A day in the life

What’s it like to be an aspiring author?

I work part-time (about twenty hours a week) at a government job. I have clerical duties and serve the public. It would be extremely boring if it weren’t for my two co-workers. The three of us work behind a set of bullet-resistant windows inside a courthouse, in full view of all who enter and whoever is watching us on a dozen security cameras. We do repetitious, tedious work. About half of our customers are really nice people. The other half? Well, let’s just say the three of us laugh a lot. I mean, the outfits alone can keep us going for hours. You wouldn’t believe how many people wear pajama pants, flip-flops and a winter coat at the same time. To court. Even more, about 1 in 100 people actually read the signs on the walls. The other 99 come straight to our windows, usually to find out where the elevators are located. The same elevators they just stood in front of while security guards checked them over.

So, Monday-Friday I work at this insane paper-pushing job. The rest of the time I am a short order cook, cheerleader, zookeeper, chauffeur, maid, errand runner, PTO volunteer, wife, mother, secretary, and an aspiring novelist. A typical weekday:

7:30 am~Get out of bed. Notice I did not say “wake up”. I barely rise, and I definitely do not shine first thing in the morning.

7:35 am~Make food for kids. Notice one is missing.

7:40 am~Pry youngest child (aka “snooze button”) out of bed. Like mother, like son.

7:50 am~Bounce between rooms like a zombie pinball, making sure everyone is dressed, clean and out the door for school.

8:21 am~Hand husband his wallet or keys at the front door, whichever he forgot to grab on his way to take oldest to school.

8:22 am~Enjoy one minute of peace and quiet, unless dog barks at school bus or trash collector.

8:23 am~Check social media, email, etc via my cell. Mostly consists of deleting spam.

8:30 am~Make and eat a healthy, allergy-free breakfast and watch a few minutes of brainless morning “news”.

9:00 am~Shower, dress and apply makeup. Check dog and cat food/water supply. Drive to work. Work. Drive home, stopping for an errand or two on the way.

3:17 pm~Check calendar to see if I have to go anywhere the rest of the day. If not, wash off makeup, get into comfy writing clothes, aka pajamas, jeans, or sweat pants.

3:30 pm~Kids arrive home. If I have removed my work clothes/makeup, one of them will need me to take him somewhere. If not, I might squeeze in 30 minutes of writing while they play video games and rile up the dog.

5:30 pm~Make and eat a healthy, allergy-free dinner, and something else for everyone else.

6:00 pm~Venture into the unknown recesses of my kids’ backpacks to fish out lunch boxes, notes from teachers, and homework assignments. Supervise homework, mark calendars, and sign any permission slips.

7:30 pm~Start shower/bath and bedtime routine, which may or may not end by 10:00 pm, depending on how many snacks, drinks of water and other reasons to get out of bed may arise.

9:30 pm~Pack lunches, take someone’s temperature, and feed dog, cats and fish before collapsing on the couch with husband. Maybe squeeze in another hour or so of writing. Or watch TV. Often both.

Midnight~Realize I’ve been writing for two hours. The story is so good I don’t want to stop, but my eyes are blurry and my neck is getting stiff so I go to bed.

Glamorous, right?

I recently received notice that my part-time job is among next year’s layoffs. While I will miss the income and laughing with my coworkers, it may be a blessing to be home all day and finally finish my book! I’m sure I could maintain a consistent writing schedule in lieu of having to go to work. (smell the sarcasm)

Here’s to January, and the possibilities it will bring.