It's hard to believe we've just chalked up another new year. Doesn't it seem that this last revolution around the sun went amazingly quickly? As always, I like to step back and reflect on the way my life is going and the plans we have for the coming year. I felt a twinge of alarm when I considered the following.
As Logan edges further along the High School continuum, I'll have to help him begin to decide the educational options that are available to him outside the normal public high school choice. They are out there, but it takes time to figure them out. So much time that ferreting it out could easily be a full-time occupation all year.
Blake, my youngest, is keenly getting into reading and basic maths. Helping him through that early literacy/numeracy phase could easily be a full-time occupation all year.
Emma is busy with her interest in arts, upper primary studies and such. Following her interest in these could easily be a full-time occupation all year.
Keeping a ship-shape house is definitely an occupation that could easily take more than a full-time job all year. In fact that one's a beast that could take all you want to pour into it and still never be done. I know several ladies who seem to master this one with poise and grace, but it's always been a hassle for me.
Keeping Apple Leaf Books, our little fiction publishing venture going, could be a full-time occupation all year.
Looking at all this, I groan and think there's no way I can possibly do any of this very well because I'm spreading myself too thin across all of them and not giving any of them my complete, full-time attention. And my first instinct is to throw up my hands and stop doing any of it, because it's a recipe for burn-out. Those ladies who actually work more on top of this outside the home must have super powers. Even ladies with kids in the school system have their work cut out for them. (If my kids had been in the system this year, I would have had one at High School, one at Primary and one at Kindy. I would've been always jumping in & out of the car. Ridiculous!)
But then I remember the advice that's always given to first-time writers. I'm familiar with this because I've come across it in every course or how-to book I've studied on the subject. To those who say, "I want to write a novel but the size of the commitment alarms me," they reply, "You only need to bite off small chunks at a time. If you restrict yourself to as little as one page per day, at the end of the year you'll have a 365 page manuscript." I'm sure it's the same with all the other stuff I've mentioned. Taking small chunks of time each day for helping Logan, Emma and Blake = an education for each of them. I've already proven to myself that finding just a smidgin of time for work on Apple Leaf Books gets stories circulating out there. And I'm sure we all know how quickly a house can be made to appear reasonably clean and tidy when we know that sudden visitors are on the way. But if we do none of this, things fall in a heap very quickly.
This is one of the things I'll try to remember in 2009. The little ways seem useless, but persistance pays. After all, huge, beautiful stalagmites are formed by little drops of water.