- My 9-year-old son lacerated and compression-fractured his toe, requiring stitches and a walking boot.
- My 3-year old nephew broke his arm, requiring a cast.
- The same nephew broke the same arm again, this time in the growth plate, requiring surgery.
- The same nephew's brother fell during Nephew 1's doctor's appointment and broke his face, possibly requiring surgery on his nose.
- My husband's father's mother had heart issues and spent the night in the hospital, prompting family-wide panic.
- Same grandma back in hospital a few days later after putting too much energy into putting her affairs in order and not enough into resting.
- My mother-in-law tore her knee up skiing--ligaments traumatized.
- Nephew 1&2's mother tore her knee up, tearing ligaments.
- My sister had an ectopic pregnancy, requiring surgery.
- Same sister now has pneumonia, requiring an overnight hospital stay.
Meanwhile, my own life seems charmed--I personally keep dodging disaster. (Yeah, got me some nice wood to knock on right here....) I did a 180 on the freeway in Salt Lake on my way home, ended up stopped in the fast lane, pointing the wrong way, and drove away moments later, completely unscathed. All the cars behind me managed to miss me--even the truck with the snow plow on the front. I got to moderate at LTUE, talk to more authors for Authors' Advisory, and I spend all my free time quite seflishly pounding away at my book, reading the books of those I'll interview soon, and getting to know the other wonderful writers of the World Wide Web.
And I feel guilty. My 9-year-old had to hang out with the DVD player at the ski lodge last weekend because mommy was at a conference while everyone else was skiing. When my MIL busted her knee on that trip, another driver would have been awfully handy. My husband and sons visited his grandma the same weekend... without me. When we got news of my sister, Jerry asked if we needed to head down to be with her. I looked up from the computer and assured him all would be well, no reason to fuss. I sent her a few texts and spoke to her husband on the phone. I've let my husband handle the health updates on his own family. I'm a total slacker, family-wise.
You'd think, with all I'm ignoring to revise this monster, that I'd be farther along. Instead, I didn't revise at all last week (traveling will do that, I hear) and I've spent all this week working on ONE CHAPTER! It's a mildly important chapter, sure, but really? One? I finally laid it to rest last night and I'm moving on tonight, but if next month goes at all like this month has, revision-wise, I still won't have my second draft done by the end of March.
Which is really depressing.
So anyone have advice? How long does your family tolerate your absence while you hide in your writer's cave? How do you balance the duties of a wife, mother, sister, daughter, and granddaughter while still making forward progress on your writing career? Those of you who, like me, have a day-job as well--how do you balance the precious time you have left after you get home? How often does your bathroom get cleaned? (If you don't answer that, I won't either, deal?)
While writing the last paragraph above, my sons brought me their Shrek doll, which, untill recently, was stuffed with tiny white plastic beads. They want him fixed. I think I might take an hour to watch some TV, fix the doll before he completely bleeds out... and maybe even fold some laundry.
Then I'll feel guilty about not writing, instead. *sigh*