It’s not that the well has been dry; au contraire, my friends. I have simply fallen in.
June – which I have some illusion as being just last week – was the month of end-of-the-year school / preschool parties. A blur of cute children and little chairs. Also lots of Bar and Bat Mitzvas. And birthday / anniversary celebrations – mine, and others. And conferences. And meetings. Upshot: I got dressed to go out at all times of day and night way too many times in June. My computer would wait up for me, but I said I was too tired and went up to bed. That’s when the trouble started.
Then came July. (See below.)
It’s been more than a month (closer to two) since I’ve blogged. The reason can be distilled into one intense truth:
I will never have more time than I have…right…NOW. (Or, as my brother likes to say, later is later.)
…OK, two intense truths:
Energy is finite (yes, even yours) and what you choose to focus on is itself a powerful statement, with broad implications on the objects of both you attention and your inattention.
Or, if you will, a Carrie Bradshaw question: When you multitask, are you doing everything, or are you doing nothing?
Here’s a little bit of what’s been keeping me too busy to blog….
1. Freelancing means you spend A LOT of time in administration and niggling project management tasks for which you can not (or at least I don’t) charge. And in business development. This is a fancy way of saying chasing leads and going to meetings that sometimes don’t even turn into real projects, because lots of people just like to have meetings. They collect them, like rocks or stamps. Then the work you already have takes over all the rest of your time, and blogging (and housework) gets shunted aside. Do you see where this math takes us? I’m doing something wrong – time and money-wise. Advice most welcome.
2. July: Some kids are home. Around. This brings even more kids. Right now there are teenagers in my den. I didn’t count how many. Before that they were playing cards right near me while I was typing. I said, welcome to my office. They said, hey. The hint was lost, it seems. Dining room table office losing its appeal and fast.
3. Suburbia means that when your neighbor itches, you scratch. Especially Orthodox suburbia, where scratching thy neighbor’s itch is a high art and at times (and for some), a calling. There have been lots of needs in our community this month, none of them too good, some of them actually terribly tragic. (Who believes in bad energy clusters? Raise your hand.) To the point of calling for special communal prayer, where the synagogue was half full on a regular weeknight to say psalms for the ill. Prayer and food. What else can you do?
Sometimes, honestly, I resent all the communal responsibility for the other, which is vastly time consuming and erodes privacy in the extreme. The fact that I blog (selectively telling everyone what I choose to tell you) doesn’t mean I’m not also intensely private; I hate that everyone here knows who has what.
Caring and nosiness gently lap on these safe shores in a constant tide. In fact, some of the people who are on the ill side of the equation struggle with the whole “do I ask for help or do I keep this private” thing, and several have chosen the latter. Another woman, on the other hand, recently told me that she has no idea why anyone would want to keep illness to herself, and has felt so embraced by her friends during her struggle with early stage breast cancer that she can’t even imagine going through it without that amount of support. Most find a balance that is right for their comfort level, but invariably some people end up feeling both grateful for the kindness and overexposed.
Most of the time I’m really glad to know 200 people have my back (and not only talk behind it.) It’s for real: There’s strength in a village. So I happily make soup and am just intensely grateful I can be on the giving end. It’s a blessing, and I know it, having in the past been a grateful and overexposed recipient. (But damn it, my cabin on a rocky Maine beach awaits me in my mind.)
4. Speaking of which: I’m not sure how many people realize that middle class Orthodox Jews basically make Thanksgiving dinner every week. When I read about the stress levels going up around the holidays, and the amount of guests / menus / budget responsible for said stress, I say: We cook that for Shabbat. Most weeks. This, too, seriously cuts into productivity. And savings. I always knew this but somehow lately have felt it more acutely.
In any event, I now have a full plate of projects (meetings paid off….) and a full plate at home, but I am going to be a productivity pig and insist on filling this plate, too.
More entries soon. Seriously.
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