The fire drill of life

Journals at the Florence market

Life is getting in the way of writing lately.

This past week alone, we’ve dealt with or are dealing with the following: buying a new couch (the old one has a broken frame, and the baby has peed on it too many times to count), the babysitter quitting with less than a week’s notice, hiring and training a new babysitter, made reservations for our rental apartment in Italy, our dishwasher catching on fire and necessitating a call to the fire department at 10:30 at night, my National Piano Guild auditions the morning¬†after the dishwasher fire, and hiring a new housecleaner.

Each of those events involved a constellation of their own mini-events (for example, once we discovered that the dishwasher was the source of the fire, then we had to turn the power off in the kitchen for a day. Then we had to take the dishwasher out of the wall and try to find out exactly where it was burning. Once we found the loose rubber gasket that rubbed against the heating element and caught fire, we had to take it out, then put the dishwasher back, then run it to make sure nothing was leaking and nothing else would catch fire. All this while regular life continued taking place, with very little children who have constant, unending needs).

Just today, I’ve done the following: made and prepared two meals for kids, prepared my oldest son’s school snack, cancelled the housecleaner for today and rescheduled her for tomorrow, washed a load of cloth diapers, filled out the baby’s ASQ form for the pediatrician (appointment at 3:00 this afternoon), took my oldest to preschool, began working on my husband’s birthday gift (birthday tomorrow, so am scrambling), unloaded and loaded the dishwasher (still haven’t started it yet, even though it’s full), changed at least four diapers, dressed both kids, took the kids outside to play and then got them back inside ten minutes later when it started raining, gave the baby his cold medicine, broke up squabbles between the kids over the little red car they like to ride in, and read my oldest son three books while the baby whined and screeched and tried to wreck reading time (like he always does). I’ve missed at least a dozen little things when I typed that list. I know there’s a lot more.

I know that I’m lucky in a lot of ways–I GET to hire a housecleaner, I GET to hire a babysitter–and I swear I don’t want to sound like a whiner, but having gratitude for what I DO have doesn’t make me any less tired. I always want to be the person who can write when her kids go to bed–mine are both in bed by 6:45–but I am so mentally spent at the end of a day that I have nothing left. And don’t even talk to me about snatching moments to write when my kids are “occupied.” Right now, as I type this, the baby is wailing in his crib because he has a cold and he can’t sleep and he has new/worse separation anxiety suddenly, out of nowhere. ¬†I can type up a blog post, but there’s no way I can work on my real writing.

I have promised my novel manuscript to an agent about six weeks from now. I’ve been working diligently for months and I know it’s close to done, but this past week, everything has stalled out as life has just pummeled me into a little ball.

Sigh. I’m not sure where I’m going with this. Just rambling. I sure could use a break. From life.



About the Author

Amy Collini is a writer who lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two young sons. She's completed a novel, Now is the Hour, and is currently at work on a memoir-in-essays.

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