Sunday, March 08, 2009

Don't Quit Your Day Job

Creating and Losing an Hour

Daylight Savings starts tonight, which of course means me we lose an hour. I’m always so pressed for time that I cannot afford to lose an hour.

Let’s start with the fact that all my writing fell by the wayside this last week. My day job exploded with a massive amount of work, my son had two big tests that he needed help studying for and I physically felt like a zombie the whole time. By Friday, instead of feeling completely wiped out, I was filled with vigor…I could finally get back to my writing.

I think it’s a great sign that I miss my writing now. I used to go for months and even years at a time without writing a single word. It would take a rare day to myself, or troubled feelings, to get me to put pen to paper. Now, it’s beginning to feel odd to go more than a couple of days without creating. It’s definitely a good sign, yet sometimes it’s another thing for me to feel guilty about. My son leaves on a week-long camping trip tomorrow. This crowds my weekend writing time with shopping for items he’ll need and helping him pack. On the other hand, it will free up my weekday nights. For one week, there will be no homework demands, one less drop off and pick each day and a quieter household.

As a mother, the real challenge will be to use this week as a gift to my writing and not a week of fretting and worrying about my son. Easier said than done. My son, although twelve, has never been away from home this long. Last summer, he stayed with my sister for a week, but that was different. This week he’ll be with his 6th grade class, hiking, sleeping in a cabin, eating whatever food is served, finding his own shoes in the morning… basically caring for himself exclusively, without me.

Often when I feel this way, I can clean and accomplish many duties around the house, but creating is difficult. My mind tends to be adrift and I guess I almost feel guilty if I’m not concentrating on worrying about the welfare of my children. Is he having fun? Is he getting along with the other kids? Does he miss home? My natural instinct is to pine away instead of take advantage of the free time I’m bestowed.

So, yet another challenge awaits me. Can I create while the emotions of motherhood are in the way? Before I know it, my children will be grown and gone .It’s actually good practice for them and for me.

Instead of bemoaning my lost daylight savings hour, I should revel in all the extra time coming my way this week. That’s what I’m going to do. Today, I’m going to run around and gather last minute items for my son’s trip (sunblock, a knitted cap, the list goes on) and then focus on productive and fruitful week-long writing.

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