Summer vacation is over and school’s back in session. September’s the time of year I usually kick back into writing gear—start kicking ass!—but I haven’t been writing much, at least nothing new, and it occurred to me only yesterday why I can’t.
Not that I haven’t been productive. (Who’s reading this? Bill? My Mom? My publishers?)
I’m working super-hard, guys. Promise. Pretty much all the time. With promoting Letters for Scarlet, author marketing (whatever that means) and networking; not to mention laundry, dishes, groceries, cleaning. Lots of cleaning. Also I make lists of what I need to do each day.
What I need to do before Jack heads to Oregon.
By the way, I haven’t done any of the purchasing or packing.
Was that a collective gasp? Everyone fainting over my lack of preparation? It’s okay. I’ve earned it.
I’m a whiz at procrastination. I could’ve majored in it except I probably would’ve missed the deadline to change my major from English to Procrastination. And then I would’ve told everyone I really liked English more anyway.
(I could’ve minored in Rationalization.)
I don’t panic if I haven’t finished my Christmas shopping by December 23rd. I’ll wait until minutes before guests arrive to set out appetizers. I gauge the last possible minute I must begin a project for it to be a success.
(Not a TOTAL success, mind you; but at least not a failure.)
So yeah, I often hang by a thread, tell myself I do better under pressure. (This isn’t always true, but I say it anyway.)
Still. This one’s unusual. This procrastination seems foggy. I haven’t been writing anything new because my brain and heart are…on hold.
Not too full. It’s more like I’ve temporarily emptied them.
I don’t know how I’m going to feel when we board the plane for the state my firstborn will call home for the rest of this year and maybe always. I don’t know what it’ll be like to hug him goodbye and
I’ve been devouring posts at sites like Grown and Flown like a damn lunatic. (When I’m not working super-hard on other important stuff!) And what I’ve gathered is some parents are traumatized by college drop-offs. Others judge those who can’t let go.
I don’t see a lot of middle-ground but middle-ground feels like where I’d land. I just don’t know.
What’s the right answer? What will I do?
Am I normal?
A part of me no longer savors the countdown. Jack’s start date is as late as they come (September 26th) and I was happy and grateful to have him for weeks (a month, even) longer than some of my friends had their kids home.
But it’s becoming paralytic, the date always looming. As of right now, he’ll be home 11 more days. Am I soaking it up enough? What’s the right amount of soaking? Are we prepared for all this?
The answer is no.
Anticipation has frozen me.
I want to calculate the last possible minute I must begin to purchase, pack, prepare. But this is unknown territory.
I guess it won’t be unknown when Karly leaves next year. Unless it’s different dropping off your second. The youngest. Your baby. Oh, God!
Is it different?
She’s a senior now which seems impossible but isn’t.
She could be filling out college applications already. This, too, occurred to me yesterday. Then I started folding laundry. Then I shared an old blog post and some #tbt pictures on Facebook and Instagram. Then I purged junk from a cabinet full of Jack and Karly’s old schoolwork.
I think maybe I’m un-nesting.
I think maybe I’ll keep going this way until Jack and Bill and I fly away together to Oregon and then I fly back home with only Bill.
(And now, an interruption = not my fault.)
Jack came downstairs and I got up from the computer and talked to him about how last night went (out with his friends = good) and if he has to work tonight and the next four nights (yes = bad).
I offered to make him bacon and eggs (while I still can!) but he said he wasn’t too hungry and wanted a yogurt. Then he went back upstairs to shower and meet his friends. Again.
It’s 9:45. Karly will be in school for several more hours. Bill is at work.
I could write.
I should write.
But I’ll probably organize the pantry, make a grocery list. What can I skip buying in bulk since Jack won’t be here in 11 days?
Un-nesting. It’s a whole thing.
I don’t think I’m very good at it.