I guess it finally hit that point because I woke up yesterday morning and thought, “We can’t live like this anymore.” The house was just…beyond. I guess it’s because I’ve been so focused on my WIP since my parents left (in March!) that I haven’t really looked around and seen the scary levels things had reached.
So, since 40% of my children were gone (to work on the farm with my parents), I figured that was potentially 40% less mess to try to work against (you moms know what I mean. Two steps forward, three steps back when it’s you against the sludgy tide of 5 kids). I put the remaining three on high alert and as soon as swim team was over with, they shifted into high gear. Well, low gear, which is as much as I can ask at their ages of 10, 8 and 5.
It was about 7 ½ hours of concerted effort, including vacuuming along the baseboards and throwing out newspapers since March and reorganizing the scary tall bookshelf in the girls’ room, a task not for the faint of heart.) What a relief!
I read an article yesterday by a wonderful, beautiful, Newberry Award winning author who has 4 kids. She’s prolific as a writer, and she spilled her secrets of how she does it all. It was good to read, and I learned a lot about the focus she has to have in order to be what she is. I loved her dedication to God and her family. It was inspiring.
However, I have no desire to do it all, if doing it all means sacrificing almost everything else for writing.
I will never write all the ideas that are in my head. I will never finish all the writing projects I’ve started. I simply will not sacrifice enough to become a “great” writer. I do feel that drive in me that I “must” write. I’ve been a journal writer since I was 7. If I couldn’t write, I’d feel so lost. I remember once I’d lost a journal from 2002. Panic hit me and this thought: How will I prove I was alive? But I won’t pretend I’m turning it into a career.
Every woman gives her life for what she believes, Joan of Arc declared.
I have to choose. I choose every day how I give my life. There are days I need to realign. There are days when I sigh with relief thinking I gave it correctly. There are days when I botch it so badly all I can do is sing the song from Wicked, “Loathing, unadulterated loathing”–directed at myself. However, the best days’ ends, when I reflect on them, are days when I’ve given myself, my day to others. There’s a place for writing, but it cannot displace everything else. Not for me.
(But really, I should throw in those cleaning days a little more often.)