If we were having coffee, we’d be perched on my purple sofa. I’d tell you hello, and I’d probably be speaking fairly softly, since I still have a wee cough and a bit of a headache leftover from the past week’s illness. We’ve all of us ended up sick, and so the house has been full of coughing, sneezing, blowing noses, and medication-induced snoring. Luckily, we’re most out of all that now, but the week was a bit hazy. Somehow I managed to publish most of the A to Z posts that were up this week, and though I managed to skip Wednesday, I’ll put myself back on track again tomorrow.
I would tell you that I wish I’d had more time for the challenge this go-round, because I haven’t reached out to as many other bloggers as I generally do. I haven’t even been able to make my coffee visits for the last two weeks, and that’s unfortunate since there have been so many new people participating and so many good posts going up. But I lost a week being sick, and the week before I lost to birthday party preparations and doings, and so here we are, halfway through April, and I’m scrambling.
But maybe it’s nice to scramble sometimes. I feel like I’m beginning to push myself back to the top of a pretty large slump that I’ve been in. Remember that part from Oh! The Places You’ll Go? “And when you’re in a slump, you’re not in for much fun. Unslumping yourself is not easily done.” Or something like that. He was right, you know. Unslumping yourself is a difficult task, and I still have some work to do.
For one thing, it’s difficult to say when the slump began. It wasn’t a thing that happened all-of-a-sudden, and even from a gradual perspective it’s difficult to see the trajectory. But maybe that isn’t the point anyway. It’s difficult to isolate beginnings and endings of things in life because events insist upon jumbling up together, vying for attention like so many puppies. If only they were all so cute as puppies. But the slump isn’t nearly as cute as a puppy, and I suppose what matters most isn’t where the slope began as where it ended up, which was a Large Pit of Suck.
That Large Pit of Suck has been most of the last few years, in some ways. Sure, there have been some absolutely grand highlights—marriage and moving to a place I like more and meeting some entirely new and unexpected people—but the move was detrimental in a very big way for me. I went from having very little unstructured free time to having an abundance of unstructured time and a mountain of things to do that were uninteresting to me. I haven’t solved that problem yet, and it’s a big one. Without a deadline to work toward, and without real consequences for my research and writing, it doesn’t hold much urgency. Add that to mostly being a housewife, and suddenly I’m reading The Feminine Mystique with a whole different idea of what Friedan was talking about.
Because, confession (And this will come as a shock, I know but hold onto your hats): I am not a good housewife. At all. I don’t know how to cook. I have a propensity for falling down stairs, so I can’t carry the laundry down to be washed or up to be put away. I’m terrible at sweeping, because I just fucking am, apparently, and I don’t know how to mend things. Little Jedi is in school until the afternoon.
But if I am not a good housewife, I am equally terrible at working from home. I detest mornings, so I mostly avoid them unless it’s my day to take Little Jedi to school (yes, we switch days and sometimes my working husband drops him off while I sleep in; no, I don’t care what you think). My work the nonprofit is a fun but not-very-stable gig, sometimes requiring nothing for weeks on end. The photography studio is indefinitely on hold due to the photographer’s partner being very ill and a stable, insurance-providing job being a necessity for them. I don’t currently have any tutoring or proofreading clients, and I’m honestly not sure if I want to get back into the academic world in any way at all, so I haven’t searched for any.
And my own writing is…At an impasse. I’m enjoying what I write from the blog, and it has returned to being focused and nuanced content usually focused on girls and women and/or pop culture. A to Z has been fantastic for that, and I’ve also had the benefit of the community that continues to grow around these weekend coffee share posts. But this little blog is not a profitable enterprise (and I don’t necessarily thing it should be), and there are things I’d like to write that cannot be placed here. I need to write those Things, but there are some Hard Things to Write in there, and Decisions to Be Made about where and how to present those things, and meanwhile there are Bills to Be Paid.
And there was the slump, the sum of it. And here it is still. I feel as though I’m almost up a steep path; I’m working on un-slumping myself.
It’s not easily done.
If we were having coffee, I would assume you need some time to digest all of that. It was a lot. I’m not usually quite so talkative during our weekend coffee meetings, especially of late. But sometimes a long, honest rambling is what would happen if we were having coffee.
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