This last week, I hit a point where I literally could not keep up with the bare minimum on everything, and the SLF stuff completely had to be dropped. There just weren’t hours in the day (in part because since the semester started, unexpected needs of our kids have eaten up a ton of time). I also was getting no downtime, which was making me crazy, and I haven’t had time to write anything since the semester started, which also makes me crazy and in addition, causes money issues.
I took yesterday off completely, which I haven’t done since the semester started, I think, and I’m going to try to reset coming back, with the aim of getting Fridays back for writing, the weekends back for downtime / family time, weekday evenings when I don’t have school board meetings or writing workshop also free of work, and every day with sufficient time for exercise.
The question is how I do that. I have one more fairly intensive week coming up — today my students hand in their mid-semester papers, which will need grading, and this Saturday, I’m hosting a book party for myself and Lori, which will involve a fair bit of cooking and other prep on Friday, so I’m not going to try to write then. But the week after, I’d like to be on a better schedule.
One strategy, I think, is that I need to shift more of the managerial stuff for both Serendib and SLF to other people. So Summer & Darius will be a little more ‘in charge’ of weekly operations at the SLF, and Stephanie, the same at Serendib House (esp. now that she’s feeling better, hooray). And along with that, I’m going to cut back on the meetings I attend — I’d like to alternate SLF / Serendib weeks for meetings that I come to, which will hopefully free up time in the week.
So specifically, let’s say 1st and 3rd week of the month, I’ll come to Serendib meetings, 2nd and 4th week of the month, I’ll come to SLF meetings. (Darius, I’d like to also shift the SLF monthly meeting to every two months.) All of this may mean slowing down progress a bit — I’m honestly not sure if it will. But it will certainly help keep me more sane.
I also needed to rethink our weekly meetings for the comic I’m writing with Margaret. I’m not sure what would be a better format, but I think maybe a longer meeting once every two weeks might work better for us? Another option (or maybe in addition) would be to try to get together for an actual retreat and spend a day just working out the storyboard for the comic for several issues. I’m hoping to get to Santa Fe to see George and have a retreat with another writer friend (Susan Lee) sometime this winter (after the holidays, maybe early January?) — if it’d be possible for her to come there and meet me, that might be a good option.
I’m generally thinking of this year as the year when I try to build enough staff structure to both the SLF and Serendib that I *can* be less of a daily driving force and more of a visioning / check-in on things kind of presence (esp. for SLF, which is less about me).
That’ll be a process, but I’m hopeful that by the start of the 2022 school year, we’ll be in good shape for that.
(Photo from Alex‘s home office this morning; his home is very peaceful (when the little ones are away at school, etc.), and it’s a very good place to reassess my work and life.)