Yup, I've been gone from regular posting for a few weeks. I've missed you. Somehow, I always forget how chaotic and stressful back to school is for a campus professional. There are few things I love more than my college students (hi, you guys!) but going back to work has been stressful and exhausting in ways I somehow forget every year.
You know, people often ask me how I "do it all" - working a (three-quarters time) day job, managing my house, taking care of my kids, writing books, looking halfway decent every day, sleeping enough, and maintaining my sanity.
I don't like to complain, because I truly am grateful for every aspect of my life that makes me crazy busy. Healthy kids, a job working with people I love, a house to live in, a budding writing career. Also, because I really don't like to assume myself more busy than anyone else. Everyone has responsibilities and stresses that take up their time and leave them suffering from Not Enough Hours in the Day syndrome.
But when people ask me how I "Do it All," I try to be honest and clear - I don't. If I'm spending time on the weekend with my kids, you can well assume that there's a disastrous house or languishing CP on the other end of that equation. If I'm being productive with drafting or revisions, you can bet my elliptical - and abs - haven't seen any action for weeks. More often than not, I'm running on not enough sleep, and dealing with chronic anxiety and depression to boot. And even with All the Coffee and a supportive spouse, there are only so many writing minutes you can squeeze out of a day before you collapse in a fit of exhausted tears.
I guess what I want to say is that fitting writing into your life isn't easy. Sometimes, it's damn near impossible.
Either way, it takes sacrifice.
I spend less time with my kids than I could, I've all but given up cooking, I do minimal housekeeping. I still have twenty pounds of baby weight to lose and, honestly, I'm not sure it'll come off any time soon. I don't watch TV. I don't do a lot of hanging out with girlfriends, and my kids never go on playdates.
Do I regret any of these things? Heck no. I know I'll never look back on my life and say, "I really wish my kitchen floor would have been cleaner," but I definitely would think, "Damn, it would have been awesome if I had just made the time for that Mansfield Park redux."
So, I slept less, spent some cash on babysitters, had a dirty house and a couple nervous breakdowns. But I wrote the redux. Sacrifice.
|Licensed for use under CC by Thomas (donnga BS) - thank you!|
That's not to say there won't be times when I take weeks or months away from writing - I've just taken a couple weeks "off," and I'm not sure exactly how much more time I'll need to get adjusted.
Burt I do know that, now, once again, I have to figure out the new balance of work, self-care, and family to enable me to keep writing in which the sacrifice does not have to be my sanity.
What about you? When people ask you how you do it all, what do you tell them? What sacrifices do you make for doing the things that you love?
P.S. - Watch this blog over the next several days for exciting news about something new and awesome that I'm lucky enough to be part of! (no, it's not a book deal, or anything like that. But it is awesome. I promise.)