Monday, November 14, 2016

Dancing With Myself

In addition to many other wonderful things, the teacher bloggers at Two Writing Teachers have a weekly Slice of Life challenge.  They offer prompts, but really, all you need to do is exactly what it says--share a slice of your life.  Still, mine usually focus somewhat on books and teaching, since they are so central to my life.  

I am writing this on Saturday morning, at the public library.  Late in September, my daughter started an every-other-week language class that lasts from 9-12. I eagerly took on responsibility for transporting her, and I use the time between drop off and pick up for a sort of date with myself.

First, I go to a coffee shop, or at least to get a cup of coffee.  I read while I sip, getting in an hour or so of uninterrupted progress in my current book.  The local libraries all open at 10:00 on Saturday mornings, so sometime after that, I show up at the closest branch and get on a computer.  The lessons have been held at three different locations, so I've been at three different libraries in two different counties.

Usually, I use the remaining time to write blog posts.  Today I also need to write a sub plan, as I'll be at a training for two days next week.  Regardless, I use this time to get focused work done.

It's not like I don't have a computer at home, of course,  But I find it easier to concentrate when I'm not there.  It's not just that the kids interrupt and errands come up, or even that my posture at a library desktop is better on my back than my posture on my laptop.  The sense of "I have exactly this much time and no more" means that I spend my nearly two hours working, instead of looking at funny memes and window shopping on eShakti.

It's three hours of time to myself.  I don't want to squander it.  But I do want to dedicate it to things I WANT to do.  (Although seriously, when you are a mom with a full-time job, even running boring errands all by yourself would feel like a bit of a treat.)

Today I stopped at Fred Meyer's to get a few things* and wound up finding a Christmas gift for my husband.  Then I walked over to Moonstruck Chocolate and got a mocha.  I'd spent enough time agonizing over my purchase that it hardly seemed worthwhile to settle down with my drink, so instead I drove straight to the library and sat and read in the car until opening time.

Now I'm settled in at a computer by the windows.  My keyboard sounds clattery to me, especially the space bar, which I hit with an enthusiasm left over from learning how to type on a manual typewriter.  But when I pause, I notice a few others are also typing rapidly, and their noise isn't distracting, so I hope the rest of the room isn't thinking vile thoughts about me and my right thumb.  Because of needing to lesson plan, chances are high that I'll take the kids to our local library either today or tomorrow and do some more writing while they entertain themselves on the library computers.  Like me, they have specific things they do on the library workstations, games that work better on the desktop than on their "phones."**

One of these weeks, when I find out far enough in advance which location the class will be at that time, I'll get a friend or sister to meet me for coffee, and then my writing time will be cut short, but that will be okay.  I don't get a lot of "me time," and even less often do I get some time without feeling guilty.  But nobody else needs me on Saturday mornings, and if I really wanted to push it, I could even claim to be doing my husband a favor by not dragging him out of bed to take her, since he does morning school prep every weekday.

But truly, I'm just dancing with myself.


* I wasn't running boring errands.  I was getting water repellant for the new off-brand Uggs I bought yesterday and suet for the feeder outside the kitchen window, visible again now that the leaves have fallen.

**Their phones do not actually have phone or texting services hooked up, which raises the question of why we still call them "phones."  Super mini tablets?  


  1. I so enjoyed this slice and your thoughts on how you use this block of time to be productive and to nurture yourself. Keep on dancing!

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  3. Bravo!!! You are using for precious time just for you!!!!
    Bonnie K.

  4. I came in skeptical, but your slice convinced me: there *can* be joy in errands :)

  5. Your Saturday mornings sounds absolutely wonderful. Libraries, coffee shops, even a few errands, all done by yourself? What else can life offer? I found your blog from a link on Lory's blog. I am enjoying reading through some of your older posts. Also, it is nice to know we are not the only ones who give our kid a phone that doesn't make calls or text. It gives me ammunition next time my daughter argues with me!

  6. You are right. You can do the same thing at home, but these sort of hours feel roped off, saved with a little shiny star just for yourself.


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