When Life Happens


Goals (Photo credit: Celestine Chua)

People who know me know that I am a planner. And that’s really just a nice way of saying “control freak.”

I’ve gotten better about it. When things don’t go my way, I’m not as likely to flip out as I used to be. But still, as a self-motivated person, I set personal goals and stick to them for a reason. Even if those plans don’t mean anything to anyone else, they mean something to me.

So this weekend was going to be a full one. We would end the week with my husband visiting our kindergartener’s class and talking to them about his job, and later in the afternoon, I would take the boys on a quick trip to visit their grandparents.

As far as freelancing goes, I have certain tasks that I complete each day, and after the kids are in bed, I get to work on my own writing. A while ago, I devised a goal for the end of January: finish the first draft of my NaNoWriMo novel.

Yes, I did complete the 50,000-word goal before the end of November (actually, it was over 80,000 at that point), but the novel wasn’t done. One week out from the end of the month, my goal seemed almost too easy to attain. It was practically a sure thing.

Well, as you have most likely already figured out, things did not exactly go my way – or anyone else’s – this weekend. Life struck in a really awful way – in the form of that nasty fiend, the stomach bug. I can’t say I was totally unprepared because my younger son had it earlier in the week, but he got over it quickly, and no one else I knew had it.

But by Thursday evening, I had a bad feeling. My husband did the grocery shopping and took the kids to my son’s open house while I… well, let’s just say everyone involved is glad I decided not to tough it out and go with them.

After they got home, Thomas made some quick plans for how he would get the kids everywhere they needed to go and still talk to Peter’s class the next day. He would even take them with him to a meeting later in the afternoon to give me a break.

Then, when he was getting ready for bed, Peter woke up with the bug. Shortly after Thomas got done cleaning up Peter’s room, Ian awoke with it, too.

Not only were my own plans busted, but so were everyone else’s. On the plus side, I don’t have to feel bad about missing a day of exercise because I lost weight, anyway. But school and our trip and everything else I hoped to do were put on the back burner. I just wanted to make it through the night.

So my personal goal is shot. At times like this, it’s easy to give in and throw away goals all together. But the planner in me won’t let me give up so easily. I’m well enough to sit up and type, and maybe not quite being 100% will lend my story some really cool/trippy ending, even if it’s a few days later than planned.

And another plus: since I was so useless that I could do little more than sit around, I did some web surfing and found a short fiction contest with the deadline of January 31st. So I thought, What the heck? – might as well get something productive done, even if it wasn’t a part of the original plan – and revised a story and submitted it. At least there’s something positive coming out of my blown-to-bits weekend.

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5 thoughts on “When Life Happens

  1. releaf1954 says:

    Seriously? You’re recuperating from a stomach bug and you still did your weekly blog post on schedule AND you revised a story and submitted it to a contest? I’m not worried about your NaNoWriMo novel. I’m sure you will finish it.

  2. releaf1954 says:

    February could be a great month for finishing things. You caught a horrible stomach bug. You get a free pass on the January thing.

  3. […] Last week, I blogged about not being able to finish writing my novel on my own timeline because I got sick. But once I was well and able to get to work again, I realized that getting sick was merely a diversion from the ugly truth: I was stuck. […]

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