An Appointment with the Queen

Before you go getting all excited or something, no, I’m not going to see the Queen …

I’ve seen her before. A long time ago. In a country far far away. In another life … it seems … But I digress.

When I was a baby my mother believed in schedules, like a lot of mothers at the time. I was supposed to eat on a schedule, sleep on a schedule, play on a schedule, etc. Once I was in school, the first day of class, every teacher I ever had made us write down our schedule. Twenty minutes for spelling, an hour for reading, fifteen minutes for recess. Even once I was in college, I had professors tacking schedules to the wall allotting us mere half hours for sleep and bathing.

And then there’s the office … 8 to 5. Or, as my schedule in England was, 9:30 to 5:30 with various breaks for lunch and tea and, whatever that thing was we did in the mornings.

And as a mom with kids in school, the schedule is up at 7:00 to make sure the kids are all awake and dressed and have something to eat before loading them all in the car and hauling them to four different schools before 8:30. Only to pick them all back up by 3:45, unpack backpacks, organize snacks, deal with various meltdowns, rescue snacks from the dog, plant one or two in front of the tv while helping others with homework, and somehow managing to make supper and get everyone back in bed to do it all over again the next day. Whew. I’m tired just writing it out.

Schedules work. They keep us sane. They help us make it to appointments on time so we won’t miss tea with the Queen.

But, …

I absolutely positively really really hate schedules.

I’d rather get up when I wake up, eat when I’m actually hungry, write when the inspiration hits me, pet the cat … well according to them ALL THE TIME … when I’m feeling lazy, cook a meal when I’m not rushed, go to bed when I’m tired, …

Too many days I’ve spent rushing around keeping to a schedule to  get everything done and yet, at the end of it, I don’t feel like I’ve had a moment to even be alive. I don’t see that anything’s been accomplished. It’s disheartening to work and work and work day in and day out keeping up with everything and then, in the end, feel completely empty. It’s like working at a job to make money to pay rent and the bills and buy groceries and yet there’s nothing left in the end to DO anything with.

I look at my twenty year old and think, dang, wasn’t he seven yesterday? Where did the time go? What did I do? What has life been about?

For the past seven months I have tried to force myself into a schedule to write. It seemed to be working for the first five months … and yet I felt like I got very little accomplished. I checked things off my to do list, I submitted work for contests, I reviewed and reviewed and reviewed other people’s work hoping for some in return.

And then I got bored … and discouraged … and BUSY with life on the farm … and I quit sticking to my schedule. I quit even trying to stick to my schedule. I quit even trying to write.

Instead I’ve worked my farm and felt guilty every single day that I wasn’t writing.

Thanks schedule. Yet one more thing to beat myself up over. I needed that.

So, I’ve decided to ditch the schedule. I’m going to write when I want. If that’s at three in the morning or eleven at night or one thirty in the afternoon, so be it. I’ll just have to miss my appointment with the Queen … I miss my stories too much.



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