There were good things about the college I went to yesterday:

  • “We’re a happy group,” said the department chair, and it seemed to be true.
  • After I do a semester on campus and take their training for online teaching, I can continue teaching just the distance learning courses in the future.
  • I enjoyed the feeling of being back on campus. Not that I’d ever been to that campus before, and I got seriously lost on the way there and on the way back. It just felt very comfortable to be walking across a campus again.
  • They have a very regimented plan for Freshman Comp, so there’s hardly any prep involved.
  • They were perfectly agreeable to the idea that I would only teach there if they had the kind of schedule I wanted. Sometimes administrators find this ofensive. I don’t blame them. But I also said, “It’s also okay if you don’t have a course for me this semester, and want to call me back next semester instead.”
  • Getting back to the classroom will allow me to maintain my membership in the Educators’ Club, which is important for my freelance work. I can’t write effectively about the classroom if I’m never there and have little contact with people who are there.

There were also bad things:

  • “We pay nothing,” the administrator said cheerfully. It isn’t exactly nothing, but it isn’t wealth beyond dreams of avarice, either. In fact, if I’m just teaching one class for them, the payment for the whole semester will be just about the same as what my big client was paying me for one 20 hour week.
  • The drive. This is of course the Big Bad Thing. However, I listened and repeated the Rosetta Stone French CDs all the way, and of course I can also compose blog posts and things while I drive. Maybe I will get to where I can drive on the freeway and the drive won’t be so long. The surface road version of the drive also takes me past the branch of my gym which has a swimming pool. If I teach on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, I can stop off on the way home for a swim.

I got back and did the content for two web sites. I closed up a kitchen show and took the rummage to the church for today’s rummage sale and went to the bank. I intended then to do the blog posts I had waiting, but it was by that time 5:00. I don’t know whether it has been apparent from my xanga, but this has been a jam-packed week, and I was just plain tired. I sat and looked at the computer for a little while, and then just shut it down and stretched out on the couch with a novel. I ordered in pizza, which makes my husband pretty angry, and later on I watched the opening of the Olympics and finished hemming the nightgown-like top I’ve been working on. (I’m wearing it today, and it is very comfortable.)

I did a few calculations. If all the things I have as work possibilities actually come through — all the things I’ve already agreed to, I mean — I will have a 50-hour work week. That’s okay. And some of the things may not come through.

But I feel quite sure at this point that I will have some work to do. Things are in fact going very well with my self-employment.

Now I need to get my non-work life back in hand. Things always do fall apart in August chez fibermom, actually, and it’s usually worse than this. When the HGP starts up at the end of August, I shovel out the house and return to normal life.

But maybe I don’t have to do that this year. In the past, I’ve just accepted this as part of the nature of August. The Empress and I would look at one another’s haggard faces sometimes and compare horror stories: who had put on yesterday’s panties rather than summon up the energy to do the laundry, who had driven through a burger joint and called it dinner…

August is just another month for me now. I can’t imagine that I’m just going through Back to School and all will right itself once school starts. What I’m doing now is my actual life. And — in case you hadn’t noticed — I am having a wonderful time. I love my work. All of it. I don’t feel the least bit unemployed and we are, as the boys put it, out of crisis mode.

But I haven’t gotten past acting like I’m still in crisis mode. I’ve gained weight, my skin is blotchy, I get to the gym only a couple of times a week, I go for whole days without fruit or vegetables, I put on decent clothing only for meetings, as though it were some kind of disguise, and otherwise slouch around the house in random rags, I largely ignore my husband and my kids, I don’t return phone calls, and generally am always working. I have made some efforts to counteract this, but I’m not being very successful.

Chanthaboune said I just needed structure. I can’t really make a schedule yet, since I don’t have all the information I need, but I am going to begin by having normal weekends and possibly also evenings. I have made a good start on this a couple of times so far this summer, but I have backslid into squalor again pretty quickly. Fortunately, I can always try again.

Today will be a PSD, punctuated by proper housekeeping and errands. Actual meals will occur. Laundry is being done right this very moment. Excalibur!