Thursday, January 10, 2008

on winning the lottery…

Current work: Med duo
Listening to: Del Amitri
Reading: Louise Allen, A Most Unconventional Courtship (sneaked in two chapters last night and it gets better and better)
Steps yesterday: 10,964

No, I haven’t. But Dad was convinced I had, the other day. Pity he can’t remember the numbers with which he thinks I won, just in case it was a premonition. Mind you, then he told me how much – a tad less than 50% of my mortgage. Nowhere near enough – if I win, I want enough to pay off my mortgage and those of my family and closest friends, plus treat certain people to a good holiday and do something nice for the kids’ schools and a couple of causes dear to my heart. And enough for me to be able to be a secret fairy godmother. Oh, I’d LOVE that. Being able to put some sparkle into people’s lives. Then again, that’s what I do for a living: I write happy endings that make people smile and feel good. (Actually, if I didn’t write for a living I’d have to write anyway because that’s who I am: I write.)

Hospital yesterday: Dad was actually up and about on a walking frame for a little while, which is good news. His moods are pretty up and down, and he got upset about something yesterday that isn’t actually an issue (and which really, really upset me and I did a lot of whining on email last night – apologies to those on the receiving end, will be more chipper today). He also gets upset when I leave, and I find that very hard. His brother is visiting this afternoon, so I’m keeping my visit a bit shorter today to give Dad a rest in between. It does make me feel as if I’m neglecting him, even though I know I’m not – if anything, I’m doing more than I should (but that’s Kate Scary for you).

However, before the SDP start leaping up and down, I realise that I need a break, too, so please spare me the lecture. I guess people have their place in a family and it’s set for life, but I’ve noticed that mine is ‘Kate who fixes everything and knows all the answers’ in every single area of my life. I’ve also noticed who gives me support when I need it – and who takes me for granted or doesn’t listen to what I’m saying. So maybe it’s time to start being just a little bit selfish, and learning a little two-letter word that doesn’t appear to be in my vocabulary. It goes against the grain – but then again, support needs to be mutual or someone falls down.

Work: well, I was going to, yesterday. But of course I had phone calls. ‘I just…’ Sigh. (The one from my stepmum isn't included here because I was expecting that and I would've phoned her if she hadn't called me.)

The only downside to writing for a living is that other people don’t consider it a ‘proper’ job (I’ve even been told ‘well, you don’t have a job’ – ha, tell that to the taxman) and believe that if you work from home you can be called at any time because you’re ‘free’. As for the idea of being in your book world when you’re working, and it takes a while to get back into it again after interruptions… nope, you really can’t explain it to the ‘I just…’ people because they think you’re a flake.

Actually, most writers probably are flakes. (That’s why I like the ones I know. They’re such interesting company.)

This afternoon, I should get two hours. Two hours for me. Two hours: that’s ten minutes on the piano and ten minutes on the guitar and one hour forty minutes to write (which, for me, is like breathing. At the moment I’m suffocating and I really, really need to breathe). I sincerely hope that people are going to be kind and let me have those two hours without interruptions. Otherwise I might not be Nice Dutiful Kate. I might be Kate Who Tells Uncomfortable Home Truths And Swears A Lot (Except in Front of the Kids).

7 comments:

Nell said...

Big hugs, I know how this feels and it's horrid. I hope your Dad continues to improve. Try and take care of you even if it's just a five minute breath break in an hour it makes all the difference.
Thinking of you, xxx

Ray-Anne said...

Ditto what Nell said.
You are doing a fantastic job and should be proud of what you have achieve each and every day.

And thank you for reminder me that what we are trying to do is 'write happy endings that make people smile and feel good.'

Biddy said...

*runs in tackle hugs Kate*

I'm glad your dad is doing better. And being a fixer myself I know how frustrating it can get. Sometimes selfish is good :-)

Diane said...

If you weren't planning on playing piano and guitar I'd say start by switching off the hearing aid. Then turn the doorbell off and take the phones off the hook, deboot the pc, and switch your mobile off ... But I know you'd want to know if there was an emergency ... perhaps just leave the mobile on? AFter all, they'd still have to wait if you'd gone out.

Whatever, I hope you get your 2 hours.

Amy Andrews said...

Hugs Kate - from one fixer to another. Pleased your Dad is up and about.
And I'm with you on the you-dont-have-a-real-job thing simply because you work from home. Frustrating but just another thing you accept while you're juggling all those balls.

Melissa Marsh said...

I'm a flake and proud of it! ;-)

Glad your dad is doing better.

I have a hard time getting back into things after interruptions, but I suppose with kids and umpteen animals running around, I have to expect it.

Kate Hardy said...

Thanks, everyone. Your support is appreciated.