Monday, January 11, 2010


My blogger was unable to be here today, so I decided to reprise and article I wrote last winter. This week, like last year, was cold (only this year it resembled more of a walkin freezer) and snowy. Funny how the more things change, the more they remain the same, LOL!

When I was a kid, snow days were the thing to look forward to. A time for laugher and fun. No school, snowball fights, snow forts, and using the shovels—after we had shoveled the driveway—and making snow paths in the yard. We used these as trenches in our warfare games.

The not so fun part of snow days was my mom and her list of chores. I now know this was self-defense on her part. It was a way keep six rambunctious kids occupied. Needless to say, we didn’t often whine, “I’m bored and I’ve got nothing to do.” Lord, big mistake and *The List* came out.

Snow days at my house are a bit different. First, I don’t have six kids, thank God, to keep occupied. Back then we stayed outside or found adventures of “lets pretend that…” in our bedroom or the third story attic.

I have one child. Uno only goes so far. Snowboarding outside takes up a few hours, if I’m lucky. Snowball fights still happen but it’s the kid and me. He has TV, movies, 360 Xbox, paper and art supplies, and shelf full of books. I have a computer and projects to get done. Articles to write, books to finish, books to edit. Did I mention editing?

This is a normal workweek for me. I’m trying to keep to my schedule. Four days of no school and a husband who can’t get to work either. It’s vacation time for them. I’m in a groove and I have not one but two housebound males wandering around bored. I am not bored. I have plenty to do. I get up from the computer for a short fifteen-minute break and stretch out my tight muscles, go to the bathroom and get a cup a coffee. My mind is on what I’m writing (in this case, I'm working out the GMC for my next story), working out the kinks mentally, and walk back into my office and there’s my husband checking out Fox Sports. We do have a working TV.

“Oh, I thought you were done?”

I’m dumbfounded. You can tell, dropped jaw, wide eyes, standing frozen in the doorway.

He can tell. “You’re not done?”

“Sweetheart, what part of five open tabs on the computer screen makes you think I’m done?”

I always try for the sweet, reasonable approach first.

So I decide to take out the dog, clear my head in the cold outside air and rid myself of frustration. It’s beautiful outside. The type of day that brings back echoes of laughing kids, snowball fights and snow forts. I feel a pull on the leash and bring my mind back to today just in time to see my poor Great Dane trying to do her business and ever so slowly slide down the incline. This is her second winter and she’s still learning her way on this white stuff. The look on her face is priceless and I can’t help but laugh. It feels good. I’m feeling better, which is a good thing.

I walk back into the house; breathe a sigh of relief when I see my husband watching TV. I walk into my office. And there is my fourteen-year-old son.

At my computer.

“Oh, I thought you were done?”

Oh, yeah, it’s gonna be a long week. Sigh.
  • How do YOU handle family distractions when writing or working against deadlines? Care to share some tips?


Kat Sheridan said...

Two words: Multiple computers. I'm really lucky to have no family distractions, but I'd never function at all if I had to share a computer. The other member of my household is a computer geek. He spent the day in his cuuby hole happily tearing apart and rebuilding his computer. Mine is 100% off limits. I still get distracted by everyday things and some days, get little writing done, but when I'm ready, so is my laptop!

Laughed out loud at the thought of your Dane trying to figure out all the slippery white stuff on the ground!

Mason Canyon said...

Don't have to worry about husband wanting the computer, he's not crazy about them. He just gives me this look like aren't you finished yet? No kids to distract me, but two cats that think both have to be either on my lap or on the keyboard when I'm trying to type.
Good luck on getting your computer to yourself.

VA said...

I'm with Kat here, everyone has their own computer and there is a spare in the living room. The house is often just a symphony of keys clacking to their own melody.

Time demands on the other hand require finesse. I try and schedule a physical activity and allocate so much time for it. A bike ride, a walk, whatever and then when we get back everyone is pretty content to relax. It's kinda like walking the dog, they always seem more content to be quiet and settle down afterwards, people aren't that much different. Then I can get back to what I need to do.