a little second pass editing to make sure my retakes are good.
- Get as many as twenty stories out into the wild looking for home. This is, more or less two submissions per day for the days I’m available, and, I’ll be honest, that’s still well under half of what I have ready to go. I haven’t been good at submitting the last two years, for various reasons. In fact, I didn’t submit anything anywhere in 2011. That’s changing now.
- Get a full web site under way. I have the domains I want. I have a rough vision. Why the heck haven’t I gotten off my butt to get some web hosting?
- Gather up all the scraps of poetry lying around and turn it into electrons before I lose any of it. I wrote poetry on whatever is handy. The problem is I don’t always manage to get it into the computer. Some of it is decent and I’d like to hold onto it if I can.
That’s the creative list, and it seems pretty ambitions. Always aim high. But there’s other stuff to get done, too, a lot of other stuff.
- Finish Fall Cleaning. We’ve been trying to reclaim the house from ten years of life with children since we moved in at the end of 2002. It’s been a long hard slow, but with the exception of one room upstairs (see #2 in this list), the first and second floors of the house are pretty much reclaimed.
- Repair and paint Gamer Boy’s room. There are a couple of large holes, currently covered by framed posters, in one of Gamer Boy’s walls. These happened, and I think I’ll leave out how to protect the not-so-innocent, not long after we bought the paint. I’ll be supervising the repair job and will have some significant assistance from Gamer Boy for the paint job.
- Paint the master bedroom. A secondary task, if Gamer Boy’s room gets completed quickly enough. We bought the paint at the same time.
- Ease back into running. The last time I tried to get back to running didn’t work out so well. I forgot the cardinal rule: Take it Easy. Result, again, over stressed hamstrings and a calf that made me limp for three weeks and probably took twice as long to heal. I’m going to try again. Slowly, with the objective of being able to run a nice, relaxing 5 km by the end of the year.
- Finish the medium and long term financial planning. This has been a goal for a while, and we’re making some serious progress. For the short term, we need to learn to stick to the budget we set. For the long term, we need to figure out just what our goals are and plot an annually updatable path to reach them. Long past due.
- All the standard household chores. Too numerous to list and everyone has their own anyway, so how interesting would that be?
- All of the numerous errands and chauffeur duties that come with having three kids.
More than enough to fill two weeks of time, wouldn’t you say? Especially since there are four days more or less completely spoken for by World Fantasy Convention.
I’d better get busy.by