Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Comfort Zone

Where do you write?

I look for a place that is quiet, and when that fails, I look for a room with a door that locks and my ipod. And when that makes me feel like a bad mom, I'll sit on the back porch with my laptop and squint at the screen while the kids chase each other around the neighbor's yards.

When the sun gets too bright, I'll open an umbrella and sit under that, but then the screen looks all stripey and I can't stop checking out my hair in my reflection, and then I move inside to the kitchen table and crack a window so that I can still hear what's going on.

The problem here is that I waste a lot of time trying to write, trying to remember what I was thinking five minutes ago, before [insert child's name] came crying home with a scraped knee, and I put some Neosporin on it and a bandaid, but the Neosporin smeared and now the bandaid won't stick and [insert other child's name] is crying because[insert neighbor child's name] told them they couldn't play 'soldier hide-out' because my child won't give them the big watergun, that is actually neighbor child's weapon.

So, I get a teensy bit frustrated.


School is back in. Three kids down, one to go.

Jojo does all the standard things a 2 1/2 year old does. He stands on the couch next to me and jumps, wets his pants for attention (I studied functional behavior from the man who invented it at college, so I'm sure what the function of this behavior is.), lays on the floor with his shoes clutched to his chest and cries, "Weady go, Mommy!" As in "I'm ready to go to the park/pool/YMCA/store/playgroup/Granna's/eat lunch with Daddy/walk/ride bikes/sidewalk chalk/just get me out of this house!

Sometimes I feel like that as a writer. I have six hours a week (when noone is sick- last week I got zero hours due to illness)to write in solitaire. I will drop off Jonas at my friend's house for preschool and have 3.0 hours to do whatever I want. She lives 20 minuites away, but the library is only 5 minutes away from her house, so I go to the library. It is a small, 24'x40' building, but there are several desks and comfortable chairs (really- my toosh didn't fall asleep at all last time)and it is QUIET. A heaven on earth. I get more done there, away from my messes and refrigerator than I do in any six hours at home.

I don't want to misconstrue things. I love my kids and they are amazing and so fun.

I'm just speaking to the frustration of having a reasonable goal- such as edit one chapter a week- and not being able to get it done! My family is my life, and I was happy without writing, but I wouldn't be happy without them. I do need some time to work on my goals, and writing satisfies my creative itch. I'm trying to set some boundaries for writing and children, because good fences make good neighbors.

How do you carve out time for yourself- whatever it is you do for you?

I drove car pool yesterday, and all the kids had watched Obama's speech. My kids couldnt remember anything that he had said, but Neighbor Girl and Boy informed me that he'd said a Bad Word.

"What word?"

"I can't say it."

"It's okay. I just want to know what it was. You won't get in trouble."

"The 's' word."

My kids nod, solemnly remembering the moment of horror.

"The 'ST' word!" girl chimes in.

Ahhh, this is why everyone was so worried. I dig and, though noone will say the word, find that Obama said that even if you make mistakes, it doesn't mean you're "that word." I'm okay with that message. Have a great day!

1 comment:

  1. You're reading my mind! I've been whiny this week, because hey! I don't NEED to do this! I have a 40/hour work week with my job, why am I dragging my butt upstairs into the bedroom every night, parked for at least two (sometimes three) hours in front of a laptop still working?

    I'm crazy, right?

    I think that's the only suitable answer. ;-)

    Thanks for letting me know I'm not the only one who gets a) a little burned out and b) has to scrabble for those precious writing hours.