Same wave length
I just finished reading Robin’s blog and I find I have a case of déjà vu. I too recently returned from a business trip that involved a little vacationing time for myself. A movie, a massage, a little shopping…a very interesting prospect for a woman who only has alone time late at night. Sadly, I forgot my journal or not, since as a writer I am doing absolutely no writing at all. I teach writing, but have no landscape in which to think. I have even stopped checking the Lowe’s ads for the storage barn, 10′ x 10′ that I promised to buy myself and make into an office once I started back teaching full time. The question of self-care is something I am grappling with in an ongoing way.
When I first started teaching in NYC and was working on my masters, I had a professor tell me that I needed to put in one hour per day so that I could really get some work done with my poems. After a day of teaching I would usually lay down around 6:30pm and wake up the next morning at 6:00am. I realized I was too wiped out to work in the evenings. At that point in my life, I was single. I finally decided to get up at 5:00am and write till 6:00am. I bought a calendar and on it I recorded every hour of writing with a smiley face. At the end of a month I would count my smiley faces and regularly reached 20 to 25 hours per month. So here’s the rub, I keep thinking that I should and could do that again, but now…I get at 5:00am so that I can get myself ready for my day, then get my daughter ready for school, and then leave for work by 7:30am. I wistfully think I could get up at 4:00am, but realistically I sleep so poorly that 5:00am comes quick. Actually, I am rolling out of bed at 5:20 or even 5:30am. Oh yeah and I am now 44 and then I was 36. I am a high energy woman, but not Superwoman. So how do I fit self-care into my life? I haven’t resolved this. I am hoping to really make a commitment here on this blog. One of the great side-effects of the one-hour-per-day-each-morning system was that I had done the thing that was most important to me first and as a result tended to feel happier overall. So maybe one hour per week could improve my mood…One hour per week though significantly less than one hour per day would add up and maybe even help create momentum, something every writer needs. The beauty of this blog besides Robin’s persistence is that the publishing component makes for instant gratification, which in a busy life is quite satisfying.
When a dear girlfriend from college days–who had children five years before I did and who is four years younger–had her second child, I quipped to a friend “she’s going to need a pick ax to carve out time for her work as an artist now that she’s got her hands full with two kids.” How prophetic those words are since I became a mother.