The Things that Keep Me Busy

The past few days have felt tumultuous, but they weren’t. This disparity between external and internal experience of events is not my favorite. It means something in my brain is out of alignment. What I finally saw in the past few days is that this is the result of all my jobs expanding just a little bit, so that it is just barely not possible for me to do them all. Truthfully I haven’t been able to do any of them well in a long time, at least not up to my standards for “doing them well.” I admit those standards are high. I expect a lot of me. I’m far more forgiving with everyone else. But in the past few days it finally clicked that the reason I’m failing at all my things is because there are simply too many things.

“I wish we could hire _______.” Howard has said it more than once after coming home from GenCon where we have an amazing crew. This was the first year where he and I looked at each other and thought maybe we could. Business expansion is scary. I’m going to have to do a bunch of research and crunch some numbers to make sure we do not over extend ourselves. (I’ll add those things to the ever revolving list of too many things to do.) But there was a moment when I pictured handing off some of my jobs and I felt such relief at the thought. I might have time to pull the waist high weeds in the front garden, or to reshelve that pile of books, or to vacuum once in a while. I might be able to think ahead enough to plan meals.

Granted, some of those things will come back when convention season is over. Except I’ve seen the release schedule we’ve got planned for next year. Things are closer together. I’m not sure the old patterns will hold.

It was setting up the point of sale system which tipped me over. It was the critically important thing that I’ve been meaning to do since February. It sat on my task list. I looked at it every day for six months and there was always something else more urgent. At the last minute, in a tearing panic, I pulled it together. Then I had to scramble to fix it because in my panic I’d set it up wrong. Nothing like having my system in Texas while I’m in Utah and relaying critical troubleshooting information via text message to people who have never worked with the system before and neither have I. We’re learning how it works while we use it, and I’ll be writing a post talking about the system we’re using, because it really is a good system and the customer support has been stellar. The way this fell out is a far cry from the careful research and testing I’d planned to do.

In the meantime, Link is learning how to tackle high school level homework and teacher communication. Gleek’s choir class has her singing again and sitting down at the piano to pick out tunes. Patch hops into my car cheerfully after school and chatters to me about his day. Kiki has landed her first paying illustration job (probably, contract pending), has made friends, and discovered that the high quality of her high school art classes have prepared her well for college. In light of these things the weeds and vacuuming are less important. Yet I only see this perspective in glimpses right now. Mostly my eyes are on the task list. So many things to do before Salt Lake City Comic Con next week.

I assembled a hand truck today. It was one of the many things to do for SLCC. I thought I’d ordered a nice mid-sized hand truck that converted to a cart. It is rather bigger and more sturdy than that. Good thing I can store it in the storage units with our inventory. When I was most of the way done, Link said wistfully “next time can I help? I like putting things together. At which I immediately handed over the wrenches, because I didn’t like assembling this thing at all. Fortunately I’ll never have to do it again. I meant to stack all the boxes of things for SLCC, but the assembly took longer than anticipated, so that rolls over onto Monday.

Like last year, I’m not sad to be missing Worldcon. There are people I’d love to see, but the timing is just wrong. I need to be here. However I’m hoping to attend ConFusion in January and if I have to miss that, I will be very sad. It has been a long time since I’ve gone to a convention to be among my writer friends.

And now it is late. I should sleep.