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Dancing Backwards in High Heels

14 Aug

Today was the first day of my vacation. I am planning to take off mid-week with a critique partner to stay in a Bed and Breakfast for a little writer’s retreat. This is a picture of where I will be staying.  Before I can go, I need to clean the house, catch up with laundry,water my plants,  make sure there is food in the house for hubby and son, charge up my net book, and pack. Now you see why I wanted a little time away to write. Seems like when I am home, I feel like there are so many other things I should be doing. Just a couple days without distractions sounds like bliss to me.

I raised my kids during the time that women were expected to be super women; work, keep a tidy house, clean clothes on the family, run the kids around for all their activities and then if there was any time left over, we could pursue our own dreams. Granted I don’t have that excuse anymore. My kids are adults and my husband should be able to take care of himself by now. As a couple, we have consciously tried to encourage each other over the years to do the things that we each enjoy. Me with my writing and him with his cars. My little hobby is a lot less expensive than his and I am sure that makes him happy. That is why he doesn’t care if I take some time to attend a conference or like this week, take a few days to get away and write. He knows that I know that he has spent way more on rebuilding his little 63 Nova than I will ever spend on my writing.

But why is it that when he has a chance to go to say, the Daytona 500 is it possible for him to just pack a bag and go?  Granted he does make sure the lawn is mowed but other than that, he knows that I will take care of everything else. After the kids were grown, he told me I did a great job raising them. It isn’t as if he wasn’t here. He was here every night but that was when his career took off and he spent hellish hours leaving early and usually coming home late. He focused on his career and even though I worked too, I focused on raising the kids. Now he is usually home before me and I still feel compelled to take care of everything. I don’t think that my situation is unique. I think that every female writer has this juggling act with her life. You have probably already heard this but it kind of reminds me of Fred Astaire. Everyone used to say how he was such a wonderful dancer but no one stopped to think that Ginger Rogers had to do the same thing as Fred Astaire but backwards and in heels. That’s how I feel my writing career has been. I can be running along everything going smoothly – sneaking in my writing time by getting up early, hurrying through dinner and right before bed just to squeeze in a little time and someone calls. They need something that only I can handle and I’ve lost my focus and what little time I had for the day is gone.

Well this week is going to be a little bit easier. I will have a couple days to focus on my writing, no cooking, cleaning, laundry, errands, absolutely nothing else to worry about,  except maybe whether the old Victorian we are staying in is haunted. Since I am working on a paranormal mystery. That could be a good thing.  I’ll fill you in on my next post about my stay.

How do you manage to do everything and still find time to write? What are your secrets to staying productive and not neglecting yourself or your family?

Currently I’m reading Love Lies Bleeding, a little story that does have a ghost and it’s also written by another critique partner Jess McConkey. If you like women’s suspense you should check it out.  I also listened to ‘Cemetery Dance‘ by Preston and Child. I discovered these authors with ‘The Cabinet of Curiosities‘ and have been a fan ever since. There is always a little paranormal going on in their stuff. ‘Cemetery Dance’ was about Voodoo and Zombies.

 

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