When will I start taking classes again? I don’t know. I know it’s not the right time, right now. If I had schoolwork looming over my head each day I’d feel like no matter what I was doing, I wasn’t getting enough done. I’d be constantly tempted to stash the kids in front of the TV so I could finish an assignment or read a quick chapter or print a report or whatever it was. I battle that feeling enough as is with my freelance work, I don’t want to tip the scales any more than they already are. God, I don’t even know if the things I was interested in studying are the things I’m still interested in pursuing as a career.

When will I start sitting down and writing something of substance, maybe even the book I’ve long believed/hoped I would write? I don’t know. I produce 70+ billable articles a month, it leaves me with little desire to spend even more time tapping away at the keyboard. Even though I miss creating words for pleasure.

When will we follow through that dream of living in Oregon? Oh, I don’t know, I don’t know. We’re more entrenched than ever right now, no plans to put the house back on the market any time soon. I never really thought we’d still be here for our kids to start school, but this month I sign Riley up for kindergarten. It’ll be fall before we know it.

I feel like I’m in a sort of holding pattern, but I don’t know what change I’m waiting for. For the kids to start school? For more money, more time, more convenience—as though these things are guaranteed? As though I haven’t learned time and time again that success comes from making my own change?

Thing seem cloudy, these days. Not sad; obscured. I don’t know if I should be content with my today, or trying harder to aim into tomorrow.


42 Responses to “Indulgent”

  1. LauraC on January 27th, 2011 9:52 am

    Sometimes I think it is good to let ourselves get adjusted to a new reality before trying to change even more. You’ve been rocking the transition to staying home. Maybe you don’t hear that enough so I thought I would say it.

  2. Ulli on January 27th, 2011 9:58 am

    Time tables set at some point often don’t work out…but guess what, you can move to Oregon in a year or 3 or 5. The kids will be fine. They will adapt. The world can’t be perfect. :)
    I think you are doing remarkably well considering the circumstances. :)

  3. Lawyerish on January 27th, 2011 10:00 am

    I have these sorts of thoughts all the time. It’s hard to fit everything in. Sometimes I tell myself that life is long, that I don’t have to do EVERYthing today, now, or even in the near future. And like you, though I aspire to write a book, I’d rather do just about anything, after typing away at work all day, than write MORE.

    But that doesn’t stop me from getting agitated every time some first-time author publishes a novel to critical acclaim, especially if they’re my age or younger.

    It’s tough to know when to accept and be content and when to push and strive.

  4. Amy on January 27th, 2011 10:03 am

    You know what program says…pray for HP’s will for you today and the power to carry it out. Pray about tomorrow, well, tomorrow. I know future tripping can get me in a world of hurt in my head…

  5. Trina on January 27th, 2011 10:03 am

    I am right there with you, with different things, but feel the same way.

  6. Amanda Brown on January 27th, 2011 10:06 am

    This is all such hard stuff. I often feel the same way in that I’m just barely scraping through the days and there are so many balls in the air that I couldn’t imagine doing more, yet there are things I envision for our future but have no idea when they’ll be attainable.
    Like LauraC said above, though, you are doing an amazing job of being home with your boys, fully devoting yourself to actually teaching them stuff and giving them a rich home environment. There is SO much you’re doing well (being a mom, staying in the great shape you worked so hard to achieve years ago, fostering a strong marriage, and successfully making a wad of cash each month for writing your articles) so maybe try to focus on that in those cloudy moments and feel a bit better?

  7. Courtney on January 27th, 2011 10:07 am

    Finding contentedness is kind of my resolution for 2011. I’m listing things I can’t change (job, mortgage, bills) while thinking through the steps I can take to make me a happier person. It’s not an easy process but yeesh, something’s gotta change right now because I am a crabby McCrabberpants this winter.

  8. jo on January 27th, 2011 10:39 am

    I adore your blog, and have learned so many life/parenting lessons from what you share. Thought I would share the poem that seems to centre me when I start to get anxious about the future..

    Yesterday, today and tomorrow

    There are two days in every week we should not worry about, two days that should be kept free from fear and apprehension.

    One is yesterday, with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains.

    Yesterday has passed, forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed. Nor can we erase a single word we’ve said – yesterday is gone.

    The other day we shouldn’t worry about is tomorrow, with its possible adversities,
    Its burdens, its large promise and poor performance.

    Tomorrow is beyond our control.

