by Emily Dietrich

Smack Dab

This just happened: I sat down to write an entry about dropping my career down the list when both my granddaughter and mother-in-law needed something. I checked today’s calendar quick before I started. Low and behold, I was at that moment missing an appointment with my therapist. Nineteen minutes late for it and I sat here. By the time I got there, I would be forty minutes late. I emailed my apology. And I really could have used that appointment.

The only reason I forgot to go is that I remembered everything I had to do. I was at my mother-in-law’s supporting her efforts to ready her studio to get down to creating art again after moving across the country, when my daughter called from school. She needed the power cord to her computer to take notes on auditions for a play she’s directing. I left my mother-in-law’s, forgetting the stuff I was supposed to bring to our house, picked up the cord and delivered it. A few blocks before the school, I saw my son. He needed a ride back from working on a group project for Japanese. Nice that I happened to see him before I got home again! He and I arrived home and took the garbage out. I cleaned the rabbit’s litter box and fed him and sat down and

There it was. My thing. I had forgotten to do MY thing. I figured out how to maneuver through the day for all of the above, plus more (getting our piano tuned, for example), but I forgot MY thing.

Huh. I think about it like this. I’m holding four or five bags while I walk a tightrope in toe shoes. A moment comes when I have to drop one of them in order to adjust my balance. I just drop me without thinking, either my self-care or my career. There isn’t a moment of decision at all. It just happens.

And where am I? Smack dab in the middle, so right there with it. And at the same time in danger of disappearing.

My really good news, though, is right here under my fingers. I still wrote this! I wrote it, I’m writing it—it’s almost finished. And writing this equals not forgetting me. It means remembering that my book is coming out in a month. It means remembering that I am building a career. It means keeping myself on the list. It means VICTORY!

Author: Emily

Emily Dietrich is a poet, novelist, and mystery writer.