Sunday, November 17, 2013

Making Time

You don't have time to write. 

I know you don't. Neither do I. 

That's because time doesn't hand itself to me. It just floats by, and I wander around NOT doing the things I want to be doing because of other have-tos. 

And yet I don't. I make time for exercise. EVERY DAY. Sometimes 2 1/2 hours of it. Sometimes more (I do take off the occasional day, but not very often). 

I do make time to teach my kids. LOTS of time. I make time to play on the computer in the mornings. I make time to read, even if it's just a half hour before bed (but it's usually more). I would make time for writing if I made it a priority. 

Sounds like it's time for a list. I'm brilliant with lists--they are part of my daily life. I keep a book of them around me at all times. But this is not a daily list. This list is an expression of what is most important to me, judging by what I do. IN ORDER. And it shows why I don't write enough.

1. My children and their schooling.
2. My job at the Firehouse (must keep it!).
3. Exercise.
4. Cleaning my house.
5. Reading.
6. Paying bills.
7. The hubby (isn't it horrible that he's so far down the list?).
8. Artistic pursuits (writing, painting, drawing, sewing, cooking, piano, everything).

THIS is why I don't write. I put it last on the list. I am more likely to take out the trash or wash my car than write! Ack!

What the list should be…

1. My children and their schooling.
2. The hubby (sorry I don't keep you here).
3. Exercise (have to keep it here for health reasons).
4. My writing.
5. Other artistic pursuits.
6. My job at the Firehouse.
7. Cleaning house.
8. Paying bills and other necessaries.
9. Reading.

Now I just need to print this out and follow it! 

Can you re-prioritize? If you did, what would you change?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pulling Teeth

I did manage to write a little yesterday. Okay, I revised, but given that I'm changing verb tense throughout the novel, AND trying to make it into what it should be at the same time, I'm practically re-writing it.

But I don't have much time to write at this point. Homeschooling is taking every free moment I have (unless it's 6 a.m, and the kids are still sleeping, which is why I can write this entry). Getting my kids to DO THEIR WORK is about as difficult as getting myself to face this novel for the umpteenth time to make it better.

So everything in my life is dragging. And the stress that results is about to kill me. I looked in the mirror last night and thought THIS is the year I get my gray hairs. No way around it, not with this stress.

Could I send the kids to school? Yup, but it wouldn't work. I've tried that. It was nearly as time-consuming, between working all afternoon and late into the night with my daughter on work the school had brushed over, and going to face the principal and teachers when my son was acting up, acting out, or just refusing to participate in anything classroom-related. And then standing over him to make him do the make-up work that he refused to finish in class.


I'd rather be at the dentist.

In a bit, I'll have to start the long day again… my one-person fight to help my kids find something to love about school, to get them to take responsibility for their own tasks, to teach, to find any time for myself, to find joy in the moment, in the day, in the year.

Taoism specifically describes the "way" or "flow" of one's life. If one is following the natural "way," or "tao," one feels calm, one finds the tasks run smoothly, one has a sense that all the pieces fit together.

And that suggests to me that I am not following the natural flow of my life, for I feel as if I'm wading upstream, the stream is at flood stage, and I'm dragging a semi-truck that someone has tied around my waist. And I'm making no progress at all.

How do I find the correct path? I feel like I've been off the right road for so long that I will never find my way back.

I have no answers. I had hoped, with morning, that they would come--any of them--but I wait in vain.


Monday, November 11, 2013

What's the Worst that Could Happen?

If I don't write, the world won't come to an end.

Will it?

Besides, the laundry needed doing. I'm only finishing the last load this morning because I spent more time on it yesterday than I did on writing. I had the afternoon--and I was planning to write, really--but then I realized I had the whole week's lesson plans to do.

Now that the internet is working on my work computer, I have a mass e-mail to send out. And arts classes to plan. And vendors to e-mail. And I still have to fold the last two loads of laundry. And teach class.

And I'm sure I can think of other things to fill my time with instead of writing. Let's see, there's "take a nap," in case I'm the slightest bit tired. I could also "unload the dishwasher," even though the kids can do that on their own. And "nag kids to do their homework" should take up at least an hour or two. If I don't take the time to nag them, I won't really feel like a mom. I can't write down "paint," though. Too creative. I have to put that at the bottom of the list, along with "sew." Wouldn't want to get any actual MAKING done today. Better to feel the day is a complete scrap.


As long as I put writing at the bottom of the list--along with music, art, and any other creative pursuits--it won't get done. And then I'll never finish a project. And I'll never have to face critics. The pressure will be off.

But I won't be a writer. Or an artist. Or a costume designer.

I guess I better get to work. The REAL work, too. Not sweeping. Not laundry. Writing.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Snarky Voices

Some people have their own cheering section. You know these people. Perhaps you are one of these people, but you'll never admit it. These are the people who go out for American Idol and insist to the world that they are the best singers EVER. And they stink. Absolutely stink. But they have no understanding of singing, or what it takes to sing well, and cannot hear how horrid they are.

These are the ones who don't understand why they don't just "get" grades they want. Why don't people see how smart they are? Why don't people recognize their brilliance, and all rally behind them because they are, simply put, AWESOME? These people are frustrated when others don't simply agree with them. After all, they are ALWAYS RIGHT.

Hubris. Gotta love it.

I think it spreads around a lot more than we are willing to admit.

But then, I wouldn't know. I'm so far from hubris it's amazing I'm still trying. Sure, these self-assured people can get annoying, but it would be nice to BE one of these people, if only for a day.

I got the snarky voices instead. The critical ones who don't stop talking even when I relax at the piano keys. Who grumble even when I actually do make some headway on my novel revisions. I'm wondering more and more whether I am just schizophrenic, if these voices are a manifestation of my own insanity.

All I know is they won't stop talking, and they don't say anything nice.

Where do they come from? Every corner of my life. Every stray negative comment. Sure, I can block them out, but not completely. I can argue with them, or take action despite their derision, but I still hear them. That is why I am ultra cautious about what I tell others. I don't want to contribute to their own voices… at least not the way I contribute to my own.

But I will continue to fight them. I will keep writing, keep painting, keep drawing, and keep writing, despite all they say. I will never give up.