    Tomorrow’s sun will rise either in splendour or behind a mask of clouds but it will rise. And until it does,we have no stake in tomorrow, for it is yet unborn.

    This leaves only one day – today. Any person can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when we add the burdens of yesterday and tomorrow that we break down.

    It is not the experience of today that drives people mad – it is the remorse of bitterness for something that happened yesterday, and the dread of what tomorrow may bring.

    Let us, therefore, live one day at a time.

  9. Donna on January 27th, 2011 10:50 am

    Not every day can be important enough to be a memory to cherish. Some days are just meant to be gotten through, and this holds true for weeks, months, and years.
    At the point it can change, you will know. You’ve been great at it so far, trust yourself.
    And PS, as long as you keep your sense of humor, you’ll be fine, lol!

  10. Christina on January 27th, 2011 10:50 am

    I find in letting go, things become clearer. The more I swirl things around in my head they just become more confused. If I let the problems/concerns/thoughts go for awhile I can see what it is that was there all along.

  11. Christine on January 27th, 2011 11:21 am

    Oh, I know. We’re not supposed to be here. We were never supposed to have kids who were Americans. Our son was never supposed to be starting elementary school next September in America. But here we are. You have to live the life you have, not keep hanging on for the one you might get in the future.

    You keep trying and hoping and working towards the big picture, but you’ve still got to live the minutes and the days as fully as you can.

    FWIW, I think you’re amazing to be home-pre-schooling like this. I would totally be sticking them in front of the TV.

  12. Everything on January 27th, 2011 11:28 am

    I think the times in our lives when the path in front of us is totally obscured are the toughest times. Often we don’t know where we’re headed, but we at least have an idea of what we need to do next. Not having even an inkling of an idea is frustrating, and for me, at least, it becomes very easy to settle into a pretty destructive cycle where I just spin my wheels incessantly with no direction. Here’s hoping you get an inkling of an idea of what is next on your path, regardless of your destination.

  13. Eric's Mommy on January 27th, 2011 11:46 am

    I am feeling exactly the same way right now.

  14. Amber on January 27th, 2011 11:52 am

    Man, I know! Not to be all, “Hey, go read my blog,” but: HEY! Go read my blog.


    I wrote about the same thing then. I feel you, sister.

  15. Rachel on January 27th, 2011 12:10 pm

    Holy crap, it’s like you’re in my head. I think the same thing all the time. When can I quit my awful job? When will we ever be able to have another baby? When will I be able to finish my degree? When will we be able to move? Life isn’t bad, we’re very blessed and maybe I should focus more on that, but it doesn’t stop me from being acutely aware that we aren’t exactly living out our dreams.

    Maybe I just really need spring to come :)

    I hope you are able to start living out your dreams soon. Thanks always for your wonderful and honest posts.

  16. Pete on January 27th, 2011 12:14 pm

    Sounds like my last 6 years.

  17. adequatemom on January 27th, 2011 12:22 pm

    Does it help you to know that you are not alone? I’m going through similar stuff … if not the exact circumstances, then certainly the feelings you describe. My husband just lost his job and is now in the midst of career transition: suddenly, he’s at home with our daughter half the week (we reduced her daycare commitment thanks to reduced income) and I’m the full-time breadwinner. This is so far away from how I expected/wanted things to be. And yet, I’m doing my best to roll with it, to learn what lessons there might be from this drastic shift.

    In the meantime, I just read a phenomenal book that has altered forever my view of money, priorities, goals, dreams, etc: The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. It might help you un-cloud a few things.

    Thanks for being so unflinchingly honest in your posts, Linda. You rock my world.

  18. Sarah on January 27th, 2011 12:36 pm

    Holding pattern here, too. I’m so restless some days that I crave anything that might break up the inertia and knock some intentionality/perspective into my family life. Even news of someone dying, as sick as that sounds. I hear you loud and clear. Is it the creative impulse that makes us this way?

  19. Danell on January 27th, 2011 12:48 pm

    I turn 40 this year! FOUR-DEE-OHMYGOD…and it is only now occurring to me that I might never REALLY get to where I want to be-especially considering I’m not even sure where that is. If my 25 year old self were to be where I am now, I’m sure she’d be proud. But it always seems like as soon as I meet one goal, there’s so many more BIGGER and MORE IMPORTANT goals that have piled up in front of me. Sh*t, it’s taken me 40 years to get this far, I don’t think I have another 40 to keep working towards being happy. I think I better knock it off and start being at least trying to enjoy what I have now.
    Hey, I sure made that about me, didn’t I? Just whenever you write about this, and then so many people say, “hey, me too!”‘, I’m relieved to know I’m not alone!

