I walked in the door after meeting with a writing client and his wife. I was in writing mode, pumped up, ready to dig in and get some serious work done. It would be easy; it always is when I’m in that frame of mind.
But my daughter had something else on her mind. Would I take her to the fabric store to get some scraps for the rag rug she’s making?
This would be such a prime time to get some writing done and I knew it would come easily and efficiently, much easier than it does when I have to prime the pump. But my daughter is my first priority, above my work. And I’m keenly aware than in just a few short years she will be off to college, not here to ask for my time.
If I said yes to writing I’d feel guilty the whole time and my efficiency would go down the drain. If I said yes to my daughter, I’d never be able to retrieve the zone again and I’d feel guilty for not accomplishing something when I had the chance.
That’s how I live my life. Torn. This one scenario plays out day after day, only the characters and circumstances change. I want to write and produce and to have something to sell the people who always email me asking if I have another curriculum completed yet, but the reality is I’m a wife, a mother, a homemaker, a homeschooling mom, and I still haven’t figured out how to balance it all and accomplish much. And I spend a lot of time feeling guilty because of it.
And I’m writing this because if there is anything I truly want to be on this blog it’s real. And I know a lot of you experience the same struggles in one way or another and the same feelings and the same guilt.
I wish I had pat answers for all of us: a magic schedule that allows for writing time at just the right moments, a scale that perfectly balances life for writers so that nothing is ever out of whack, or even a crystal ball that lets us know the right choice to make every time we have to decide the best way to use our time. But I’m human and I don’t have any of those things to offer.
I do, however, offer empathy. I can feel your struggles. I know them well.
And I know the answer lies in listening to the Lord. I wish I could say that I always hear Him perfectly and always know the right choice to make, but sometimes I think I need a heavenly hearing aid.
So I offer encouragement to all of you who know what it feels like to be torn. You are not alone.
P.S. I struggled more pressing "publish" on this post than any I've ever written. It feels very raw and vulnerable, maybe too transparent. But it is what it is.
February 3, 2011
Labels: The Life of a Writer