A Monday in My Life

A little side table in my office for making tea.

A little side table in my office for making tea.

It’s Monday. What may appear at first sight to be a flexible schedule is really just a disguise for chaos:

- Wake up early because the toddler kicks you (note: she stays asleep, of course!)

- Hustle the girls through breakfast and morning routine, then take the first grader to school. It’s the last day of winter play practice.

- Feed the toddler again, because that 20 minute trip to school and back burns serious calories.

- Touch base with husband – yes, his back is still aching after he threw it out three days ago, but he can keep an eye on the toddler.

- Write and submit that late manuscript review for an academic journal. Wonder why, exactly, I agreed to do it in the first place.

- Chase toddler through the house and then sit her up on the kitchen counter for a quick trim of her bangs. Eyebrows! We can see perfect ginger eyebrows over those gorgeous brown eyes.

- Time to actually get ready for public consumption – this includes a bit of cleanliness and cosmetics.

- Send copious amounts of emails to colleagues and students.

- Arrive at the office, just in time to eat a quick packed lunch at desk before attending back-to-back-to-back meetings. Fact: a package of California Rolls from Trader Joe’s that has been accidentally frozen then rescued and thawed is not actually that tasty.

- Meet with a student to discuss her research paper. Brew her a cup of tea, because that just makes the day bearable.

- Teach a class on the origins and core values of youth subcultures. Our discussion revolved around the gendered identities and religious subtexts of heavy metal and virginity pledger subcultures. Students tried not to fall asleep to the sounds of Metallica and Black Sabbath (it’s finals week, they sleep while walking) and I tried to get them to think about being critical of their everyday media consumption habits. Somehow we got off-topic and discussed whether women can “have it all” and what, in fact, “it all” actually means. Mentioned that I started notes for this post a few hours earlier and felt very meta.

- Finish writing a final exam and submit it to be printed. Not actually as easy as it sounds.

- Answer more emails. Oh, it’s a never-ending task.

- Slap on some lipgloss, toss on a glittery scarf, and head to the holiday party at the college president’s house. Hors d’oeuvres, a glass of wine, and good conversation about: The Beatles, my depressing research about news representations of child abductions, the new residence hall being built on campus, and the efforts of a colleague to help clean up efforts in my home state of Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina.

- Drive home through the rain and heavy traffic to a house full of one husband, two little girls, and the smell of potato and leek soup. Spend dinner time trying to convince the toddler to eat the delicious potato and leek soup. Fail.

- Change out of dressy clothes and type up the previous few entries in this blog. Send a long email to first grader’s teacher about the play tomorrow and upcoming events.

- Help said first grader with homework, play with toddler. Also, not as easy as it seems.

- Before heading to bed, wrestle two girls through a bedtime routine, tuck them in with songs and snuggles, then prep for tomorrow’s two classes and be grateful yet amazed that tomorrow is the last day of class for the semester.

For the rest of the week, I will hold final classes, grade, grade, grade, attend many meetings, watch one very sweet first grader be a snowflake in the school play, help with a cast party at her school, spend Thursday and Friday away from home in a “writer’s retreat” with my dear co-author to work on our book, post holiday cards, clean the house, cook, do more paperwork for my fellowship in Canada, and start moving our stuff into a storage unit. There will be laughs, tears, sleep deprivation, food, fusses, and fun. It will be just like every other week. This, actually, is our version of having it all – sometimes mundane, sometimes glorious, always exhausting.

And you? What does your day or week look like?