So, does absence really make the heart grow fonder? Perhaps it causes us to question a persons commitment and stickability.
My Blog has been haunting me for the last couple of weeks, thus my post title, Best laid plans…….
Unlike other jobs I have had in my distant past, and that list is quite varied…. being a writer and now, an author, this job has no set hours, no holidays, no sick leave and no carers leave. My boss is the most difficult I have ever had to deal with (& I’ve had a few). She is slack when she needs to motivate me, she is a slave driver when I am least able and she lays on the guilt thick and fast about my lack of productivity and my inability to rise above my domestic circumstances. I don’t have a union that protects me against such a boss and no communication with her gets me very far, though to her credit she does listen before she pushes me to achieve more.
As a writer, I am in charge of my own hours, it is not a nine to five job. Obviously, I have times when I can write and times when I can’t but part of the writing process, in fact most of it is ideas development, thinking, processing and growing ideas inside your head. But what happens if your head is spilling over with other stuff that has nothing to do with writing?
So my two-week absence has been forced parenting leave. My boss isn’t happy, in fact she often sits and puts her head in her hands and has a quiet sigh of frustration. It’s not as if she didn’t know, it’s not as if she didn’t have previous experience with these events or any advance notice of this happenings but still she sets the bar too high and is disappointed. School holidays occur in Tasmania three times a year, though soon that will change to four, so it is an annual event. Scheduled and with notice. Her excuse is that the kids are older now so I should be able to work regardless. Sadly it doesn’t work that way, regardless of age (and they are all teens now, three of them, for a short time). This time I planned for the desk to shut down and the writing to slow (although I have discovered a wonderful way to have the children, if I can still call them that, leave me alone….start to read them your first draft of a story, they flee, whining and complaining in hormonally tainted groans and they hide for the afternoon) even though they are not under foot as much they still expect me to be hanging around ready to be available for whatever need they have, they are bigger bodied which means that clothes take more space in the washing machine and they fight with each other about the important things in life: music taste and volume, who’s turn it is to wash up, cook or take the rubbish out and refuse to do chores unless asked more than three times and then under threat. For two weeks I have been a policeman, a traffic controller and peace keeper. I might not have to change nappies, wipe snotty noses or go head to head with toddler nap time but getting teens out of bed (maybe I should just leave them there!) certainly drains creative energy.
So, a note to my boss: Advance notice, in September there will be more school holidays (thankfully not coinciding with uni break so we will have only two to deal with). I am going away with my iPad just incase I get a moment in the middle of the night to write. I am, this time, not setting any ideas in place that I might get some time to work, in fact, I am setting up a worse case scenario and then it can only get better. I am a glass half full sort of person but school holidays are empty glasses work wise. I am going to spend it with my kids, because even though they whinge and groan and hate listening to my scribblings they are in fact growing up very fast and soon, very soon, I will have more time to do the scribblings and keep my insane boss happy.
So, absence makes the heart grow fonder and more determined. When I am absent it will be because I’m on parenting leave and my blog will just rest, like a good wine, as will my ideas and thoughts for my writing, which are fun to share with my family when we are driving as they can’t escape, and then they get a taste of my boss as well.
Christina (the Boss!)