Thursday, July 3, 2014

Summer Brain

I am tired.

It is summer, and I have come down with a virulent case of summer brain. This is not the product of sunny skies and warm breezes (I live in the SF Bay Area where you're just as likely to need a sweater as shorts here). I am not dreaming of beaches (more of a mountain person, actually) or organizing family vacations. What I am doing is trying to eek out writing time around my chauffeuring responsibilities.

Summer in our household is a time of camps. Since kindergarten, NK has been going to chess camp. He's been a junior instructor for the past couple of years, something he really enjoys. But...the camp only runs from noon to four each day and it's 25 minutes from our door to the building where it's held. I gladly do this and have been doing it for the past dozen years (and for which NK is duly grateful, as he's told me many times this summer). This summer has the added attraction of TK being a counselor at the diabetes camp he's been attending since his diagnosis in January of 2006. The camp is in King's Canyon, a 6-hour drive from our home, which usually necessitates an overnight stay in Fresno. Usually this means I get a free night on my own (I'll even take Fresno -- have found a fantastic Ethiopian restaurant there), but not this year because TK needed to be at camp by 10 am and it's still an hour and a half away from Fresno. So we went up the night before. Fortunately, I've only had to make this trip once this summer. TK has found his own way home after staff training and kids' camp when he has breaks between sessions, but I have a sneaking suspicion I've got at least one more trip up there before the summer is over.

I've been working on it for so long, it's fossilized.
 Just kidding. That's the flood tablet from
Gilgamesh at the British Museum. 
And on top of all this is THE NOVEL. Oh yeah. That thing. Most summers, I stay in SF, go to museums, or find a quiet (hah!) corner to write. Not this year. This year I am in the midst of revisions and really need to be at my desk at home, with lots of quiet around me. So I've been trying to get a few hours of work done in the morning before taking NK into the city, then coming home and getting about another hour and a half of time in front of the computer before I have to leave to pick him up again. At least that's the theory. The reality is that I am tired, so I take my time over breakfast and take my time over lunch, check email and Facebook, write a blog post, and get about three pages of changes into the computer a day.

This is not working. Common sense tells me I would be better off staying in the city and going to a museum or taking a walk on the beach or riding my bike through Golden Gate Park or even finding a quiet bench in GGP and journaling or freewriting for a few hours.But I can't bring myself to do that. It's not the responsible thing to do. I have a deadline. I'm supposed to be working ALL THE TIME to make it. I can't just go have fun. I seriously can not get myself to just let go and blow off a day or two.

What's the definition of insanity? Right. Even knowing that doesn't help.

I don't have any great wisdom or insight on this one. Sometimes this is just what it looks like -- muddling through even though I know I should be doing something differently. Summer will be over soon enough and I will be able to get back to my regularly scheduled life and put away my car keys for awhile. I hope.

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