Friday, May 8, 2009

Moms, writing and working

There are only 24 hours in a day. God did it on purpose and no matter how hard we try we can't cram 26 hours of things to do in a 24 hr day. Come on, Moms, you all know you do that.

I know I do. There's so much to get to every day that somehow something gets left behind. Between family, work and writing I simply run out of day. I know I'm not perfect. My family doesn't always get the best of me, but I try and I think I'm improving. After all, that's what life is about. If you don't know where you need improvement you might be working on the wrong thing.

I love my day care kids. I have the day care so I can help support the family and still be here for my kids when they need me. But it's my job, not my career. Writing is my career.

For me, writing is breathing. I sometimes struggle to do both and yet I can't give up either. Breathing is a struggle because of my asthma and allergies and that fun stuff. Writing is a struggle because, mostly, I run out of time. Work has to happen--the money has to come in. The family doesn't let itself be ignored, which is good since it has to be a priority. And yet so much of who I am is wrapped up in the writing I don't have time to do.

I become an incredibly irritable and crabby person when I don't write regularly. The outlet is vital to my being an emotionally contributing member of this family. It should be prioritized. It's important. It's that one thing that fills the spaces in my heart not already taken up with the people I love.

This year I sewed my daughters' Easter dresses. I really have a problem with the available spring fashions in Utah. Nearly every dress sold for little girls is sleeveless or short sleeved and, HELLO!--it's sometimes 50 degrees on Easter around here! So you buy your little girl a beautiful dress and then have to cover it up with a sweater, jacket or coat. Forget it. My daughter wore Easter dresses with long sleeves.

The dresses turned out amazing. Better than I would have thought I could do. I approach sewing in much the same way I approach writing. I see it in my head first and then work to make it look like what I saw. This will include piecing together parts from different patterns to make what I want or making it up as I go. Both sewing and writing are formulaic. Certain things have to fit together in order for it to work. Unfortunately I can never repeat a sewing creation. But that's also true of my writing. Nothing is ever exactly the same.

The experience gave me the confidence to say I would make Kylie's baptism dress this year. We could even use my Temple wedding dress. It will be beautiful. Don't get me wrong. With $60 to spare I'd drive to Orem and buy her the one I've been eyeballing for months. But money's tight. These days, that's almost a universally accepted condition.

So much to do, so little time. What am I doing here?

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