  20. sooboo on January 27th, 2011 12:53 pm

    Yeah, me too. I think a lot of people are in this boat. The state of the world dictates that many of us aren’t going to be able to do the things we want for awhile. Right now, it’s about finding a safe place to perch and waiting it out, as unfun as that sounds.

  21. Kristin on January 27th, 2011 1:00 pm

    I think you are just in a period of readjustment.

    You are clearly very happy and satisfied when you are working toward a goal. It seems like once you identify something that you want to do, you put everything you have into achieving it. You blow me away with what you have done, actually. I find you very inspiring. Some of the most recent things you identified as goals (moving, writing a book, finishing school) haven’t worked out YET, but it doesn’t mean that they won’t. Those are big and longer term projects. But some of the things you wanted to do have been achieved, (getting fit, changing your career).

    I think you just need to find the next goal. Something that is achievable in a shorter timeframe, maybe. Apparently raising two kids and writing 70+ articles a month (holy crap!) isn’t enough for you :). What else do you want to do? I’m pretty sure that you will be able to conquer the world if you put your mind to it, so please choose something for the good of us all!

  22. edith on January 27th, 2011 3:49 pm


  23. Hilary on January 27th, 2011 3:54 pm

    I think, as previous commenters have said, you are so good at setting and meeting goals, it’s hard for you when one doesn’t pan out. Which is a great thing — look how far it’s gotten you! — but don’t let it keep you from enjoying all you’ve accomplished.

    You’ll get there — even if “there” changes. In the meantime, thanks for letting all of us share in your journey. You are an inspiration to so many.

  24. cara on January 27th, 2011 3:54 pm

    Sometimes change feels like failure(or just not success) when it’s really just change.
    I think it’s a lot easier to feel like you didn’t get enough done in your day when home is where you work and when you work for yourself there. It’s hard to tell yourself things that you would totally tell someone else in a work setting — like good job and thanks and, hey, keep up the awesome. It’s easy to think of it as “staying home” as opposed to going somewhere else to do work you might care minimally about– even though in reality, self-employment is just as important, there’s probably exponentially more for you to do, and it’s all yours so you care about ALL of it so getting a couple of things done feels like a drop in the bucket compared to the million you WANT to do now.
    *Wishes I could remember to eat this advice for breakfast*

  25. AddieandEva on January 27th, 2011 3:57 pm

    Winters in the Northwest always seem to bring about more self-reflection. It must be the absence of sunshine giving us all more time to think :)

    Just like so many previous posters, I hear ya. In 2010 I uttered many phrases beginning with “If I’m still (fill in the blank) next year, just shoot me!”

    …It’s next year. Turns out I’m still doing most of those things (same car, same job, same unbegun dreams)…and…well, the firing squad hasn’t come around to get me yet! Ha.

    Sometimes, it’s all about the baby steps. Given the economic climate, a lot of your goals have become significantly more difficult to achieve. That is no fault of your own.

    The gloomy days occasionally creep in to all of our minds, but keep focusing on the things you CAN change. Even if it’s the small things. Those small things will make the bigger ones easier to reach when the time is right.

    I love reading your blog. You inspire me!

  26. yaya on January 27th, 2011 4:14 pm

    I say that you should be content and grateful for your amazing TODAY but it never hurts to inspire and aspire for an even better, more amazing and more grateful & fantastic TOMORROW. I mean, why not? :-)

  27. Bethany on January 27th, 2011 4:26 pm

    I agree with the first commenter, LauraC!

  28. Jean on January 27th, 2011 5:18 pm

    I think it’s good to ask yourself sometimes, “Is my life on hold or in focus?” Right now, you’re focused on different things than you might have been a year ago or will be a year from now, but that doesn’t mean that you’ve completely lost direction. For what that’s worth….

  29. sheila on January 27th, 2011 6:18 pm

    Oh…bust a move while you can…it can’t harder and harder to move as your kids get older and even more entrenched. My kids flipped when we thought about buying a new house down the street.

    The PNW winter — especially January — stink.

    Ever tried one of the SAD lights. I though all the hype was bogus but I swear to God that thing works!

    hang in there – love your blog!

