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:~: Friday, August 03, 2007 :~:

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

"I don't know how you do it all."

I hear that a lot, espcially as the school year begins. I admit I do keep a lot on my plate -- parenting, teaching, coaching, writing, advising two clubs.

I find a way to do it all because it matters to me.

One of my typical days involves getting up around 5:30, getting everyone dressed, fed and out the door. I'm at school by 7:30 and teaching begins at 8:10. That lasts all day, of course, and after school, I have coaching until 5:30, usually. Then it's home to cook supper, take a run, clean the kitchen, get the Monsters into bed and I take the last hour and a half of my day for writing and promo.

There isn't much time to breathe.

What I've learned to do to manage everything is to streamline my day. Our house is organized so that cleaning can be done in spurts throughout the week -- maintaining order until I really clean for a couple of hours on the weekends. I have four baskets in my laundry room and everyone is responsible for placing dirty duds in the correct baskets, so I never have to sort laundry. I don't put laundry away either -- each family member is responsible for taking their stacks as I fold and putting things in the correct place.

My Monsters have always had chores. I don't clean their rooms but they are responsible for keeping them neat and orderly and they take turns keeping the bathroom clean (I do give it a really thorough, down-to-the-baseboards cleaning every couple of weeks). I don't go to bed without cleaning the kitchen and we lay out all clothes, bags, etc. the night before to make our mornings go easier.

I grade papers or work on school stuff for an hour or so nightly, so that doesn't pile up. It's the same with writing. 1200 words a day for four weeks means I have a rough draft nearly fifty percent complete at this point.

So, yeah, I'm busy. Some days I get overwhelmed. (Wait until November when I'm responsible for getting Homecoming Week pulled together. Some time, I'll share with you how I got snookered into being the student government advisor.) But I'm doing the things that matter to me.

How do you juggle your life and writing?



Blogger MaryF said...

We're supposed to juggle???

I usually get up at 5 and leave at 6:30. We start teaching at 7:45. I get out at 3:30, come home, write till dinner time, clean up, and write some more. Usually, though, I'm in bed by 9.

Sometimes, if the story is really pulling me, I get up earlier to write, like at 4. During Nano, I could have several pages written before I went to work!

7:55 AM  
Blogger Linda Winfree said...

Mary, I *have* to juggle, or I'd never survive!

You start teaching at 7:45?! Why does that sound unhumanly early?

I could *technically* leave school at 3:50, but One Act and/or tutoring usually keeps me there well into the afternoon (today, I've been considering giving up my last period -- read ONLY -- planning to teach a drama class that could include One Act rehearsals, but the idea of teaching seven straight periods scares me).

I can't believe you get up at 4:00 to write! I'd be a zombie. (But I've been known to stay up until 1:00 writing, so I guess that's the same thing, LOL).

10:41 AM  
Blogger MaryF said...

Sadly, in the summer, I stay up late to write - it's hard to shift gears ;)

The good thing about elementary school is not a lot of extracurriculars!

2 more weeks....

6:27 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

I can't believe you're back at work already, Lin. Wow. The summers just fly by. My kids still have another month off before they go back. And this year - woohoo!!! - I'll have two kids in school! (At least half days for the second, anyway.)

As for juggling it all, I have to say, I'm in awe of all you do. Sometimes it's all I can do to juggle motherhood and writing. I honestly believe it was easier when I was working full time and HAD to keep a very structured schedule to get it all done. Right now, my two-year-old is in a very clingly "mommy" stage and doesn't give me a lot of time during the day to sit at the computer. (Ah, the joys of the terrible twos.) As with all else, I'm hoping this will pass (soon!).

8:43 AM  
Blogger Carol B. said...

Gah! I'm in awe, but then, I have been for several years now.

7:37 PM  

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