I am renting a lake house. Rather, I am renting a house by a lake. Okay, the lake is visible from my front yard if I walk to the edge of the road and strain my neck a bit. Alright, the front yard is really a backyard. Yes, the house is actually a single-wide manufactured dwelling. Can we just move on with the narrative, people? Do you really have to pick apart my word choices this early in the post. I assure you, it will either get better or provide you with more fodder shortly.
Here’s the thing…
Do you remember my frustration about money, my work commute, bills, etc. recently? Well, some dear friends and family came through for me and mine. We were able to rent a very modest–and I’m talking bare bones–dwelling. From my front door, it is almost exactly one mile to the front door of the building in which I work. In theory, I could walk. I almost did this week when money got so tight I was pushing the limits of my car’s gas meter, but, thankfully, poor weather and my dear, sweet mum rescued me from the exercise. Mi madre was in town in celebration of Freya’s 2nd birthday. Yes, that little alienesque cherubim you all read about last year, the one who had the growing deficiency, is now a beautiful and energetic perfectly average looking two year old with an attitude to match if you tell her the dreaded “No!”.
Thanks to hard work, diligence, and word of mouth, I may well be on my way to not only a comfortable beginning workload as a college professor but also a small client base for my freelancing work. I am also still tapping away at these keys in a desperate attempt to complete four in-progress manuscripts for publication. While I know I desperately need to finish said manuscripts, grading and parenting and teaching and worrying do sometimes interfere with the writing process. Next month is NaNoWriMo, and I actually want to participate this year. Who’s with me?!
Before I start the revolution…
My first semester as a college professor–as opposed to a volunteer tutor who earns a paycheck in retail–has been both fun and challenging. I’m fairly certain it is both unethical and likely to get me fired if I actually share anecdotes on the blogosphere, but suffice to say I am still a learner even as I am a teacher. My students actually use a variety of nouns to describe me and some of those nouns are actually nice.
Still, I want to be even more prepared and put-together for next semester. You see, dear imaginary friends I’ve been talking to for the last seven years, next semester is not going to be a docile one. I currently teach two courses–next semester I am slated to teach three. I am actually trying to convince the powers that be that I can handle even more, but I am last or nearly so in a long line of others who have more classroom experience so I am not going to allow myself to become disappointed if three is all I get. Teaching is not my only plan for spring, though. I am also planning on enrolling in two or three courses as a student again. I decided to pursue a second MA, this time in multi-media journalism. I feel that this will improve my marketability as both a writer and an educator.
In addition to educating and being educated, my husband and I are still hard at work rebuilding our marriage and stabilizing our family. We only signed a six month lease on what I insist on referring to as “the lake house” and will be searching for another place in our budget. We still own and regularly check up on our home in Fort Smith, but we may well end up permanently parting company with it in the near future and both of us will be okay with that outcome if it comes to that.
Speaking of the elephant in the room…
Nope. No elephants. The last one moved out and, while insanely still desperately pursuing my husband via internet, is not now nor was she ever a true threat to my happiness. The funny thing about that whole situation was that I could have survived if he had chosen her over me. I would have still moved closer to work with the children. Like Destiny’s Child and Reba, I’m a survivor. I do not need a spouse, a lover, a live-in significant other, a really close and beneficial friend, or any other combinations or permutations of what constitutes a relationship. I do love my husband. I know I lied to all of you about that over the course of our separation…you probably all saw right through me. In spite of all of our problems in the past, he does love me, too. We both love the children. This will be messy and frustrating at times, but it will be glorious and magical and romantic other times.
The shifting paradigms of our relationship and lifestyle have had some effect on our attitudes, but there are pros to those cons. My husband is now very interested in pursuing his own artistic talents, such as finally finishing that novel he’s been knocking about in his noggin since before he ever laid eyes on the chubby, dark-haired, teenage girl who would later wear his ring and mother his children. I now have a spouse who understands what it is like to want to work on a craft while small humans demand attention and crackers. We are taking turns. We are cooperating. We are having amazing sex. We are budgeting, shopping, planning, plotting, and procrastinating together. We are trying and often even succeeding at even just the daily goals.
Our eldest angel is learning the ins and outs of public primary schooling. Her little sister gets to enjoy the not-as-terrible twos with a room full of lovies. I spend three eight-to-five days a week at the office. My husband started attending a writing group in town and through that acquired for me some freelancing opportunities.
Writers write. Lovers love. Families flourish.
What say ye?
I could ramble on more or provide more details about my activities of daily living, but for my first post in a while I decided brevity and summary were of necessity. You will note that from here on out any references to employment will be deliberately vague. I am not one for stirring the proverbial pot or rocking the proverbial boat or puréeing metaphors, but these things sometimes happen quite accidentally and I would like to Avoid the Noid.
Kwame–Strong like a steroid, avoid the Noid.