I’m trying to figure out how to get five extra hours in my day here. Hell, I’d even settle for three. Ten to eleven hours out of each day swirl down the ravenous drain of the day job. That’s the job that pays for the roof, the lights, the water, the cat food, the kitty toys, etc. It pays for the phone I use to keep track of social media. It bought my beloved MacBook Pro. It puts gas in my car so I can get to my day job, the grocery store, the vet, my therapist (God, do I need my therapist!). But that’s eleven hours, including commute. (For the long hours per day I get every other Friday off. Ten to twelve hours writing to give me about forty hours of writing a week). One hour for chores. Thirty minutes to an hour to work out, which I can’t not do. After multiple injuries to back and neck, it keeps me mobile. Another hour to get ready each morning. An hour for Twitter, Facebook, and my website. Six hours to sleep. That leaves three hours to write and/or relax.
5:00 am – Feed cats, Coffee
5:15 am – Check Twitter, Facebook, Post/Tweet something
5:30 am – Workout/Read (Stationary bike—love it!)
6:00 am – Get Ready for Work
7:30 am – In the Office
5:30 pm – Home/Chores
6:30 pm – Writing
9:00 pm – Read/DRINK!!
11:00 pm – Bed
I’m frazzled. I bought a book—Meditation for Dummies, I think, to try to find some kind of center of calm in the storm of daily life. My ultimate goal in the time before I can quit my day job (which feels like any day now with the way things are going in that place), is to keep my writing front and center. This means thinking about it all the time, whether I’m in a position to write or not. I do write every day, and on weekend days, I put in ten to twelve hours. I read books on craft, books in my genre, books and articles for research into my next projects. I brainstorm those projects on my downtime during the day. But I always feel like I’m stealing time, cramming it into every available nook and cranny of my life. A part of my awareness is almost always conscious that I’m running ragged. The exception to that is the time I spend on my WIP. With that, blissfully, I disappear. There is no time, just story.
Anyway, I think to myself, if I systemize this so I don’t have to even think about it, I can let my imagination run off to play. Center with meditation, schedule, off I go. That’s what I want—the luxury of free thought. To keep the stories and the people from ever drifting far away. For the most part, I succeed. But at the same time, in the back of my mind, I’m aware of the crunch of all the things that don’t get done. Cooking? I don’t think so. Taking some pictures? Not this week. Gardening? Nope. I do make exceptions for dinner out with friends. That happens about once a month. I don’t need to work out on those days. I skip that. And while I am out? While I’m with others? My work floats through my head. Obsession is the only way this can go right now, so on to meditation through which maybe—maybe—I can locate that plane of peace where my imagination and my stories can unfurl without anxiety and tension and the nagging demands of a job I loathe but pays for the roof, the lights, the water, the cat food, the kitty toys, etc…
Maybe I can devote some energy to the house falling down around my ears—new fence, new plumbing, new drywall, new paint… Oh, yeah, and then there’s the five to six hours that go into housework each week. Not sure, but I think that puts me over my allotment of weekly hours. What a pisser!
I really need a vacation, but I have no friggin’ idea where I’m gonna fit those hours. ☹