In the last week, we have made trips to the ER, the doctor’s office, and the Minute Clinic. Zoë was hit with croup and had trouble breathing last week (hence the ER visit). She was up, feverish and coughing, for nights on end. Then this weekend, while D was out of town, Stella developed a fever, as well. A doctor’s visit on Monday confirmed nothing, but she was still sick yesterday, so my mom (babysitter/grandma extraordinaire) took her to the Minute Clinic, and she has strep.
The hard part of all of this is that I can’t stay home and cuddle and take care of them all day. This is the first time that I’ve had to head out the door to work and leave my sick girls in someone else’s (albeit very capable) hands. But I miss them, and they miss me. Yesterday, Stella said to Grandma, “I just want to be with my mom.”
Go ahead and twist the knife.
Even without sick kids, I know that the current pace of my life is not sustainable. I’m mother and wife on top of working full time and teaching and editing and preparing for a book launch. (O, copyedits, I will get to you soon. I promise!) And then there is the constant pull back to the page, to writing. Most of the time these days I don’t even think about my own writing, but I feel its absence in my life. I feel flat.
I love when I am in the middle of a writing project and I suddenly wake in the middle of the night with an idea. I love the way the rhythm of my gate on a long, slow run opens my mind to a new possibility in a scene or with a character. I love the way the writing continues to happen in my head throughout the day, even when I’m unaware of the work that’s being done. But in order for that kind of magic to happen, I actually need to be writing and writing regularly.
I’ve had an idea for a novel bouncing around in my head since the end of summer, and last week I realized that if I didn’t start actually writing it, I’d lose my passion for the project. Or it would grow stale. Or fizzle out.
So on Friday, I had an hour between work and a reading I was planning to attend. I went to a coffee shop and I pulled out paper and pen and began to write.
I always tell my students that they can accomplish a ton of writing in an hour or two a week. “Just set that time aside.” Well, it’s time I started to take my own advice. Because I’m a different person when I write—I’m filled with a sense of possibility.
I only wrote for 45 minutes on Friday, and the paper is scribbled mess, but it’s a start, and it’s exactly what I needed.
I don’t know when the next hour will appear, but somehow, I know it will.