Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Finding Balance

I think the thing I hear most from my friends, family and other writers is, "How in the world do you find time to write with three kids?" I also get this question about how I find time to read. And the answer is simple: you make time to do what you love.  Do what you love, and you'll love what you do. That's my new mantra. Excuses take away from success, so I'm done making excuses in every part of my life.

But, that said, I still find it hard to achieve balance in my life. I become so absorbed with my characters when I'm writing that they seem to be living with me. I think about them in the shower, when I'm eating, and when I'm watching Number Two play basketball. I think about how they'd react to a certain person, what they would say, and even what they would order at a restaurant. Writers are a little crazy like that: they always have someone else living in their heads.

On Monday, Darling Daughter was diagnosed with double ear infections. I'm hoping she won't need tubes again, but she may. When I came home from the day job that night, I was on a mission to put "No Turning Back" on Createspace, order my cover and spine. Nothing could get in my way, and as a result I sat on the couch with the computer as kiddos clambered over me, but mostly I ignored them. And I felt bad. I felt bad the next day when Darling Daughter woke up and crawled into my lap, throwing her arms around me (still, and not for much longer, smelling a little bit like a baby), and kissed me on the cheek. She said, "I love you Mommy."  And my heart melted, and I decided I would have to take a day off from (or rather the night off) from writing, editing, or doing the next thing that needed to get done on Tuesday. I needed to spend time with the kids. So we went to my Mom and Dad's house, and Darling Daughter followed my Mom around while I watched Rio with Hubby and Number Two. Number One was busy at the gym perfecting his kip on the high bars.

Still, I felt better that night, like I had been present for them.  And to top it all off, Number Two and I read "The Giving Tree," before bed. And I told him how giving and caring he is, and how I'm envious of those qualities that seem to reside in his soul.

Balance is hard for me. When I get absorbed in a work-in-progress, it's hard for me to pull myself away.  How do you find balance between your work/life?  Having a day job, kids, and trying to write (more or less full time) is tricky business.

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