I haven’t yet had a chance to write about one of the biggest transitions I’ve experienced in this three years’ worth of intense transitions. On October 6, I started a full-time job at a nonprofit downtown that does suicide prevention work. I am so relieved to have a job in this economy. I am trying to hard not to buy into the hysteria around the financial crises, but I am not immune. And my sense of confidence in being able to make it as a freelancer just diminished and tanked. I interviewed for this job on a Monday and had an offer that Friday. I didn’t think for very long before accepting. Now, I have a sense of increased confidence in myself. I am going to be financially stable and independent, for the first time in a long while. I’m still drowning in debt (accrued during my SAHM career) and a crushing mortgage, but now it feels a lot less scary and overwhelming.
In addition to the whole monetary thing, I can tell that I am going to love this job. It’s fun, interesting work that is for a good cause. And I always said that if I was going to work a job that would keep me away from my son from 8 am - 6 pm Monday through Friday, that I better damn be doing something to change the world. So here I am.
A woman “working–” although I have been working all along, just not in the sense that most people acknowledge.
There is a whole new rhythm to our lives now. A kind of order and schedule that never existed before. I get up an hour earlier each day to get Sami off to school and me on a bus downtown. The experience of riding the bus is in and of itself an adventure. Some people are nice, and get up to make room for mamas and their little ones. Others are not so nice and yell at the bus driver, calling him an “asshole” from the back of the bus. The bus lurches along loudly and stops at every stop from Sami’s school to my work downtown. It takes an interminably long time, but I sort of cherish that time. It is a half hour to myself, morning and evening, to read or think or people-watch.
After work, I run like crazy to catch the bus in time to pick Sami up from aftercare by 6 pm. Most days I’ve made it on time, although I was late a few days. One day, I was just a few minutes late and they did not charge me extra. I thought that was really cool of them.
Then there is the getting home. I love that time, because Sami breaks down his day from the back seat. I get to hear little snippets about his teachers, his little friends, and his random experiences. Once we are home, I try to get food in us, play a little more with Sami and then get him to bed. By the time all of this has taken place, I am tired. TIRED. To the bones wiped out.
With this level of sheer exhaustion that I now deal with five days a week, I wonder how I will get in my creative writing/blogging time? My latest theory is that I am going to start going to bed early, and waking up early, like a mama monk. I will write in the early hours of the morning, when all is quiet and still. Perhaps an incense stick will burn in the background and birds will greet the morning outside.
That sounds really nice, but is it going to happen? I am dubious.
In other news, today I attended BlogHer 2008, here in Washington, DC. It was such an enlightening day of connecting with kickass women bloggers. Shoutout to my friend R of meanlouise.com who hung out with me all day!
We attended all the sessions on blogging and community building for social change and political action. I learned so much about how to blog for a cause, how to increase traffic to your blog, how to reach out to people and make a difference in and through this amazing, growing, beautiful blogosphere. I think the most important thing I learned is the importance of nurturing your place in the blogosphere, which is inseparable from everyone else’s. The importance of supporting other peoples’ blogs. Getting hooked in with the existing networks and communities. And most importantly, being authentic and heartfelt in your posts.
In the end, the writing and the community building are the two wings of blogging. Without one or the other, your blog will probably not grow or attract readers very quickly. For the past almost three years, my blog has been largely obscure, with a few bursts of notoriety here and there. But I have only done a fraction of what I could do to be more connected online.
That brings me back to the work thing. Now that I am inspired and armed with information to do all this blogging stuff — where is the time going to come from? I am partially freaked out, and partially convinced that I am going to be more efficient than I ever was when I had more time. If I know I have just two hours a day to do creative stuff, then I would like to think I’ll make the most of them. Giving up on my writing is simply not an option and I know better than to let that happen. I’ll be a miserable crazy person — not good for me or for Sami.
So, with work and 24/7 single mamadom, I will make it work.
Welcome to this blog - my chronicle of the illuminating, character-building path of single parenthood. I'm making this up as I go along. My life is my practice, and my five year-old son is my greatest teacher.