My first home-cooked dinner of the week is in the oven as we speak.Or, as we…blogspeak? Chicken potpie, because I need something to comfort and nourish my family’s run-ragged souls before the week ends. My 12 year old son cooked Sunday night, we ate out Monday night, and oh! we had (home-grilled, yes! that counts!) hot dogs Tuesday night, and hubby brought home sub sandwiches last night. Basically, I’m starving and I don’t have school tomorrow, so even though I have homework to do, I had to cook. The kitchen will most likely not be cleaned tonight. It can Bite Me.

I include this minutia so that my friends and family can have a slice of what my life is really like, and so that they will understand why I am often M.I.A. Assuming they read this blog (that has been described as “transcendent”… 🙂 Modern Family last night, anyone?) they will hopefully understand better why I have become a mostly crappy friend and family member.

One minute…let me correct my daughter’s homework.

Okay, like so many other women, I try to divide my time between home life and professional life. I have realized that I need a professional life. No matter how insane it gets, barring illness or extreme act of God, I am better with a professional life. Except, maybe, right now!

Excuse me while I recover some trash from my lab’s mouth.

Okay, so, as I was saying, my average day goes like this:

1. Wake up pissed off at my alarm

2. Get kids ready and off to school

3. Do laundry, catch up on email, clean house (ha), do last minute homework

4. Drive 45 minutes to school, go to class for 1 hour, 20 min., drive back home 45 minutes. Eat lunch in car.

5. Upon arriving home, veg for an hour in front of HGTV or dvr until kids get home.

6. Deal with kids/family/home stuff, homework (mine and theirs), Mon/Wed: kids after-school activities, Tu/Th: kid’s allergy shots

7. Errands/cook/go to restaurant/take-out

8. Get kids in shower and in bed.

9. Do my homework from 9-11.

10. Watch escapism tv til sleepy.

11. Repeat 1-10 all over again, Groundhog Day-style.

My most pleasant times of day are while I am in class, which I enjoy immensely, and when my children arrive home from school. The rest, I can give or take!

Again, this boring, trivial amount of information simply serves as information as to why I don’t answer my phone and why I don’t post anything clever on Facebook or Twitter. I have a little over a year left and, when I am finished and have found my dream job, I will remember how you supported me and loved me, even though I was an a$$hole!

Phew. That felt good to get that out.

Alrighty then, on another note, I went to a conference for Undergraduate Research last spring. I presented a paper, like I was a smart person, and got to go to Utah, and tried really hard to soak in smartness from the other presenters. One of my papers struck the fancy of my professor and he recommended that I submit it to the conference. It was accepted, and off I went! I hate to speak in front of others; like, clinically, possibly- diagnosably, have serious anxiety about it, but I made myself face my fear and go. I had to read the paper in front of about 25 other students and a proctor, which was fine, but then, had to answer their questions. On the upside, there was interest and several questions. On the downside, I froze and blanked out and did not do a good job of answering AT ALL. What can I say, I’m a writer, not a speaker. But, I am learning that you have to be able to defend your writing, and I am working on it. Painfully, stressfully, needfully, working on it.

What was really amazing, though, about the conference was the supportive, open, learning atmosphere. Listening to the other speakers was inspiring (one of the key-note speakers had helped discover an AIDS drug, and another lived on the streets of France during WWII from age 4-9 and went on to become a prominent scientist and overall wonderful human being) and really did help me see how research, while it can be mundane, can also be thrilling. I loved the research I did and I was excited that others were also interested in it. I wish I had the presence of mind to deal with the questions. I hope that will come with experience. The environment was so ripe for new ideas and I loved that I could be a part of it.

And so now, I must go eat some chicken potpie, and then tackle #8-#10. This too shall pass, said someone, and I know I am on a good track, albeit difficult, to a good end. This is my life now and I thank you all for being part of it. I will be sure to put you all in the acknowledgements of my first Great American Novel.