Sunday, January 10, 2010

I'm Still Alive!

As I sit down to write this blog entry (old school with pen and paper, as I do from time to time), I struggle to find a blank sheet in my one-subject spiral notebook. I’ve just realized that Makensie has taken it upon herself to create “art” on nearly every page. Never a dull moment!

I haven’t blogged in quite awhile, and there are many reasons why, the most obvious being the holidays. You know how hectic they can be. My brother’s family was in town for two weeks, which meant we had three children under the age of four, one married couple (my brother and his wife), one divorced couple who lives together (my parents), and a single mom (me) all staying in a four-bedroom, three-bath house for an extended period time. (Did I mention the three dogs and one cat?) You can see how the logistics of lodging could get complicated (and it did). Privacy and quiet time were nonexistent.

Another obvious reason: I’ve been spending quite a bit of time looking for jobs and trying to build up my freelance business. (Check out my Web site.) Of course, getting a job is my top priority right now, so I have to spend any extra time I have on this endeavor. In the same vein, I’ve been trying to figure out what the next steps in my life will be. I had hoped to pinpoint where I want to raise my daughter, what I want to do as far as my career (if I even have a choice in this economy), and how I’m going to achieve all of my future goals. This is an extremely transitional period in my life, and I want to make the right decisions for myself and for my daughter, which takes time and a lot of soul-searching. And boy have I been soul-searching!

A new project I’ve been working on with my mother is writing a series of children’s books, which has been a lot of fun and a welcomed creative outlet for me. Unfortunately, the books have trumped my blog the past few months because of an end-of-February deadline. Three books are written, so now we’re in the formatting and editing phase. At the end of February, my mother and I are attending a conference for children’s books writers and illustrators, where we hope to learn a great deal about the next step in the process—finding a publisher. It could be a long road, but we’re hopeful that it will be a fruitful one.

Getting myself back into shape (two years is plenty of time to have lost the baby weight, so no more excuses!) has also been a top priority in my life the past few months. I’ve changed my diet extensively. I did Extreme Fit Training’s Boot Camp for three months (miss you Coach Val!), which helped me get back on track fitness-wise. It also provided yet another creative outlet for me: I was the Boot Camp Blogger, in which I chronicled the ups and downs of my three months of extreme training. The training was tough but exactly what I needed at this place in my life, and I hope I’m able to go back soon. For now, I’m going to the gym five days a week and trying to keep myself fit on my own. It’s harder without being held accountable by others, but I’m working on it.

Finally (as I run into another “doodle” of Kensie’s in my notebook), being a full-time mom is hard work! Don’t get me wrong: I love being at home with Kensie and am fortunate to be the one who’s teaching her and playing with her and cooking her meals and brushing her hair and bathing her and wiping her bottom now that she’s potty-trained (well, maybe I’ve gone a bit too far on that one) and molding her into the extraordinary person she’s becoming. It’s just hard to find the time for all the things I need and want to do in a day with a kid at my heels buzzing, “Hey, Momma. Hey, Mommmaaaa. Mommy! Mommmmmmaaaaaaa!!” But I’m getting better at organizing my and Kensie’s time. I never thought I’d say this, but working full time as a journalist is waaayyyyy easier than being single and a SAHM. Thank you universe for my wonderfully supportive family and friends! Without them, I don’t know where we’d be.

So, I’m hoping to beef up the number of Single Mommylogues entries in the next few months while continuing to look for jobs in multiple areas of the country and build my freelance company, write children’s books and explore getting them published, work out five days a week, figure out my future quickly so as to begin my life again, travel a bit here and there, and raise my child into a grateful, gracious, grounded human being. Oh, and did I mention trying to keep up with a couple of prime-time shows I’ve recently gotten sucked into that leave me feeling as if my day is incomplete when I miss them? I won’t tell you what they are for fear of losing one of my two readers, but I will say that one of them forces me to cover my eyes in embarrassment from time to time and the other has brought me to tears on multiple occasions. Yes, I should "just say no," but what else do I have to do with the two hours of time I have in the day for myself? Trashy TV it is!