Friday, May 23, 2008

The G Word. Like the G Spot But Less Fun.

I’ve taken off about ten days of work (started yesterday) so I can get some writing done. I have much to do. One book to write, another to edit.

I feel a bit like I’m cheating because my daughter is at day care and my son is in school. Well, the school thing isn’t really cheating. But having my daughter in day care while I’m at home writing – that feels a lot like cheating. It’s not like I haven’t put in my time of writing during nap times and after the kids go to bed. But a big shadowy part of me sits inside my chest saying “you should have your kids with you, you’re a writing mother, not a single lady, your kids neeeeed you.”

When Joshilyn takes off for a week sans children to write. I wonder if she feels guilty. When Shirley has cleaners come in during the week I wonder if she feels guilty. I don’t think that they should at all. I think that they have made very smart decisions to do what works for them so they can get their writing done.

So what makes me so special that I should feel guilty about this?

Nothing really, in fact, just typing that out made that little shadowy part of me shrink just a smidge. I don’t feel guilty when I go off to work – it’s something that just needs to be done. So I’m going to excise the guilt right now. The best way to do it is to get to work. Because if I’m sitting here eating bon-bons, then guilt might be called for. But I’m not. I’m working.

And may I just say: this is my ideal working environment. At home, in the quiet. Do you hear that husband?

Major Man and I have an ongoing discussion about the eventuality of me staying at home to write. I’m sure it will happen one day. But I have a Day Job that is kind of satisfying, a nice place to work with opportunities for advancement. But I wonder if it’s as satisfying as the job I have at home, as a writing mother. My instincts tell me it’s not.

Every day I come across something else I could be doing if I were writing at home. There are courses I could be planning and teaching. There are other books to write. There are articles zinging around in my head that I have no time to query.

I mostly lurk at a web site called Freelance Success, or FLX for short. It’s full to the brim with writers who are making good money at their trade. Some are in the six figures. To read their posts is like sipping on a cappuccino of inspiration. I feel the jolt of “I can do that”. Sometimes I actually feel my heart rate increase, or I get goosebumps.

But then there’s the safety of my job. The security. There’s the rub. Security. Ensconced in my cubicle farm where I can make decisions; where my ego is massaged daily with “I know who will know: Heather will know” and the almost weekly pats on the back from my boss. These keep me there. Should they?

Wouldn’t it be better to taste the unsecure freedom? Up until recently, I’ve been the breadwinner. Major Man has had one setback after another when it came to employment. Up here in Canuckistan they just didn’t understand his military background and that it prepared him for more that shooting at things in a tank.

But now he’s in a training class that – if he passes – could transition into a great job. If it does, he’ll shoot past me in the earning department. And if we’ve been able to survive on one income for three years…

Decisions, decisions.


Holly said...

Canuckistan, hee hee.

It's hard to find that work/life balance, isn't it?

Dreaming again said...

Ok, my kids are 16 and 18. I'm way way past the daycare/guilt stage.

Can I offer you a bit of unsolicited advice.

Use it. Write.

It's all about balance, my friend.

I've seen mom's who wrap their lives up in their kids ... their mantra is 'the kids are the #1 priority'
and well ... you know the drill.
What they wind up with is
kids who don't know what balance is
they wind up with a broken heart when their kids fail them by being real and do something stupid (which all kids will do at some point)
they wind up with a terrible case of empty nest when their kids leave the house or their kids in ultra rebellion in their teens ...

when we use balance when our kids are little ...
Kids are *A* priority
Our marriage is *A* priority
WE, ourselves, are *A* priority
and rather than have a top priority, they cycle as to which gets the top spot, nothing stays at the top for too long at any given time. What needs the top at the time, it's fluid's about family ... rather than self, or kids ...and then balance comes into play and everyone finds their place and guilt does not find it's place.