Every morning as I drop my son at his kindergarten room, I say hello to my writer friend as she drops her daughter at the kindergarten room next door. And most mornings, I go away shaking my head at our mutual panic, because we are both chronic overcommitters. Which means our morning drop-off conversations go something like this:
Her: I’m taking these pictures for the PAC and I volunteered to help create Christmas ornaments with the kindergarten class but they didn’t tell me it was today and my son didn’t want to go to school this morning and I have a ton of work to do!
Me: I have to print posters for the PAC and check the rent increases for the preschool because I present at the board meeting on Wednesday and we’re shooting a video after school and I have a ton of work to do!
Her: I was going to get all my work done this morning, but my son threw up and now I’m going to try to work on my laptop while he watches cartoons on the couch.
Me: I’m going skating with the kindergarten class and then I’m going to fit some work into the afternoon, except I’m supposed to be cooking for six people tonight which will probably mean I get nothing done.
Her: My in-laws are coming in three days. God help me. Do you know where I can borrow an air mattress?
Me: I was going to get all my work done this morning, but my daughter threw up and now I’m going to try to work on my laptop while she watches cartoons on the couch.
Her: I’m looking straight ahead. I’m making no eye contact. I’m going directly home to work.
Me: I’m looking straight ahead. I’m making no eye contact. I’m going directly home to work.
Her: Five hours of uninterrupted work yesterday! I met all my deadlines.
Me: What a coincidence! I sent off my work late last night. Coffee?
Over the weekend, we remind ourselves that one of the benefits of the writing life is the flexibility. And then on Monday it begins again…