I’m coming down to the nitty gritty end of a six-month-long project right now, and my entire life has been more or less thrown over. Freelancing is a lot like being in college, with long stretches of time during which I more or less do what I want (aka the last year), followed by intense weeks or months of total concentration and flat-out effort, when everything else falls by the wayside.

When most people think of freelancing, they dream of the flexible schedule and home office, and don’t realize that it takes a hell of a lot of motivation and discipline to actually make it work. Even I forget how much work it is during the down times.

Right now, I’m remembering. Full force.

Being a professor, Gabe works in a similar way. Most of the time, he’s flexible and can work from anywhere. Sometimes, it’s all out, nose to the grindstone, no messing around. And sometimes, as with the past month, it happens to both of us at the same time. While I’ve been finishing this project, he’s been preparing for classes, which start today. When this happens, and thankfully it’s rare, we become a single-minded household. We still spend time with each other and our families, of course, but housework? Forget about it. Social life? Not so much. Sleeping? Well, that’s hit or miss.

This time, the evidence of our concentration is made painfully obvious by a cursory glance at our house. As soon as we had the office set up last month, we both abandoned the moving process and started working. There are still pictures propped against the walls, waiting to be hung up. Our ketuba sits in the office, still wrapped in its protective layers of paper and cardboard. And the garden… oh, the garden. I have to close my eyes and run to my car every time I go out, so as to avoid looking at the bleak destruction that was once a front lawn.

Three more weeks, and I can expand my focus again. And yes, that does include writing some more. And maybe even cleaning the house.