Monday, July 7, 2014

On living, quietly at home with the family and writing

It's not difficult to let writing slip away from you. If writing is not what you do when you punch a clock, it will oftentimes be forced lower down the list of importance. After all, most of us have life to contend with, right? There is the question of the bills and the smaller more pesky question, how are these bills going to get paid? Most of us have families, and many are at home rearing young. I'm part of all of this too. I never really understood the “rat race” metaphor. I understand the life of quiet desperation and yet, I fear, the desperation in our house is anything but quiet. When it comes down to it, I think the rents are way too high for what we get, the privilege of a phone, that I never seem to answer, and all the other niceties and needs are often less than needs or nice things. On the outside, the way we live at my house makes us all look like monks. Yet, I can't think outside of it, I still think we have too much and too much of what I don't think I want or don't think we need.

Fortunately, we get plenty of time at home. In our new lives as busy rats racing, we still have ample hours at home. I have no complaints about it. I mean, I've heard so many people say that they wish they had spent more time with their children when their children were young. These are generally older people who have grown children. When you wait until middle age to have children, they way we did, money and ego and that sense of duty to the company just isn't nearly as important as it once was. Being an active member of the family is not a bad thing. If work suffers because of it, so what? There will still be the same mundane work to do tomorrow as there was today.

In the first year of my son's life, I did not write very much. I wrote in my journal infrequently, and I kept up this blog. That was it. The first year of his life was more important to me than the writing of quiet novels about slightly dented cans.

I wrote a little more during his second year. Not much more. His second year involved a cross country move, a number of jobs and a great deal of hassle.

So, I get it.

For years I would listen to people who whined on and on about not having any time. I didn't really get it. I always had plenty of time. I mean, after all, for a couple of years, I wrote 8 hours a day, worked at the restaurant 5 or 6 hours each evening and that left me with a good 4 or 5 hours to honky tonk. I never thought things would be any different. Adding a new member to your family tends to take time away.

I guess the only real perspective I have on it is that it doesn't last forever. Yeah, sure, my son requires more attention because he needs more stimulation now that ever before. I'm working more hours now that I have for probably the last ten or more years. And I'm still writing so little on a daily/weekly/monthly basis that I'm nearly ashamed of myself. But I think there are a few things to think about.

I decided that I would get organized. I thought I would stay the course with my belief that setting outlandish goals and drinking coffee all day should be part of the plan. I also decided that working everything into a busy schedule I would have to break things down into small easily attainable tasks. And on all that, for the month of July, I would simply write down what I did everyday and how long it took.

I can't wait for the results.

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