Slipping Away

Posted on 11 August 2013

My last day at work was July 10. I start at Bowling Green in roughly a week. I was convinced that the glorious time I had free this summer would be filled with nothing but lots of reading, writing, gardening, and quality time with the cats. I thought I’d catch up on all your blogs and have plenty of time to post here, too.

I was wrong.

In reality, once I quit my job, I immediately traveled to Portland for Tin House, was home for a scant three days, and then left for the east coast to visit some friends and family. Once I returned from that trip, my life was consumed by the mind-numbing but necessary details of holding it all together — house repairs, doctor appointments, preparing for school, dealing with insurance/police over a hit-and-run involving my car, emotionally preparing for the impending departure of my two best writing buddies, painting the bathroom, and on and on. I had imaged my post-employment, pre-MFA time to be something like utopia, but instead it’s been closer to domestic drudgery. I haven’t yet had a chance to read my novel-in-progress in preparation for the first round of revisions; I haven’t written anything new beyond one rather short story; I haven’t read nearly as many books as I would have liked; and I’ve fallen woefully behind on all your blogs. I know how lucky I am to have had this time, but I’m also sad to see it slipping away so quickly.

This is yet another lesson I have to learn again and again: the mundane details of daily life can expand and fill all your time (even without a job!) if you’re not careful. I only hope I’ll find a way to manage my time well in the MFA program so these two years proceed as I so hope they will — as an opportunity to grow as a writer and, hopefully, a teacher.

I’m publishing this post not just to whine about a situation most writers would covet (though I’ve done a pretty good job of that, if I do say so myself) but as an incentive to stick to what matters. Which is writing, and reading, and staying connected with friends and fellow writers — and that, of course, includes you.

So in short: I’m back. And I’m ready to see what happens next.

Photo: kamera_obskura



13 responses to Slipping Away

  • Sorry, but you won’t be managing your time any better here in Northwest Ohio. You’ll be too busy drinking Bloody Marys with me.

  • Sarah W says:

    Hooray, you’re back!

    No excuses necessary, Laura. What color did you paint your bathroom?

    • A bright blue. It’s such an improvement over the previous dingy/dirty brown color. My only regret with buying this house is we didn’t have time to paint everything before moving in, which of course now means much of it remains undone..

  • Josey says:

    It’s in the air. This whole “getting back to it” is a clear indicator that summer is coming to an end and many feel the urge to put their nose to the grindstone. (yuck)

    In your next stretch, I am sure you will be doing lots and lots of reading and writing, enough to make up for whatever you missed out on over the last weeks.

    here’s to a fabulous first semester! i’m honored to be part of your circle.

    • Thank you! And yes, that feeling certainly is in the air. The other day I walked past a store’s Back to School section and realized for the first time in years, it sort of applied to me. (Even though I imagine the both the classes I teach and the ones I take won’t involve things like three-ring binders, pencil cases, or even much physical paper….

  • Teri says:

    I’m so excited for you, Laura — your first week of school !! And maybe you can chalk up getting all of this “stuff” done so you can start your Bowling Green time completely fresh. Here’s to reading and writing and getting back to what you really want to do!

  • Averil says:

    I hear you. The summer has totally gotten away from me, only I haven’t been nearly as productive with it as you have. I think it’s good that you’ve gotten all the domestic drudgery out of the way so you can think clearly once it’s time to get back to your writing.

    Knock ’em dead, chickadee. Or should I say, bowl ’em over. (No, I should not say that. No one should say that.)

  • If I only whined in appropriate places, I would have no blog at all. (PS Averil, snort)

  • I’m ready to see what happens next, too, Laura! I’ll be reading along. Best wishes to you.

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