No Rest for the Sick-ed

19 10 2008

Ahhhh, Fall. The patchwork quilt of amber and crimson and orange covering the hardwood hillsides. The faintest hint of frost in the air. The raspy voices, the phlegm-tastic coughs, and the rivers of neon yellow snot oozing down my children’s faces. Ahhhh, Fall. Ahhhh ahhhh ahhhh choooo.

As ever, the Blister family suffers from impeccable timing. I have about 100 hours worth of writing work to get done. I have twelve days to finish it. And at the rate of 75 cents per word, each one better be pretty bloody dazzling. Or at least coherent. That’s all for the slightly soul-sucking, but gigantic- bill-paying gigs, which take priority over everything. Eve-ry-thing. That means no time for running or yoga or reading or stalking people on facebook. Luxuries like shopping and leg shaving and sleeping past 6 a.m. and every-second-day showers are on hold. But in order to maintain sanity, I have to squeeze in some real writing. The writing that does not turn a dime, but fills the soul vacuum created by doing writing in which I am not allowed to bitch or swear or say what I think. This blog, and a few of my other side projects that might some day propel me to fame and fortune – or at least result in a lump sum of money we can use for a down payment on a house – can’t be neglected. Oh and then there are the kids. Apparently they can’t be neglected either. Not even when they are whiny and boogery and demanding. Neener still needs explanations about the world. Roo still needs bear hugs when she’s echoing and gnashing and melting. Squiggles still needs boobs and bottles and bum changes and stories and songs and help learning how to roll over and clap again. Throw in a night of Neener’s nightmares, Roo with the barfies, and Squiggles refusing to sleep anywhere but on my chest, and you have one exhausted Mrs. Blister who still has to get shit done. No matter how badly she wants to curl up alone under a blanket, with a cup of tea, a package of Halls, and a box of kleenex and hibernate until Christmas morning.

Of course, I’m not on my own in all this. Mr. unquestionably does his share, but we’re still struggling to really find our groove, manage our time, and define our roles. He’s having a hard time prying the domestic reins from my strong, steady, stubborn hands, and sometimes he’s not sure he really wants to. And I’m having a hard time cracking the various whips that need to be cracked in order for me to get my writing career moving as fast as I want and need it to be. I’m too busy frigging around with the domestic reins that I’ve held for so long, and grown so adept at handling. There are a million little challenges to this arrangement that I could not have anticipated, and they all seem to be surfacing at once. Right now, at the worst possible time.

But the timing of this miserable Fall cold that has gripped us? Yeah, I coulda called that. Naturally we’d all wind up feeling and acting under the weather just as I am heading into an intensely busy and stressful work period. Nothing new there. I know that deep in my sub-conscious mind, the part of me that relishes and thrives on struggle and adversity is positively giddy these days. It’s the same part that winked at me and said I told you so when I got my first A on a university term paper. A paper written the night before it was due, 15 minutes at a time, in between bolts to the dorm bathroom with the worst case of the barfies I’ve ever had. It’s the same part that hysterically insisted that Mr. and I were meant to be together when all other evidence and opinion pointed to the contrary. It’s the same part of me that smirks and says bring it on at the thought of all three of my children being somewhere on the autism spectrum. I don’t want to make a habit of quoting Bruce Cockburn, but sometimes he nails it. “Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.” And I don’t want to make a habit out of quoting my mother, but sometimes the ol’ doll nails it too. “No guts, no glory.” So pile on the work and pile up the laundry. Bring on the barfies and the boogers. If need be, I’ll sneeze and cough my way through the next two weeks, and come out on the other side with my best work done, my family still functional, and maybe even a shred of sanity leftover. And as for those nasty little phlegm balls that have been getting a free ride in the back of my sore throat for far too long now, I say this: if you’re big enough to choke me, you’re big enough to get out and walk. Haaacaaaaapaaaathoooey!

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3 responses

19 10 2008
nanny

That’s my girl!

20 10 2008
Lisa

Hang in there, McSneezy. You can do it! Give yourself a goal like, a day at the spa (or how ’bout an hour at the spa!) when you’ve sent in your last piece.

21 10 2008
trish

oh I can so relate, colds, dog barf and yes a 16 year old who hates everyone, expects money at every turn and regularly refuses to clean her room, then complaining when the dog eats her thongs, too bad the dog doesn’t get much out of them. HA

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