I have a story and a research proposal sort of arm wrestling inside my brain. The one on the left is demanding I commit a minimum of three hours per day to my homework, and basically burn my way through the last of the course material so I can put this particular circle of Hell behind me. I can see her point. The one on the right is revealing bits and pieces of the
semester break out-of-control fiction project, whilst exhorting me to eat cookies, watch movies, and catch up with my bloggy friends. Her position as also valid… and enticing. Both are aware that any after-work time with my kids is fleeting and precious. Both wonder if that will ever change.
I write because I have to. It’s just something I’ve always done, and may be the only reason I don’t have a therapist on speed-dial. I don’t pretend to be a particularly talented writer, but I do love it, and when the words come together in a way that pleases me, I’m happy about it for a good long while. (But happier still when the words come together in a way that pleases you!) For a few months, I flirted with the idea of getting paid to write, you know, as a blogger. Maybe run some ads, write some sponsored posts, generate some revenue. (Revenue would definitely be nice.) But as much as I admire those who make a living (or even just pad their grocery budget) this way, it requires a greater time investment than I can manage. I suck at keeping up with other peoples’ blogs, when school is in. I suck even more at coming up with any kind of meaningful comment when my brain is attempting to operationalize a philosophical question into quantifiable variables with real-world testability, while at the same time drawing next scenes for this story about
a girl a woman a survivor of the dark in a dark place. I catch up at reading week, and during semester break, or I’ll read whatever is at the top of my inbox when I don’t have quite enough time to start a new assignment or clean something before the kids are up from Quiet Time. That’s no way to maintain or build a community, I know! But it does make the bloggy friendships I have feel more meaningful and authentic, to me.
So, tonight, at the end of her ball game, Danica’s coach gave us a practice bat and a handful of wiffle balls to practice batting at home. Because she’s the only kid on her team who can’t do it, and we can all see her losing interest as a result. My first thought? We’re going to have to practice for fifteen minutes or so, every day. And my second thought? How the hell am I going to make time for THAT? Danica’s one of those kids who has to be good at it to be interested in it. She gets frustrated when she can’t do it the first time, angry when she can’t do it the second time, and resigned when the third attempt flops, too. I get that. It took me a lot of years to figure out that it’s the learning, not the doing, that matters. She’ll get there. But in the meantime, I owe her a chance to improve her skills. I owe her the memory of the two of us doing this thing, together. I owe it to myself, too. Because wouldn’t it suck if I left my desk job so I wouldn’t have to miss anything with my kids, and then missed everything anyway?
Thank you for reading and commenting and keeping up with my insanity this last while. I will catch up with you, as soon as I can :-) And when the fiction posts come up? You’ll know which wrestler to bet on, next time.