Since committing to the 500 word challenge, I have been setting the alarm earlier and only hitting snooze twice (I can’t conquer all the bad habits at once) in order to write before the rest of the house wakes up.
If I’ve had a restless night’s sleep, I’ll skip writing in the morning if I expect a chunk of time later in the day. (I’m a shrew when I’m tired).
Friday was one of those days where I knew I would have at least 3 hours of down time after dinner in order to write my 500 words. Three of the kids had plans and Mark always works late on Fridays. Kate, my 13 year old, likes to watch the “Modern Family” marathon on Friday nights so I knew I would have uninterrupted time to write. (I know I’m going to hell for all the TV this family watches since we upgraded the cable from basic only).
I was all set to take the laptop into our new finished basement room for some quiet when Kate asked if I wanted to watch “Modern Family” too. I really didn’t but I knew it was important to spend that time with her. I could have brought the lap top with me when I plopped myself on the couch next to her, but then I might as well have been alone in the basement typing away.
You might be thinking, “That lady’s just rationalizing, who wouldn’t rather watch ‘Modern Family’ than stick to a commitment?” Well, you may be right on point A, but not point B. I may be rationalizing but I don’t enjoy watching TV that much-even “Modern Family”. Oh, it’s hilarious, but there are a hundred things I’d rather do than sit and watch TV.
Here’s the thing, though, my first priority is always my family, especially while the kids are still here. First on my list of responsibilities is nurturing relationships. As you can imagine, life with almost 4 teenagers (11-16) can sometimes be…..volatile. A 13 year old girl is often in the eye of whatever storm happens to pop up. Kate’s been feeling picked on and misunderstood lately and she needs all the relaxed interaction she can get. Although TV is a passive pursuit, when a person wants company, it becomes an opportunity to connect and relate.
I’ll never regret being intentionally present with any person in my family. To be honest, I probably don’t make time for it often enough. Which is ironic because the kids are home all day for school. If writing suffers for it, I’m totally fine with that.
Kate and I laughed together, talked about other things and when she asked if I snored like Gloria while I was pregnant, I admitted a symptom much more embarrassing that horrified and amused her at the same time. She may use it against me one of these days in the heat of a teen microburst but it’s worth it if it strengthens our connection.
As I wrote before, I made the 500 word challenge a priority. Obviously, I’m hoping to improve my writing skills but I honestly think making time for it will make me a better everything….wife, mother, friend, sister-you get the idea. The practice of writing must light up a part of my brain that helps me be more organized, calm and focused. I credit the act of writing an ebook this summer with helping me to truly enjoy an unusually chaotic 3 months. I typically don’t deal with chaos and extended time away from home very well.
Although writing is a priority, the burden is on me to carve out time for it that doesn’t interfere with my primary vocation as a wife and mom.
So, I’m forgiving myself this time because I was reminded that life, especially with kids, is unpredictable. Clearly, I need to be more disciplined to wake up early if I want to write.
If you want to establish the habit of writing, check out Goinswriter.com. In addition to the chance to join in the challenge, there’s lots of inspiration and practical advice to help you write better.