Monday, June 11, 2012

Time out

Well, I haven't written a post for a couple weeks. Really, I've been quite busy. It was the end of the school year and there was a lot going on. Two of my boys had birthdays. One graduated from high school. We had a big graduation party last weekend. But more than that, I committed myself to writing a book and I hesitated a bit to sign the contract knowing it would come due at the busiest time of year for me. I kept getting nudges from the publisher and finally jumped in with that "I can do this" attitude. Usually, when I take on that attitude, I sail through. I knew it would mean things would be a bit hectic because of it, but I figured it was nothing I couldn't handle.

It's been way more work than I anticipated. I figured the advantage of being able to use digital photographs would make it so easy. In reality, it has made it 1000 times more work than when I did my last book. Photos are coming from dozens of different sources and people don't want to part with original photographs, so they e-mail them or they give me a poor quality scanned image printed on their home printer with thin paper. Then the publisher rejects them. It's just been a mess. It really has.

So, probably a quarter of the photos I was relying on using have been rejected, which means I'm back to square one and have to go back and start begging people to send me originals and on a very tight timeline. I'm frustrated and exhausted. I'm not the only one. Hubby blew up a little this morning at my neglecting everyone and everything as I've been absorbed in this project. And I know he's right. I have been neglecting so much. And I don't want to. Although I enjoy it so much being able to work at home like this, some days I think of how much easier it would be to drive to work, put in my time and come home - no strings attached. No sitting at a computer at 11 p.m. finishing up for a deadline or working on the weekend. Right now I just sooo need a break. So, I'm hoping it won't take up too much more of my time to muddle through and get this project completed so that it's something I'm proud to put my name on, not something I'm disappointed in and feel like it is not what I wanted it to represent. (And let me backtrack a little a say that I'm not saying working out of the house is easy or easier. I've done both. I know how hard it is. I just mean that working at home sometimes means you don't shut it off and punch out at the end of the day. It's ongoing. Both are difficult scenarios. Being a mom in any capacity is a difficult scenario. Period.)

And now I just want to collapse and take a break and time out to enjoy summer. By this time of year, we've usually done several trips to the pool. I haven't even bought passes yet. We've usually done some picnics by now and days at the park. There have only been a couple park stops and they were brief. I usually have our summer travel plans laid out. I haven't been able to even think about it yet. I missed all the kids end of school picnics and parties -- and I so love to go to them. I even had to give up another school activity I really loved - my weekly visits to read to my sons' classrooms.

This book project has consumed every bit of available time for weeks. I'm so over it. If it was going to yield a huge J.K. Rowling-like paycheck that would benefit my family in countless ways, I could justify all this lost time a little more. But, in reality, it's not going to be a lot. Not enough. I've sacrificed more than I planned by taking on this project. I need to get through the stretch and then take some time out. Then get absorbed back into my family and my kids and not being checked out because I've got this other big thing looming over my head. So, don't be surprised if you don't hear from me for a while. And hopefully, very soon it will be because I'm at the beach or the park and not because I'm buried in papers and photo scans and chained to my computer. When it stops being fun and feels like you're chained and weighted down, it's time for some time out. And I'm so ready for it.

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