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Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Skinny dipping

I just wrote that title to get your attention. And to see whether it drives enormous amounts of new traffic to the blog. Sorry to disappoint, but I haven't indulged recently (I'm not letting anyone see the current state of my stomach, and anyway, it's bloody rainy as hell and freezing just now, are you mad??!)
No. It's my new term for the way I have to run my life. Dipping just slightly into a multitude of tasks, giving a skinny piece of me to everything and everyone, but never feeling like I give any of it the time or attention it really deserves. The last couple of days at work, ferinstance, I have 'skinny-dipped' into a number of electronic rights and agent negotiation discussions, tried to pull together our thinking on digital workflows, formats and storage options, worked on a three year budget for digital investments (anyone got a better idea than sticking a finger in the air?), produced a presentation on digital publishing strategy, kicked off a project to embed our eBook publishing programme into our current business processes, written a proposal for an online sequel to a rather well-known book, contributed to a corporate report on PR, and initiated a redesign of our corporate web site. I've raced to and from lunches with colleagues at which it feels like we quite literally 'downloaded' everything from our heads within the shortest time possible before dashing off in our separate directions. Alongside all this I've been taking part in a rather energetic debate on my boss's blog about the future of the book. Actually, listed out like that I feel quite proud of myself now, and I've really been buzzing with the adrenalin rush that all this activity generates. But the problem is that the time I seem to be able to commit to each and every one of these things is just SO limited. And that's before I even begin to think about what a thin slice of me each of the children gets. I race home as quickly as I can each evening, hug them all in turn, try to establish what kind of a day each of them has had, virtually barking questions at Paul about what they've eaten, when they napped, whether he took them out anywhere.... and ... What? Paul? Attention from me? Well, he might as well just forget it for the next, ooh, let me see, about 20 years?! Poor sod.
Maybe this sounds like I'm moaning ('So much to do, so little time!'), but the reality is that's not how I feel. The majority of the time I really do feel like LAUGHING about the sheer craziness of life, the comicality of the juggling, the absurd juxtaposition of the wildly different aspects of my life (from bottom-wiping, mush-feeding, dribble-catching, hurt-comforting, story-reading chauffeur to strategy-setting, meeting-running, opinion-forming, team-leading e-publisher and back on a day-to-day basis)... the absolute joy that my children and I seem to be surviving despite it all. And if you ever see me smiling to myself it's because I'm so delighted that somehow, just somehow, even though sometimes things are a bit frayed around the edges, I seem to be holding it all together.


Dina said...

I cannot help but come back and comment. I admire you for your skinny dipping issues, (had to laugh about stomach must say that even though we have the weather for it right now I wouldn't do it either as I aswell have middle body extras!) Anyhow keep it up especially the laughing to yourself part, that sure is great! I like to do it to!!

Must get kids ready now for the day.Good day to you

spymum said...

SL, after reading that post all I can say is a hearty 'You go girlfriend!' (whilst shaking my head from side to side like a Oprah Winfrey Show audience member).

It is good to list things down sometimes so that you can really physically see what you have achieved.

Looks like you're achieving a heck of a lot! Yay for you!!

PS: The skinny dipping title - pure genius!