Monday, July 17, 2017

Default Parent Takes Work Trip

Good morning.  

The drive home from Destin took twelve (12) hours. Twelve. Twelve hours. The next time I drive to & from Destin, Florida it will be under the cover of darkness so I can fly beneath the moon, unfettered by maddening traffic. I remain mentally & physically wiped out at a time when I cannot afford to be wiped out, not mentally & not physically. 

We listened to the Moana soundtrack fifty (50) times on the drive home. 

I made an eighty-six (86) on the research proposal I submitted before leaving for the beach. That's an 86/100, a B, which is about what I expected. The full research report, which will constitute a considerably weightier portion of my final grade in my class (it's worth 250 points), is to be completed by August 1st so that my classmates &  I might participate in the horror known as peer review before submitting the final draft of our research report on August 5th. At least I think it's August 5th. I believe the children & I have dentist appointments on August 2 so I'll have to make sure I'm not juxtaposing those dates. 

I need a minimum of one (1) inch trimmed from my hair. I could go for two (2). It always sneaks up on me. I am fine with it . . . I am fine with it . . . & then one day I wake up & it has grown to an absolutely unacceptable length. 

I've had zero (0) luck finding someone to spruce up & agree to regularly maintain our flower beds. I'm going to make some more phones calls today because I would really sleep better at night & work more diligently on my graduate school work were I surrounded by perfectly maintained flower beds. 

My two (2) children & my dog all need their teeth cleaned.

One (1) month from tomorrow, I am to be back in my classroom because it will once again be filled with students. 

I need one (1) paper bag in which to expel hot, angsty breaths.

Truly there's nothing daunting on my to-do list aside from the work remaining in my graduate class, but with that looming over my head everything else just sits on my chest & makes me eat or cry or both. Here's the deal. Usually what I need is time; I feel stress because I don't think I'll have the time to accomplish all that needs to be accomplished, but I don't doubt that I can do it. That's not the case with this class. I come to this class with an intellectual gap & so it's not just a matter of finding & taking the time to sit & do the work; when I sit to do the work, I struggle. I've never made a B in a graduate course, & while an A in this class is still possible, it may not be in my future. I'll tell you what is in my future: ONLY LITERATURE COURSES. Next time I peruse Louisiana Tech's graduate offerings to see what tickles my fancy, I will not even consider taking anything that is not centered around the age-old, beautiful tradition of reading & analyzing literature.

My grand plan is to focus on two things these next two weeks: (1) finishing up my graduate class & (2) reading Winter, the fourth & final book in the book club's June & July series. The book club is set to meet July 31. I've read the first three books in this series & as God as my witness, I will read this final book before our July 31st meeting &, and, submit my research report for peer review by August 1st. Once those deadlines lapse, I will fully devote myself to all of the other things on my to-do list, & I will do so merrily knowing I will not ever, ever again enroll in a class having anything to do with technical writing. 

Saturday night when I finally got in bed (which was actually Sunday morning around one o'clock), I piddled online for a minute in an attempt to calm myself after the horribly frustrating day of traveling. One of the first things I saw was an article a friend shared titled, "Vacation or Trip? A Helpful Guide for Parents." Click here to read it in its entirety. Really, go read it. It is funny because IT IS SO TRUE. I sat in the bed laughing & crying, all for a variety of reasons.

Last week was hard, y'all. It was not a vacation (see article linked above for further clarification). I love the beach & I always have, but there is no aspect of my life that having children has not touched or somehow altered, & my love affair with the beach is no exception. I didn't realize how much I want to be alone with the ocean until I was right there, the sand under my toes, the waves lapping rhythmically, & I couldn't sink into myself.

You can't read on the beach if you want your children to, you know, not drown. You can't roll out of bed, laze around with your coffee, & slip into your suit when you please. Kids can't put sunscreen on themselves, at least not in any manner that might be effective. Kids still want you to fix them breakfast even when you're all on vacation (which is why it's psychologically healthy if you adopt the language suggested by the linked article & accept that you have taken a trip, not a vacation). Kids still need clean clothes, baths, their teeth brushed, their meat cut, & their insulin dosed whether you're in Louisiana or Florida or on the moon.

Anyway, our trip has nearly done me in. See how I just ended that sentence with a preposition? I don't even care enough to bother altering it.

Here are some pictures I'm sure I'll eventually look back on with more fondness than I can now muster in my physically & psychologically weakened state:

I look a little crazy in the above photo but since I'm actually wearing lip gloss of some kind - which almost never happens - I'll let it stand. When we finally made it home Saturday night & I walked in our house I was *surprised* when I walked in the living room because I had forgotten about the new entertainment center. This gives you some idea of my mental state. 

The thing is, my house is a mess & so is my life & I have a lot of work ahead of me in the coming weeks if I'm to make a decent grade in this graduate class & prepare myself & my kids & our house for the upcoming school year . . . & so I am taking a blogging hiatus for the remainder of July. July is kind of a blah month anyway as we all sweat & wait for college football to begin, so I think I'll see you in August. 

You'll be fine. We'll have a sappy reunion. It'll be awesome. 


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