What to do while waiting. In graduate school one of my mentor/professors used to talk about this theme as a tool to help writers shape a piece. Ultimately, he explained, the story is what happens while they’re waiting for something else to happen.
As a freelance reality TV producer this thought runs through my mind anytime I have a break between shows.
Which is right now.
A little background: I was booked on a show with a start date of March 6th. Due to some unforeseen issues, they have pushed my start a few more weeks to March 20th. And I suddenly have three unexpected “off” weeks to fill.
When I don’t have work, I end up turning into a confused mom zombie wandering around looking for something to do or eat or watch and asking my husband who is busy with his own work stupid questions like…,“Heyyyyyy, whatcha doin?”
One time I even tried to teach myself the dance to Justin Bieber’s “Sorry,” because I thought it would be good exercise aka I was super bored.
You may be asking yourself, but where are those super cute babies when you’re doing all this fucking around?
Two words: Day. Care.
The boys stay in day care even when I’m not working. Because any amount of time off is not enough for me to pull them out, get them used to a different routine, and then pop them back in expecting everything to go back to normal. That plus there’s a solid chance that taking them out would risk losing their spot to a kid on the wait list and then I’m fucked when it’s time for me to go back to work anyway so off to day care they go!
And home I stay!
Wandering the hallways looking for rogue laundry and eating too much cheese.
Real talk: the boys always have matching socks when I’m not working. Rarely when I am.
I’m used to my life being loud and messy and having no time to think about shit much less do shit. So when I have this forced pause where it’s so unbelievably quiet, I end up feeling lost. And kind of depressed. Everything becomes SO HARD! #ugh. #I’mafuckingteenagerIswear
Even writing this blog has been exponentially harder. When I was working and much busier, I somehow squeezed moments out in the middle of the night, or on a lunch break to type this shit up. Now that I have hours of available time, I fight it and instead choose to binge another season of Schitt’s Creek. I guess everything can be harder even when it’s easier.
I almost don’t recognize the person I become when I have time off. I suddenly have more excuses to not work out…like maybe I should nap instead? When the working version of me would KILL for an extra 30 minutes anywhere anytime just to take a walk. I pick stupid fights with my husband about stupid shit I never pick fights with him about when I’m working. And we end up having less sex because of the stupid fights, which leads to more stupid fights. See where I’m going here?
Idk how my family is going to survive the next two weeks.
When J (2.5 years old) was old enough to understand that his food was prepared and ready but still a little too hot for him to eat and as a result would dissolve into a crying impatient mess, I’d ask him the question: “What do we do while we’re waiting?” Usually that means we break into song just long enough for the toast or spaghetti or whatever to cool down to be able to be handled by toddler taste buds.
Now, at two and a half years old, he can make his own toast (with supervision). He surprised me yesterday by breaking into song the minute the toast was pushed down. Maybe I need to learn a thing or two from my kid. Because he’s fucking nailing it.
So what DO I do while I’m waiting for the next gig to start? Well this week, I feverishly did all the laundry. I did all the chores. I paid all the bills and all the random doctor/dentist/appointments were made. I even managed to take advantage of a Christmas gift of a massage and facial and hot damn if it wasn’t the best day/thing/I've done in For. Everrrrrr.
I also managed to drag my ass 45 minutes away to attend a town hall for my Representative. In case you missed it, I am pretty involved in politics. This bit felt rewarding. But it’s just the tip of the iceberg of what I COULD be doing but instead find a reason to binge more episodes of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Because Erika Jayne.
So what’s on the schedule this week? I’ll probably be wandering around like some sort of Mombie, cutting up more cheese, and convincing my husband to build that shoe rack that’s been hanging out in the garage for a couple of months now.
I know this is a privileged position to be in. I know this is a lucky problem to have.
But really, I can’t wait to get back to work.
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