Thus ends the first summer after my daughter’s first year of preschool (preschool). It’s funny how suddenly it feels like fall. It’s funny, too, how much difference a year makes, how much difference there is between almost three and almost four. I’ve been compelling her to rest for an hour or so every afternoon—she rests with books and music, and lately hasn’t been lying down even a little bit—since she suddenly stopped napping late last fall. It seems like time, now, to do more activities and errands in the afternoon, but I don’t want her to forget about “quiet time,” for the days when she needs it. Or when I need it. It’s also funny how much I was relying on having two hours or more, most days, when I could decompress. An hour is barely long enough to have a cup of coffee and a surreptitious unhealthy, unshared snack, much less a nap of my own.
On the other hand, now we begin the classes where I sit outside in a lobby or in the hall, instead of going inside and playing with her. We had one of those in the summer (plus swim class—which is so much easier when I don’t have to change afterward, too—but where the parents still sit by the pool and watch). It was very restful. At the beginning I got a lot of reading done, and later I managed to finish some writing. But then things happened. I got sick, and my daughter got sick and missed a class, and then came the two and a half “quiet” weeks at the end of August when all the classes are over and there’s nothing at all going on.
So now that it’s September, there will be a couple of those, and an extra morning of school, and—except when I have to go to the dentist, or work out, or do some extra shopping—I should have an extra half hour to an hour, sometimes more, to get some writing done. Only somewhat canceled out by the looming end to all naps, and my daughter’s newfound wish to cook absolutely everything in the cookbooks she’s found.
After finishing a few novels at the beginning of the summer, during that downtime, I noticed a pattern in what I was reading. I decided to continue that pattern for the summer, and read only books that were written by people who live in the Boston area. And after finishing that project, I decided to catch up on some blog posts, especially about my reading, before I start reading any new fiction. (The long-promised post on women’s Templar novels! Maybe even chapter three of Bright-Sided.)
I can sometimes dash off a blog post in an hour or so, plus a little time for polishing, but only if I’ve been thinking about it all day and know exactly what I want to write. If I only kind of know what I want to say, I need at least another hour to write it out. And more complicated ideas, or something that requires notes and thoughts and outlining, obviously, takes much longer.
So a not-too-long post about a movie I’ve recently seen, based on my thoughts about it over the weekend, is fairly easy to dash off. Something about a book, which I may have been thinking about over weeks, requires a little more organization. Right now I have a few enormous Word documents that contain uncategorized notes on my reading, unfiled ideas, and notes and drafts for new blog posts, but I’m trying a new way of organizing these. Hopefully, I’ll be able to separate better things that are close to being finished from things that need a lot more work, and to try to keep track of things I want to spend a lot more time reading, without relying either on huge numbers of open browser tabs or on wall-shaped clumps of links interspersed with drafts.