Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Is Life All About Logistics?

I haven't posted since summer because of...logistics.

Two weeks before school started, I found out that J.J.'s school day had been moved back an entire hour! That complicated things because I teach a few classes at the end of the school day. My chorus became, "I'm trying to work out the logistics."

You know when Jon Stewart of The Daily Show does a montage of a silly story that the news media is absolutely obsessed with? Like the Obama girls' lunch menu. Well, if I had been in the background of various people's home videos, that's what it would have looked like:

At the block party: "I found out just two weeks before messes up all the logistics."

At the soccer game: "Had I known earlier, I would have rearranged my whole the logistics are in a tailspin."

In the school parking lot: "I'm thinking of sending him to first grade an entire year earlier...just for the sake of logistics."

Well, it ended up my mom and a friend are helping me with the situation until next semester, at which point I'll have rearranged my whole schedule. (As all moms know, it takes longer than two weeks to rearrange your whole work schedule.)

But logistics had already become my buzz word.

"How is school going?" another mom would ask me.

"Just trying to work out the logistics," I'd say.

I started to think about work in terms of logistics, too. When the recession hit, my marketing work dropped off. But my children's book business picked up. Well, now the recession has hit school library books because funding is down. That has hurt my work-for-hire business. Work-for-hire is great because a publisher commissions you to write the book and pays you a couple months later, as opposed to you writing it, and then taking up to two years to sell it.

People would ask how work was going.

"Great--just figuring out the logistics of the economy."

I'd never used the word "logistics" in my life, and now it was all I ever talked about.

Was life all about logistics?

I even thought of seeing friends in terms of logistics. If I worked out with one of my friends in the morning, I could see her twice a week...but I had to get back to make breakfast--another logistical nightmare.

Not that I didn't see the folly of my thinking. I told my sister-in-law that if this is how I reacted to a scheduling change, God forbid I would ever have a real problem. And yet, that didn't stop me from talking about logistics!

Then my friend and I went to a Spin class. Now, I never expected to have a revelation during spin class. I hadn't even ridden a bike since childhood, at which point I fell off it onto my head, got lost for two or three hours, and had the whole neighborhood looking for me. This was in high school, by the way. So I was just hoping not to fall off the stationary bike.

Well, the teacher started giving us a pep talk. "You guys are here working out while everybody else is asleep. You're going to have a great day."

And I thought, you know, instead of thinking about the "logistics" of our day every morning, I should give the boys a little pep talk.

"Look at you boys, wearing your white shirts and ties for Mass day. People better climb on board because you're going places."

Then the spin instructor put on a song about how we should all get out of our heads and get into our hearts.

And that's when it hit me. Life is not all about logistics unless you make it that way. Life is about taking time for each other. Granted, I have to get the kids to and from school, but I don't have to think about it constantly. Instead, I should focus on asking them how the school year is going for them. (You know, getting the juicy gossip.)

And while I do have to find a way to make a living as a children's book writer, that doesn't have to be about logistics, either. I love kids' books and writing kids' books. I also love the people in this business. If I keep enjoying all that, it will lead to new connections. In fact, it already has. I have a lead on a second editor who may hire me for work-for-hire books, and I'm starting to market my picture book, which will hopefully be a good business, too.

And marketing something you love is really fun. Not that I know what I'm doing. I started a Facebook page called Author Bridget Heos. I thought it would be dorky if on my regular Facebook page I started only talking about picture books. (Or maybe I could only talk about logistics!) So on top of already asking people to be my friend, I was now also asking them to "like me," too. Also, I appeared to have changed my first name to "Author" and middle name to "Bridget" which isn't dorky at all.

When faced with a choice of two dorky things, why do I always choose the dorkiest? Meanwhile, there is probably some cool choice out there which doesn't even occur to me.

Anyway, that's why I haven't blogged since this summer. Logistics. And then Illogistics.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post reminds me of what the great George Strait said, "Life's not the breaths you take ... It's the moments that take your breath away." - Josh

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I use "logistics" a lot in my work - however, I now see "logistics" as the new word for "multi-tasking" - Logistics says "organized" - I think I like it Bridget! KStein

9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was laughing out loud about when you fell off your bike in high school. We were all in a panic wondering what had happened to you and now I'm cracking up at the way you tell it. I also like the part about your changing your name to Author, and making dorky choices. It's great to LOL. You make it easy. love, Mom

6:54 PM  
Blogger Tim Higgins said...

F. Scott Fitzgerald (someone else who knows a little bit about writing books), once said, "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function."

It appears that you have recognized this early in life and without Mr Fitzgerald's aid. Brava!

Time is in fact a rather curious thing, and logistics is often defined as the military science of using time and materials in dealing with all of the details of a campaign. You are entirely correct that it sometimes seems we must treat life in such a fashion, and also right that it takes much of the joy from it in doing so.

Personally, I try to remember an anonymously credited quote about time that often seems more fitting, "Time is that quality of nature which keeps events from happening all at once. Lately it doesn't seem to be working."

9:46 AM  

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