Friday, January 21, 2011

Desperately Looking for Time to Write

Yesterday I got very upset with my family for not giving me time to write in peace for just a few minutes.  After some thought the programmer in me realized we are having a process issue.  Luckily, process issues can be solved. 

The problem is everyone but me has time allotted to do their work, whatever it is that's important to them.  My husband obviously gets support from us to get to work on time.  If he's running late or it's a holiday and he hasn't done his time sheet, I make certain everyone backs right off of him so he can meet his deadline.  If he needs to study for an exam, I make sure he has time for that.  I always ask the kids how much homework they have each night and give them that uninterrupted block of time.  When the two year old (who I keep calling the baby) needs attention, he gets it. I am the manager of time for our family every day. But I find myself only stealing minutes here and there for me, unable to accomplish anything.

The obvious solution is to set aside dedicated time for me to write.  But it's never that easy.  My husband routinely offers to watch the kids while I write either early in the morning before I can function or late at night when I'm completely used up.  I need some time in the middle when I can efficiently write, ideally just after my shower when I write the best.  The shower blocks out the sounds in the house and relaxes me.  The ideas flow without any coaxing. 

Right now I sit here with wet hair smelling clean and delicious.  I just jotted down an idea for a chapter of my story about anxiety.

But it's a snow day.  My husband is working at home.  My big kids are home and are bored with watching the baby and building the alphabet train one more time.  My baby is super excited to have the kids at home and is playing loudly with them.   My daughter and baby just came in and plopped down on my bed near my desk while I was trying to write.  My daughter respected my need for peace and tried to quiet the babes.  But his needs supersede mine.  And no one knew where his game was but me or which game he was talking about, his little Leapster gameboy. 

It sounds strange to some to have your writing desk in your bedroom, but it's the quietest place in the house, the only quiet place except for the shower.  My back is to the door so I can't see anyone coming or going to distract me.  But I can still hear them.  I heard my husband just now when he came in to change the printer paper, and I can definitely hear the printer print the infinitely long document he decided to print just after I took a minute to write.  I hear the kids playing but am not distracted by it until they have a conflict.  I try to stay in my seat and keep my hands moving unless they absolutely need some intervention.

There's no bad intention from anyone in my house.  While often it seems no one respects my need for time, I don't think that's really true.  They want me to write and believe in me completely, which keeps me going for sure. 

I need to get back to them now since it's not my scheduled time to write.  I need to dry my hair before it's too late.  I need to wait to write more until the baby naps and will try to save some energy until then.

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