I am reading a book (surprise, surprise) that reminded me about a time when I first started out as a writer. Boy oh boy, I'll spare you the gory details but I would like to reenact a scene here just to show you how tough it was.
I call this one the Late Night Winging Episodes
It's kinda a time for everyone to be deep in slumber, i.e. 2.30am but my Younger Son was jostled awake by the 'swinging arm leg' movement of Elder Son. Gord, he still has that syndrome. Sleeping with him is NOT RECOMMENDED and I pity his future wife.
So, Younger Son sees me sitting there at the computer, feverishly typing out messages and articles for clients who call the other side of the world their home. They're on MSN and Yahoo Messenger, so, I was desperate. Sleep-deprivation...to hell with that. SHOW ME THE MONEY!!! (insert wild chest-thumping here)
Younger Son would often tot over, up goes my shirt and he knows where to find the source of milk and I offer no more than a stroke on the cheek, a 'hey there, sweetums' and a gentle (distracted) hug because he lulls himself to sleep breastfeeding.
That's the easy part.
Elder Son is jostled awake with his own 'Swinging Leg Hand' syndrome and starts moaning about how uncomfortable (cold, because where'd all the body heat go?) it is in bed. So, he totters over too. It's almost 3.00am now and God, this client continues to message me on MSN, telling his dreams for his new internet business.
Elder Son comes over and drapes himself over the outer side of my lap. I stretch my leg out in front of me (to stop him from rolling off) and rest my ankle on some boxes under the table so that it forms sort of a railing for the kids to hang on to. I guess that's where the knee problem came from.
With both my kids draped over my outstretched legs, I continue to work till I could work no longer because I was desperate for work, for money, for the chance to prove that I wasn't useless. I could do this.
When I finally decide to go to bed, after hauling one son after the other, it's 5am, almost time to wake up. The next morning, you look like HELL....no, a zombie with a second death sentence.
To those who want to be a freelance writer-cum-mommy-and-everything-else: This is what you may have to go through, I warned you. So, reach out for help when you can because if you don't, well, you can make it, but you are gonna have to wing it a lot.
Thanks, partly, to those mindless, endless nights of inhumane workaholism, I know what I am now. I know my priorities and in time, you will know yours too. But in the meantime, just wing it.
To those who can't stand me but reads this blog, anyway: Well, you know what? I've been through all of that and you have the cheek to think that I care about what you think? I can kick your ass. :-)