Tuesday, April 3, 2007
He who shirks action does not obtain freedom; no one can gain perfection by abstaining from work - Bhagavad Gita
Aloha from Honolulu. It is a warm Saturday afternoon, and I feel I can tell you all that without the worry of nasty rebuttals. It is finally warming up on the mainland, right?
Well, like Alyson I really struggled with what to blog about today. I spent all of today cleaning my house, and it is still not done! I have to say this is probably the second messiest my house has even been in my entire life. There is not one clean surface to eat on. By “clean” I mean non-cluttered. There is stuff everywhere! Laundry waiting to be washed, laundry waiting to be folded, but now so wrinkled that no one will want to wear any of the clothes. Toys, books, mail, home-school supplies, and other odds and ends strewn from one end of the house to another. And the clock is ticking. I only have 2 hours left until the hubby is home from Maui. He is a great guy, but he does get VERY crabby if the house is a mess, and since I am the stay at home Mom, well, you can guess whose job it is to clean it. Which brings me to my blog topic today, actually......
Family Support of a Writer.
Now, I am by no means Cinderella, but I do get a little overwhelmed by the amount of work I do and the amount of help I receive. My hubby works 14 hour days - sometimes 16 or 18 when things in the military world are extra tense- so I feel very guilty asking him to pitch in. However, when I get comments like “You are on the computer again?”, “Did you spend all day writing, is that why the house is a disaster?”, I get a bit irked. Interestingly, there is a flip side to these comments. I also get “ You always talk about being a writer, why don’t you just do it?”
Oh honey, did that fork land in your temple? I am so sorry, I can’t imagine how that happened!
My problem is, and it is highly dubious that it really is a problem, I am married to a Type A super hero. The kind of guy who can diaper a baby, scour the house from top to bottom, cook a four course meal using one pot and a fork, and finish his dissertation on orbital mechanics, all in the time it takes me to drive to the grocery store to pick up the gallon of milk I forgot when I went shopping earlier that day. I, however, am not that type of person. I can barely keep track of what day it is. Knowing this, how do I convince my hubby to let the little things go, like a tidy house, and let my creativity soar? Good question.
My loving offsprings’ particular talent is interruptions. Following Macy and Alyson’s lead, I have been getting up at 5 am to start my day and write before the little ones are out of bed. 5:05 am - “Mommy why are you on the computer?” "Mommy is being a writer today, Go back to bed, please.” “Mommy I am hungry now, can I have a cookie?” “No it is 5am, you can have a cookie after lunch, please go back to bed.” “Momm-” “GET BACK IN THAT BED BEFORE I TIE YOU TO IT!!!”
Ok, I am not that crabby in the morning, maybe by 7 p.m. I can be heard yelling things of that nature. There must be a inner Mommy meter in their head that lets them know when I have risen from my bed. This is the same part of their brain that lets them know that you are on the telephone for the first time in months and all of a sudden they will die if you don’t help them find their blankie, get them a snack, or listen to the latest round of “Mommy, know what?..”
They are still pretty secure in their ego and the whole world revolves around their needs, so I can hardly blame them for that. Following the advise of my AOTP gals, I have explained to them that I want to be a writer, and I think they are getting it. They have stopped interrupting chats, and as soon as they get used to my new writing schedule they will stop interrupting the early morning writing sessions as well. I think they know how bad I want this, and they also instinctively know that I am not willing to sacrifice their childhood to get it.
In order to succeed as a writer, you have to write. Not just chat about it, read about it, and take classes and workshops about it. A writer writes. It is that simple. My plans earlier in life included just that. I was going to be a writer. I was going to live in the woods, on top of a mountain, in my log cabin with a dog. I was going to write. Now I live with 2 cats, two kids, and a man. So not in my plans! But, I would not change a thing, at least most days I wouldn’t.
To continue with my dream, I must meld my fantasy life with my real life and find a workable solution. Life is about compromises and balance. I mean this in both a physical and spiritual sense.
So, what is the answer for winning your family’s support? I guess I would suggest four things:
1. Follow the AOTP gals’ advise: Sit your family down and explain to them how bad you want to write.
2. Give your family a set plan or itinerary. If they know ahead of time what you are going to be doing and what time you will be doing it, there may not be so much resistance. “Sunday afternoons, and Tuesday evenings are Mommy’s writing hours. Please do not disturb Mommy during these times. Mommy will take care of everything before or after these times.”
3. Take the time to organize as much of the rest of your life in order to allow yourself the time to write without guilt or apprehension!
4. Well, #4 just pertains to me, but you can use it too, if you want to: End each day with a glass of good wine.
Here’s to hoping your family is supportive of your dreams and ambition! Cheers!