  30. Allison Martin on January 27th, 2011 6:33 pm

    dude, I feel you. we are in a holding pattern as well… we are stuck in this too small for us condo, and no plans to put it back on the market anytime soon either… some days I wonder if my boys will still be little enough to enjoy a yard by the time we get one. So frustrating.

  31. tanya on January 27th, 2011 7:49 pm

    I totally concure with the first comment on this topic – you’ve made a really big adjustment already. You deserve the gift of time to settle into that, which believe it or not there really is enough of. Keep repeating that to yourself – There is enough time. There is enough time.

  32. tanya on January 27th, 2011 7:49 pm

    shit. I meant concur. There IS enough time to spellcheck.

  33. Michelle on January 27th, 2011 7:52 pm

    My opinion is this: if you’re not feeling a definite push away from where you are now (or towards someTHING), then it’s time to take a step back and enjoy the present! Sounds like you got a good thing going right now. If you were my bff, I would tell you over coffee to just relish it for a while!

  34. Sarah on January 27th, 2011 8:25 pm

    No matter where you get, there will always be something more to strive for.

    Right now, you’re not feeling that push, that driving urge…then you are where you need to be. Your focus is on your family – homeschooling your kids as best as you can, taking care of the work that needs to be done. There isn’t anything wrong with that.

    Enjoy it.

    You’ll get to those other places when you’re meant to.

    (I know. So much easier said than done)

  35. Christine on January 28th, 2011 5:27 am

    I don’t have any words of advice, just know that we’re rooting you on no matter what the future holds.

  36. Sunny on January 28th, 2011 6:28 am

    It’s January in Seattle. Even in Eastern WA, the gray/brown “blah” is everywhere and it’s easy to feel fall into a funk. Once the mountains are out, a few spring flowers pop and the sun finally fucking reappears for more than 5 minutes, life always seems better. You made some swift changes last year and the “holding pattern” probably seems boring after winning those battles. Not to sound like suzy-fucking-sunshine, but it could be worse, right? I’m just thinking about your old posts on fucked up commutes, sick kids, emergency daycare calls, house-sale anxiety and batshit-crazy workplace projects. Christ, a lesser woman would have been sucking her thumb under a desk!

  37. Wendi on January 28th, 2011 8:00 am

    I have no great words of wisdom, just another “I totally understand how you feel” sentiment. I’ve been feeling that way for the past year as well.

  38. Erin on January 28th, 2011 8:57 am

    It doesn’t make you feel any better, but you have put into words what I have been feeling. I wish that I had the ability to clearly communicate as you do. Sometimes, it’s nice to know you are not in the boat of life alone? :)

  39. Gaby on January 28th, 2011 9:23 am

    This is just some stranger in the interwebs’ opinion/experience, but on the topic of kids in school, I’ll say that moving them is relatively easy to do up until high school. I moved 3 times in high school, and I’m pretty sure that fell into one of Dante’s lesser-discussed circles of Hell. Up to high school, though, students can fairly easily meet new friends and adjust. This is shared only to provide some small element of comfort on your frustration in Riley starting school where you are currently–it can be changed. You’re not bound to stay in the area for the next 12 years (plus time for Dylan…so…longer than 12. Hi,I was an English major. Math’s not my thing!).

  40. Shannon on January 28th, 2011 11:07 pm

    I hear ya. I’m working on my own book right now and even though I love it and it’s my dream and all that stuff… it’s still so much harder than I ever imagined it would be. I’m not even 1/10 the writer you are so it’s extra special hard yo! But after three months, I’m halfway done with the 1st draft… THE FIRST FUCKING DRAFT! That’s both grantifying and intimidating to think about. Good Luck!

  41. Rachael on March 13th, 2011 5:33 pm

    My faith reminds me that there are no accidents. We are where we are today for all the right reasons. We just might not see them in this moment.

    When the time is right, when the drive is strong, you will make your changes, reach for your goals. Don’t pressure yourself today over what COULD happen tomorrow.

    Just face each moment with eyes and heart open so you can see all the opportunities and feel the calling for the time to take action.

    Being a control freak who likes to plan and strategize EVERYTHING, I have to constantly remind myself of this when I get impatient for the things I want – my new career, a baby, a best selling book. I keep making plans and keep taking the steps I can towards those goals but I’m not giving this moment too much grief for not being what I hope for, because it is already so much more than I could have.

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