It's something most of us never feel we have enough of, right?
Between work away from home, work at home, busy brain keeping you awake (admit it, you know exactly what I mean), families, dinner, being a taxi service, homework duty, hunching over your keyboard and typing furiously in the middle of the night--well, maybe that's just me. But I doubt it--there never seems to be enough time to do everything right.
I've been thinking tonight, though, about how much of that furious rush is self-imposed.
As some of you know, I'm a wife and mother of four, from college-age to first grade (and if you don't think going to #1 Son's high school graduation the day before #2 Son's Kindergarten graduation wasn't funny, I can't know you). I also volunteer in the library at my younger kids' school, shuttle people around, try to spend time with a parent that has a chronic illness, teach religious education to fifth graders at my church, and try to slip in a little writing here and there. And editing of a new manuscript. And research for another book. I volunteer with Fictionista Workshop (www.fictionistaworkshop.com), a fabulous resource for writers, and work as a freelance editor for several authors, which I love. In between all this, I tend to read a lot.
Hey, can't be a decent writer if you don't read, right? Part of reading, to me, is writing, so I review most of what I read as well, both on GoodReads and Amazon.
Because of the publication of my novel, the reviewing, and the editing I've done I've had some lovely opportunities come up: first, I'll soon be reviewing novels for the New York Journal of Books (http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/)! My dream! Free books and an excuse to read them! I spent a lot of today setting that up.
Second, I've been approached to edit for an up-and-coming political site. This is right up my alley, as my degree work was in political science and history. Getting prepped for this is taking time, too.
In between, I was dealing with paperwork for my oldest's college, and beginning paperwork in preparation for starting the next phase of my own education: after more years than I care to think about, I'm exploring the possibility (see how I hedged my bets there? I'm tricky--remember that) of working toward a Masters in English.
See what I mean about how much stress is self-imposed?
But as I sit here tonight, punchy and tea-sodden, I keep asking myself, "What would you give up?"
The family is off the table, of course (though there are days...).
Editing? BUT I LOVE THAT!
Writing? PFFT. AS IF.
Reviewing? CAN'T. JUST CAN'T.
Maybe I need stress to be me.
Regardless, tomorrow, after a quick morning check of emails and posting this brain dump, I'm not turning on the computer all day. I will walk my horsedog. I will visit with my mother. I will watch a horrible movie with my Little Man.
I WILL BREATHE.
And I refuse to feel guilty.