Not enough time…

Not enough time…

Recently, I’ve read a few blog posts where busy writers talk about how they fit their writing in around their extremely busy lives and I’ve empathised with every single one of them. I’m even guilty of using the rather ridiculous “I need more hours in the day!” I know it’s not possible, of course, and even if it was I don’t think I could cope with any more hours because I work flat out in the ones I already have.

From rising at 6am until falling into bed at 10.30-ish, I’m busy. I wouldn’t have it any other way because I love my life but I wouldn’t mind a bit more time to do the things I really want to do – like writing.

I admitted to a dear friend of mine just this week – you know who you are you lovely lady – that I’m a perfectionist. Now, in a life where many things aren’t perfect, that makes me my own worst enemy. Unfortunate! My wonderful husband constantly tells me I’m a great wife, mum, daughter-in-law, friend, teacher, etc. But do I listen? Of course not! I nod my head, smile, accept his hug then wander off and reprimand myself for not completing everything perfectly that day. If I could just relax a bit and let go, I know it would be good for me. My dear friend told me that it would be better to strive for excellent and relinquish perfect. Good advice, right? I’m trying…

I wonder how many of us, especially women, are guilty of setting ourselves such high standards. From dawn til dusk I want to know that my husband and kids are well fed – was it nutritious enough, did I make sure the salt content was low enough, did they have enough variety….Then are their clothes right – warm enough, properly ironed, colours not too faded, whites bright and shiny… Have I given them all enough quality time? Ooh, I’m not sure…do they all feel loved enough, praised enough? Arghh!!!

You get the idea!

A typical week day involves: 8am we leave the house, drop the kids with my angelic mother-in-law then head off to teach until 3.30 – 4.30, depending on whether we’re running extra lessons. Arrival at home involves making dinner, sorting the bearded dragons, helping kids with homework and doing my own marking, planning and general household duties. When kids are tucked up in bed and I finally feel that everything might just be finished to my ‘high standards’, I write. How I LOVE that time!

Now, the past few weeks have seen a slip in my writing pattern due to having extra work – we have a school inspection next week. (Oh the horrors of it! I really wish they’d just come in unannounced and take us as they find us because the build up to it is worse than the actual experience of it, believe me!) So my lovely time in the evening, my precious writing time has been reluctantly handed over to extra school work. And lesson planning – that’s no easy feat for me either! A power point to accompany a lesson can take me hours because it has to look just as good as it is in terms of activities!

However, once this week is over, next weekend is MINE…ALL MINE!!!! *CRAZY LAUGHTER*

I intend to resume normal activities and to reclaim my writing time. I have a work in progress which is currently eating away at me (the characters need to be released: to live, laugh, love, cry – they won’t give me any peace at the moment, they keep whispering in my ears and they really are haunting my dreams) and so many other ideas developing in my busy brain that I’m not sure which one will escape next!

So…I had to squeeze in a blog post because my brain needs to vent…just a bit!

Come visit with me and tell me how busy you are. I love hearing other people’s stories!

Now, if I can just get through this coming week…

Putting It Nicely


As a writer and an English teacher I’m really interested in what we say and how we go about saying it. It’s not just the actual words that fascinate me but also the psychology behind them. I mean, how many times a day do we try to spare someone’s feelings by ‘putting it nicely’?

My seven year old son inspired this blog post just yesterday when he came into the kitchen for breakfast. The cupboard wasn’t empty but neither was it bursting with inspiration, so he settled for a bowl of one particular cereal which must remain nameless for legal reasons. 🙂

Ten minutes later – he’s quite a slow eater – I’d finished my own breakfast and mug of tea so I got up to clear the table and wash the dishes but he still hadn’t finished. I asked him, “Don’t you like the cereal?” His reply, “Well, it’s not my favourite.” Then he wrinkled his little nose. For him, the euphemism spared my feelings but his body language told me far more.

His reply made me laugh because I know that he’s picked that expression up from me. If I’m not fussed on something but don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, I’ll often respond with said phrase instead of the blunt “I don’t like it.”

So I started wondering, at what age do we actually start to consider other people’s feelings?

A friend of mine recently visited with her two year old and I offered her a piece of my lemon drizzle cake – I’m quite proud of it because it’s delicious and SO easy to make. (Contact me if you’d like the recipe!) My own children LOVE the cake but my little visitor did not. She took one bite and said, “Yuck! I don’t like it!” and jumped down from the table without even sparing me a backwards glance. Therefore, at some point between two and seven, it seems that perhaps the sensitivity towards the feelings of others develops.

I’m no child psychologist and no expert and there are probably all kinds of studies done on this topic but what interested me even more was the fact that this sensitivity displayed at seven changes again by the time the teenage years arrive. Pupils in the school where I teach have no qualms about telling a teacher if a lesson is boring or if they don’t like a topic – or teacher! They express their dislikes with precision bluntness both verbally and physically through a variety of facial expressions and sometimes gestures – nothing worse, thank goodness. Now I’m not suggesting that all teenagers are like this, it’s just my experience. As my own children are ten and seven I have yet to enter the years of teen parenting but I sense it approaching…

I’d be interested to hear your ideas about this. Maybe I just have a really polite little boy or maybe the teenagers I teach differ to those in other parts of the world.

Let me know what you think.