Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Little Black Rain Cloud

Not the Winnie the Pooh kind, but I'll give you the song since it's stuck in my head.





Over the last two weeks, the question of whether or not to keep writing has hovered over me like a black cloud, following me everywhere.

I hurt my back again, so sitting at my laptop for more than a few minutes has been impossible.  My husband has been out of town (and is headed out again tomorrow after a brief visit this weekend), and my kids have been sick.  Even if I hadn't hurt my back, I wouldn't have been able to write this week with everyone puking everywhere.  (Except me...so far....)

As I do everything except write, I wonder why I feel a compulsion to do it.  What would happen if I just stopped writing?  The fact is nothing would change except I would have more time to do other things.  No one would notice. 

I know I write to have some sort of purpose besides cleaning toilets and doing laundry and being better than a Google search when my kids need help on literary things and verb tenses.

Last night, I asked my husband how his work went over the last week.  He told me he was showered with  compliments over his technical ability.  Don't get me wrong, I am very happy for him, for us, since he is earning money for the both of us, a decision we made together.  But I remember getting compliments at work, being as near to indispensable as an employee can be, being the go-to person when something needed to get done, being the person people could trust to figure out the problem and make it happen. 

Now I do laundry and dishes.  And no one notices.  No one will ever notice. 

I know I am not alone in this - I whine for all of us in this situation.  And yet we are doing the right thing.  We are taking it for the team.  We are almost heroic, silently doing work no one wants to do.  We are like Cinderella doing all the work before we can go to the ball.  Except there's no ball. 

The thing is I have a few stories in my head I'd like to get on paper.  That I sort of need to get on paper for whatever reason.  My teen thinks it's cool I write - it's one thing I think she definitely appreciates about me.  And my baby LOVES my children's stories - even the bad ones.  Maybe that's all the recognition I need.  So I'll keep writing for them - and for me - probably, but not today.

26 comments:

  1. You are a mother and wife and maintain the house - that is truly admirable!
    It's easy to take that stuff for granted. People notice more when it's not done.
    Don't give up on something you really want to do, even if it means putting it on hold for a while.
    I appreciate you being here, Tonja!

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    1. Thanks, Alex. I appreciate you too. :)

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  2. One thing is for sure, if you stopped writing and blogging, I would miss your presence a lot. You are an amazing Mom, wife and friend and at times life just gets really dark and depressing.

    If writing makes you feel good, then keep at it. You are talented. But do it for yourself, so that you do not have to wonder some day...what if? I have enjoyed many stories and short snippets that you have had on your blog. Even your everyday blogging is interesting.

    Hope your back gets better soon. You are in my prayers.

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    1. Thanks, Murees. That's really sweet of you.

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  3. Hi, its me again. I just tagged you for the lucky 7 Meme on my blog. If you do not want to or do not feel up to taking part, it is absolutely fine.

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    1. Yeah, uh, I'm four taggings behind. I think I'm going to have to pretend it never happened. Thanks for thinking of me though. :)

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  4. Totally get where you're coming from. Yes, so many of our "mom"-ly chores go unnoticed. Sometimes you wish you could quit and everyone would SEE how much you do to keep the home humming!

    And I get that impulse to write. Truth is, there are times in our lives when being a mom is more important than being a writer. Not sure what period you're in now, but when people are vomiting, don't beat yourself up that you're not doing more (in fact, just be glad if you're getting enough fluids in everybody!).

    Take it one day at a time! Yes, you have to carve out time to write. But sometimes, hanging w/the fam and doing mundane stuff is what's more important. Hoping you feel better soon!

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  5. I feel that way sometimes, I would have so much more time to do other things. I'll think that and keep right on writing.

    It's tough, I think doing laundry is a big deal, and I do it for us, I expect praise for it and mention it at every opportunity. But the teenagers do help a lot with the chores around the house, and I think its a big deal that they help out too, so I try to offer up praise for them too (they don't care, they want money).

    Hang in there. I hope your back gets better. It's an awful feeling having your back fail you.

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    1. That's great you have help from your teens. And that you do the laundry. My husband tries but doesn't seem to get the thing where you can't wash white towels with black t-shirts.

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  6. I think we've all felt the same as you at times and I mean as writers and as mothers. It's tough to keep going, especially when you don't feel well. Hopefully the connections you make here on your blog and any other writing contacts you have will keep you going.

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    1. I'll keep going, but I think it's going to take a while. Husband is out of town again for the week and is gone again in a few weeks. I need sleep more than I need to write.

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  7. What you feel isn't all that uncommon. The mothering job can take a lot out of you, and if you aren't feeling well, that can really suck up your motivation. If you need a break, take a break. Do something for yourself. I'd come back to writing, though. You might kick yourself later if you don't.

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  8. Believe me, I know what you're talking about. The job of maintaining a household and taking care of kids is just taken for granted as we often don't think of it as work but an obligation. Even now I sometimes catch myself saying that my mother didn't work. I now say she never worked outside the home because I know she did a ton of stuff.
    Likewise, if a writer isn't making a ton of money off their efforts, it can be a pretty solitary enterprise than most people don't understand.

    Lee
    The Dog Lived (and So Did I)
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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    1. Very true. Mothering and writing together are very similar in that way.

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  9. I'm sorry to hear you're in pain again, Tonja. I wish you rapid healing. That could be coloring your mood... a lot.

    Believe me, people will notice if you stop doing those things.

    I will notice if you stop writing. I hope everyone in your family is healthy again soon.

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  10. Hi Tonja, I wanted to let you know that I tagged you for the Lucky 7 Meme Award. I don't know if you've received it yet. Details are on my blog.

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    1. I think I definitely can't do it right now, but thank you.

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  11. Hi there. I have chronic back and neck pain, as well as migraines, but I feel like I'd be lost without writing as a part of me. What would I do if I didn't write? I'd probably just read more. Due to my health issues, I have taken to writing on paper more, with less time spent on the computer. It helps a bit. I hope everyone in your house gets well and you can figure out what you'd like to do and find ways to make that happen.

    And I know exactly how you feel about the work thing. It's hard to find value in ourselves when we stop doing the things we based much of our self worth on for so long. But that value is there; it's just hard to see it and count it in the same way.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

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    1. That's a good idea to use paper to write when it's hard to sit at the computer. Time is a problem right now with my husband out of town. I'm not sure if things will get much better until May. You are right about the work issue.

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  12. Been there and know just how you feel. Keep writing, do it for you and because you deserve something just for you! I'm stopping by to say hello before the A-Z challenge begins. I'm a new follower here :)

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    1. Thanks for following after my sad post.

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  13. Thanks for all of your kind words and support. It turns out the house didn't get clean even when I stopped writing for a while. What's with that? I'll probably be back next week and will check in on you all.

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  14. lovely A

    here is mine
    http://pa-ul.blogspot.com/search/label/GAC%20A-Z%20Artists

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