on writing and time and chaos
It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything, fictionwise. I think the last words I wrote were the day NaNo ended last year bringing my grand total to somewhere around 55k and winning me another nifty virtual certificate of awesomeness. That story sits somewhere on my harddrive now, still unfinished. I don’t think I ever intended to finish it. It was just one of those things in my head I had to get out to make room for other stuff.
But now, 8 months later my fingers are itching to get at it again. Problem is I haven’t the time. I’m in the middle of the biggest move of my life. Disorder is the name of the game around here…screaming at me to do something, anything to fix it.
I wrote myself a list of things to do. It had 41 items on it and I’m sure I’m missing some. Since I wrote it I have checked just 1 thing off. We went and got formula for Jack. I’m just waiting for him to wake up now at o’toofreakinearlyinthemorning. Not that I will sleep much once I get done with him. I’m jacked up on Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper and worry about the move. It’s an incessant rattle in the back of my brain threatening to drive me mad. The sheer magnitude of this undertaking is enough to push any sane person over the edge and I was hardly sane before I took this up.
In the matter of days we will pick up our family of 7 and move across the country. Sounds simple enough. Well, it’s not. Not by a long shot. It all starts with the fact that we’re poor. We can’t afford movers. My dad is paying for the Pack Rat place to drop off a trailer and drive it to Portland, OR. We can’t afford it. If it weren’t for him we’d be moving without any of our stuff. Not that we have much. I’ve been able to fit most of it into one 9×12 bedroom (and could fit the rest of it if I had any inclination to actually move anything else in there). 11 years of our lives in 1 little room…stacked to the ceiling. That’s an abysmally small amount for a family of 7.
Add to that the fact that I seem to be the only one that can pack anything or organize. I ask the kids to do something and they balk at the notion. “If you want something done right you have to do it yourself,” rings through my head over and over. But nothing got done the last two months. Just one box packed and that was enough to send me to bed for several hours. Now Jack is here. And he’s fussy. And Mommy is the only one that can calm him down it seems. Either that or holding the baby interferes with my husband’s use of his cell phone while he’s browsing the web on it.
But it’s still up to me to get this all done. Besides packing and organizing the move I’m online planning a cross-country camping trip. We can’t afford motel rooms for what was supposed to be a 3 day drive. We’ll be lucky if we can afford the gas for our guzzling truck. So, camping it is. Problem is I’ve never camped before. We don’t own a tent. This is really getting interesting now.
My one sister in law is supposed to be shadowing us in her van because our truck doesn’t have room for all 5 kids so she’ll be taking the overflow. My other sister in law might come with. That’s 4 adults, 4 kids and 1 newborn. We need a tent. So I found a cheap but nice looking one at Wal-mart. No money to buy it now. Have to wait for payday on Thursday. 1/2 the rent is due. Truck payment, too. That’s most of the check. Not much in the savings account. I think we’re basically screwed. Hubby says to not worry…look on the bright side. What bright side? I just want to run screaming from the house, from the insanity of it all, but instead I plug away at the plans and the organizing and the packing and the baby holding.
So, tomorrow I’ll get up and stoically start packing up more of our measly belongings, checking things off my list as I go. And probably adding many more. At some point my husband will force me to eat because, if it were up to me, I’d forget. Then, when the truck is here and him and the kids are hauling boxes out and I’m too exhausted to do much else, I’ll slump in this gawd-awfully uncomfortable chair and get back to work on the camping plans. Try to keep 3 different proposed routes straight in my head, estimating cost and time spent at each campsite. Try to decide if it’s better to save money, take the quickest route with the least stops or, do as hubby says, and go all out…head up to South Dakota, see Mount Rushmore and drive over to Yellowstone. I’ve seen neither and it may be the kids’ only chance. My camera will probably die of overuse. I know I’ll fill that memory card for sure. But I’m not just worrying about the cost for us, but for my sisters in law, too. I have to worry about it all because no one else will.
Somehow this will all get done. Our belongings will be packed away into a big box, picked up and shipped off. I’ll find the time to go see my friend before we leave so she can see Jack one last time. I’ll let the kids stay out extra late…one last time to be with their friends. Then we’ll pack up the truck and drive to Missouri to see my mother in law for one last time before she loses her mind completely (Alzheimer’s sucks), pick up Julie and Chris and off we’ll go. And nothing will go as planned and I’ll be stressed out and cranky, my back killing me from endless hours in the car and sleeping on the hard ground.
But in the end it will be an adventure. Like the last 9 months have been. I’m still baffled how I survive anything. My nerves are so raw, my mind so battered I can barely make sense of my own thoughts let alone the world around me. Things move by in a blur, motion caught by my eyes that my brain can’t interpret so I just stand still and wait for it all to stop but it never does. The only thing you can do is move and try to catch up. One step forward…time moving on. There’s never enough time.
Huh…that went in a different direction than I intended. I guess I can find the time to write, just not about what I want. Sigh. Jack’s waking up. Got his bottle ready. I’m on the ball tonight. I’ll worry about exhaustion in the morning. It’s 2am, daybreak is in 3 1/2 hours. I could watch the sun rise. Me and Jack and the rocking chair on the front porch.