2011 is definitely a year of transition, which makes bold moves seem wrong. She is still always with me, my increasingly death-defying two-year-old, climbing everything imaginable (couches, chairs, tables, sideboards, countertops, toilets, mantles, fences) and running full speed (usually in the opposite direction of wherever we are going) into streets, driveways, crowds….having the occasional meltdown about not getting the right cup or having to get back into her stroller. Don’t get me wrong: Penelope is a wonderful creature full of smiles and excitement and great one-liners – but being her shadow is an exhausting existence. My brain is constantly flooded with “danger juice” – my body tense and ready to save her life at any given moment or strap her down in a car seat against her will. Not losing myself takes a lot of work – a lot of self-talk, which is why it is so much easier not to lose it when you actually have another live grown-up to talk to. But so often it’s just me and the kids. So I find myself closing my eyes and saying to myself, “Don’t react now. Wait a minute. It might be okay…is she bleeding?” (And then, eyes open, realizing, yes, yes she is…) “Is it really THAT much blood? A kid doesn’t need their WHOLE front tooth, right? We’re okay, right?” (So, far – the answer does seem to be yes. Surprisingly, we have had no emergency room trips just yet….)
But in September, Penelope will start nursery school and things will change. How exactly is yet to be seen.
How much can a human being accomplish between the hours of 9:30 and 12:15? I can set goals up the yin-yang – but in order not to feel like a completely failure, I need to accept certain realities and pace myself. So I am gearing up cautiously, trying to decide: do I invest in that editing system – how much “investment” in myself is really worth it at this point? Do I make my next film now? Do I return to my writer’s life, which, frankly, I never made much of to begin with? Do I take a desk job somewhere (probably for minimum wage)? Should I consider freelance editing as a possibility? Should I go back to school and become a teacher? What am I really good at?
And then there will be the logistics of the work itself – do I try to work from home? Do I take over my daughter’s art house in the back yard? Do I rent workspace somewhere with other like-minded souls so that I can be accountable and have the “collective” pressure of eyes-on-me so that I will actually put fingers to keyboard…
Of course, there will be the first few days (weeks?) of general stone-faced procrastination where I simply take stock and access what the past six and half years of motherhood have wrought. I have piles of papers that have been untouched, letters and e-mails that have been waiting my reply since 2005….the disorganization in the paperwork department is daunting to say the least.