A Cup of Coffee and Words

IMG_2119In order to blog and write and keep VillageQ running with Deborah, I know that I have to make good use of my time. Making good use of my time is not something I always do well. I need time to ponder and consider and mull and every other word you can think of that means the same thing and implies being alone with your thoughts. I have never been someone who writes thousands of words a day, even when I've had the time to do it. I'm the kind of person who may write 850 words a day with every one put on the page with intention. It's not that writing is hard for me. It's that I'm careful and I don't waste a word.

Knowing myself like I do, I know that in order to do both NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo, I have to be less cautious. I need to string sentences together that I might not keep. There will not be time to fall in love with anything, only time enough to complete thoughts and move on.

I also know that I will need more than the six hours I have each day while the kids are at school because I cannot fit all the writing, editing and planning into that window of time which always seems to close so quickly. I used to do some of my best writing at night but that is no longer true. My eyes get tired and my brain gets tired and having to write anything of substance (or anything at all) makes me want to run, the refrain going through my mind, "I can't."

So, I decided that I would get up at 5:30 each morning and write before doing anything else. My usual routine involves waking, putting on my glasses, grabbing my phone and a cup of coffee and looking at email and Twitter and Facebook. I spend my coffee time on my phone and then wake the kids and begin the day. It's a very mindless way to spend the morning and I know that I need to be mindful.

In order to make 5:30 work, I also know that I need to set up the coffee to brew by timer. My plan is to wake up, go downstairs, get a cup of coffee and return to bed where I will work on the novel or write a blog post.

Of course, there are so many variables in this plan. Will I really set the coffee up the night before? Will I really leave my phone untouched? Will I have gone to bed early so that I get enough sleep to be coherent at 5:30?

This is only Day 4 and I have managed to set the coffee, avoid my phone and write. But that sleep factor? That one is clearly going to be the challenge.

My plan is to go to bed at 10 p.m. and I've done that every night but last night, I goofed around on Facebook and read a few blogs and then it was 10:30 p.m. which was fine. Still plenty of time for sleep.

But kids are unpredictable. You can control every aspect of your life with some degree of effort but kids are the wild cards in any equation.

Miguel has trouble sleeping and sometimes wakes up multiple times a night and when he wakes up, he thinks, "I may as well go to the bathroom while I'm up." He is kind and adorable and I love him like crazy but he is the loudest person I know. He talks loudly and he gets up to go to the bathroom loudly. I don't know how someone can open a door loudly but he does and when he closes his door, he slams it. Not because he is mad or anything, it's just that our house is old and the door sticks a little and he wants to make sure it really shuts.

So, last night, I got into bed at 10:30 and at 11:00, when I was just drifting off to sleep, Miguel yelled "Goodnight mom! I love you!"

Goodnight kid.

Then, at midnight, the alarm on the clock in his room went off. "MOM!" he screamed, "Help me!" I bolted from bed at the voice and the words and it took me a moment to even register the sound of the alarm. I ran into his room and turned off the alarm which took longer than it should have but it was dark (I couldn't turn a light on for fear he wouldn't be able to go back to sleep) and I didn't have my glasses on. Finally, I silenced the alarm and he and I bumped into each other in the dark as we made our way to our beds. I heard him again at 3 a.m. and at 4:15 a.m. and then my alarm went off at 5:30.

This is an essential truth of parenting: when your kid has a bad night, you have a bad night.

The challenges are beginning to show themselves. But here I am. I have a cup of coffee and these words.