bal·ance

Strange+Pull

bal·ance

noun

1. a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight, amount, etc.

Balance.

Lately it’s been my Achilles heel, though I suppose for a stay-at-home mom of two preschoolers, I actually have quite a bit.  I find time to exercise, for date-nights with my husband, for wandering aimlessly around Target. I have time for the park, to haul the kids to birthday parties, to have BBQs with our friends.

But when people ask me how my next book is coming along, I hang my head in shame.

Because it’s not coming along.

Actually, it’s been stuck on page 46 for over a month.

And when people ask me why I haven’t posted much on my blog lately, I change the topic of conversation.

I’ve been too busy focusing on the book I’m not writing to worry about blogging.

I don’t have to write, but I want to write.  I love to write. It’s who I am.  And even if I’m never a super-duper famous author or the featured book in Oprah’s elite little club, at least I’m doing what I love.

Anyway, I started writing my second book back in January. I was actually working on a totally different book when this new idea hit me like a 300-lb linebacker.  I don’t know how other writers do it, but I was washing dishes on a lazy Saturday morning, the Bubble Guppies serenading me about monster trucks in the background, and the thoughts just started pouring in.  It was brilliant. A New York Times Bestseller for sure. I ran to the bathroom, locked the door, and sketched out a detailed plot complete with character traits while my children banged on the door demanding more milk.

And for a while I magically had the time to write.   I had balance.

And then, like the blue Matchbox car we’ve been futilely searching for the last two weeks, it disappeared.

I love my boys.  I love them so much.

But they are needy.  I don’t know if all little kids are this needy, but mine literally suck away ever last ounce of time in the day.  They need help with the computer, they can’t find the small garbage truck, they’re fighting over the big garbage truck, they need their heinie wiped, they need a snack, they need more milk or juice or water or paint or Play-doh….

You get the idea.

Sometimes they just need me to stare at them. Seriously.

The boys go to preschool, which, when you include drop-off and pick-up time, leaves me exactly nine hours and thirty-eight minutes of “Me” time each week.

That seems like a lot, but by the time I do all of the chores on my list, I end up with about 45 minutes to write.

And, unfortunately, my brain doesn’t work that way.  I need at least two hours of uninterrupted time to accomplish anything worthwhile, and I’ve been having a really hard time finding it.

But I know it’s there. It has to be.

And by golly, I’m going to find it.

So, in the writerly spirit, I’ve decided to keep a journal of my attempt to find two uninterrupted hours of writing time twice a week.  I know, it’s not a lot of time, but baby steps, right?

It will keep me accountable, and, if nothing else, I’m getting some writing done.

And, since we live in the magical age of technology, I figured I’d share my quest with the rest of the world and post my journey on my neglected blog.

Check back every now and then to see if I’ve actually accomplished anything!

Here’s my last attempt.

April 9, 2014

Woke up at 6 a.m. with every intention of running a few miles.  I prefer to exercise in the morning and get it out of the way, especially on school days, so I can hopefully find time to write.  Unfortunately, my husband leaves for work by 6:45 a.m., and, thanks to that godforsaken Daylight Savings Time, that usually means I’m running in the dark. And that scares the crap out of me.

I keep waiting for the sunrise to come a little earlier, but today wasn’t the day.  In fact, it seems like it’s actually getting darker in the morning.

Damn you, Daylight Savings Time.

I decide to run after I drop the kids off at school.

I shuffle around the house with the boys for a few hours, kicking myself for not running earlier and getting it out of the way.  I put on my running gear and drop the kids at school with every intention of immediately driving home and running.

After a trip to Target to get a present for this weekend’s birthday party, of course.

And after a trip to Market Street to get bananas and milk and a piece of chocolate cake so my boys can celebrate my Dad’s birthday via Skype after school.

I finally run around 10:30, which puts me back at home at 11:15.  I immediately jump in the shower, whereupon I realize I’m sweating profusely.

I emerge from the shower clean but still sweating, my face the color of a tomato.

I’m starving. I make a turkey and avocado sandwich. I notice a message on the answering machine from my mom.

I call my mom back.

Now it’s noon.

I check my email, make a few phone calls and appointments, and check Facebook.

I look at USA Today and realize there are all these important things going on in the world today that I didn’t even know about, but now I’m a little depressed because I know about them.

I wipe a tear from my eye.

I realize that I forgot to buy chocolate cake at the store.

It’s suddenly 1:30 p.m.  I need to put on pants, buy some cake, and pick up my kids.

My husband has a “work thing” tonight, which means I’m single-parenting dinner and bedtime, which means my time is up.

Today’s Grade:  FAIL

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