Spring Break is upon me . . . 

As always, my list of things-to-do is easier to visualize than it is to carry out. Cleaning happens far more effectively in my head than in reality. I have a bag full of marking, a house full of clutter, dog hair, and a mountain of laundry. 

But it’s spring break! It’s nearly warm enough to throw the windows open and air the house out! The ski hill has special hours, and Cinderella is playing at the movie theatre in Timmins. Laser tag beckons! Sewing projects that need finishing . . . swag needs ordering . . . bills paying . . . packages to mail and phone calls to make . . . Really, the only difference between a regular work week and this one is that I don’t have to stand up in front of groups of teenagers three times a day and get them to do learning tasks. I only have to deal with one and a half — my own son and daughter.

I could make a long list of priorities, but I know what needs to be done. Sometimes those lists are discouraging because of the number of things that DON’T get completed. 

Here’s what I see myself accomplishing this week. Theoretically, the chore stuff should be tackled first so that a clean house can be enjoyed for the remainder of the time, but then again, all work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy.

Monday — medical and hair appointment phone calls, shopping for necessities (including crickets for Elizabeth), arrange for diagnostic / cleaning / repair of my MacBook — and if required, shipping it off — sweeping and mopping, finish marking Writer’s Craft stories (ooh, and all the other marking too — wouldn’t that be ideal? To get the marking out of the way?), work on something creative (snowmobile story, knitting, helping Bridget to finish her doll project — did I tell you that one of her little friends told her she should throw out the doll she made? So it doesn’t get up in the night and walk around and scare her? I reassured her, this doll won’t do any of that, because she made it herself. Silly little girls!)

I also need to see about my next tattoo (or current tattoo expansion), vacuum the couches, clean off the dining table so we can actually eat at it sometime like civilized people, look into the details of the trip to Ottawa ComicCon, plan a display at Merchant Mania, and determine how to attack promotions for my next novel, including contacting reviewers who enjoyed Book One: Wind and Shadow but who haven’t necessarily read Book Two: Blood and Fire, and who might want to look at a copy of the latter before Book Three: Crystal and Wand gets released later this spring. Part of me really wants to hire my publicist again, to save me time and energy, but my red-faced bank book is screaming at me to do it on my own so I can redirect my funds toward paying off one of my loans instead. (sigh)

Tuesday — The kids would like a trip to Timmins for laser tag and a movie (Cinderella! Dress porn, yeah!). I would also use the trip to purchase big pieces of foam so I can rebuild the cushions that Skittles has destroyed over time. Plus getting the cracked screen on my iPad repaired, seeing as I’m going to be using it for a while until my MacBook is functioning again (sob). This could also be done on Wednesday, and Tuesday could be Laundry Day.

Wednesday — The scaling of the Great Laundry Mountain! Not a pleasant task. It’s not just the strain of folding and sorting, which I find hard on my upper back and arms. Hubby has been using the deep fat fryer a lot — A LOT — lately. He’s opted to plug it in at the end of the kitchen closest to the window, although he hasn’t been actually opening the window for ventilation. Meanwhile, that’s the end of the kitchen which houses the washer/dryer, the dog’s cage, and the Great Laundry Mountain (on the dog’s cage — no, her hair doesn’t get on it). So aaaaallll of the laundry in the topmost layers of the mountain now stinks like fryer oil. This means that now I have to sniff test everything and rewash whatever stinks. As the good queen once said, “We are not amused.” (We, as in, me — apparently the man could care less. Grrrr . . .)

Thursday — Skiing! If we haven’t gone yet. What if we went skiing on Monday? Of course, the day at the hill means absolutely nothing gets accomplished at home. Either way, I’m going to end up feeling guilty and inadequate at handling all the parts of being a grown-up.

Friday — Yeah, honestly, I can’t see myself starting any projects on Friday. This will be my panic day, my dash of ice water as I realize that the break is coming to an end and I’ve only managed a quarter of what I set out to do. I should add going to the liquor store to my list on Monday. 

Saturday — More panic. I’ll have to remember to get the kids’ skates sharpened, the laundry pile will have reproduced, whatever mopping I managed will have disappeared into the ether as though it never happened, I’ll be racing to get through the marking I didn’t finish . . .

Sunday — I will sleep all day as an avoidance tactic, wake up to the horrible feeling that I’m not ready to go back to work, and play FaceBook games all night in self-loathing at not being able to complete my impossible list. Either that, or it will be the opposite: I’ll have developed a routine and be feeling great, in control and on top of the world for a fleeting space of time before the regular rounds of work and home and extracurriculars begin again, and whatever progress I’ve made slowly falls apart . . .

Spring Break, you are deceptive. You’re all, “Come here! No, go away.” Luring us in with false promises of relaxation and accomplishment; beckoning with fictions of new grass and fresh flowers, when we’re still surrounded by two feet of snow. But we love you. Because it is a BREAK, a chance to rest a bit and relax, enjoy the warming weather and slough some of the regular pressures as the pines and cedars are sloughing their blankets of white. I am just torn, as always, between doing what I think should get done — trying to meet some idealistic expectations of being a wife / mother /professional, and being realistic and accepting that I can only do so much. The problem is that with the latter, I just end up feeling lazy and not good enough. I want to be Leslie Knope and Mary Poppins and Laura Ingalls and Anne Shirley, all at once. 

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