The Real Time Difference


While my list of what to be thankful for grows longer every year, I have one thing in particular to be thankful for this year. It may sound crazy, but it’s true.

I’m so very thankful to be working my ass off.

I am one severely stressed out individual when I have lag time– when I’m in between writing projects, when I don’t have a good book to read, when my day is filled with nothing but the responsibilities of keeping three children alive. Family life can get hectic, for sure, but for me it has never gotten so crazy that taking care of children/house has relieved me of boredom.

But these last few months, I’ve started graduate school, I’ve gotten a regular part-time writing job, I’ve signed with an agent for my first novel, Secrets of the Sari Chest and have begun work on my second novel, Finding Om. Despite the late nights typing away at my laptop, the hours spent at Starbucks on the weekend revising an article, the panic of realizing I have close to 20 books to read before early January– I have never felt more balanced in my life. I have never felt more alive.

I confess, there are some days the workload feels like way too much. I find myself calling girlfriends and venting that I can’t do it all, that I wish my husband wasn’t working on the weekend so I could catch up on reading, that I need to find a babysitter to keep my head above water.

But after I hang up, I feel much better. Because with a few moments to reflect on my new normal, I realize that, for years, I have craved this…this kind of non-family, non-household workload where if dinner’s not planned out days in advance we won’t have anything to eat, or where I don’t have time to meet friends for lunch because I have so much to do. If there is a blessing in drowning in work, in pushing up against urgent deadlines, then my friends–

I have arrived.

And I couldn’t be more grateful.

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6 thoughts on “The Real Time Difference

  1. I so agree! I spent last week “off” because my nanny was off. I ferried kids to playdates and spent time baking with them. It was the most stressed I have been in a while, in spite of being on deadline for about a zillion different projects and never having enough coffee to carry me through the day. πŸ™‚ Workaholics unite! πŸ˜‰

  2. I only realized too late that I needed that – more not less. When my kids were young, I pushed me aside. And while it might be too late for some things, I am not throwing in the towel. It is wonderful that you know yourself so well and that you are pursuing your dreams; that you find fulfillment and gratitude in the life you are living – one that you created for yourself.

    A while ago, you asked about reading a book that we can’t put down. I am reading it now. It is from last year, so maybe you have already read it – Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. If you haven’t read it, and you can find the time, it is worth it. I borrowed it from the library, but I plan to buy it. It deserves a place on the bookshelf.

  3. Robin, I loved Cutting for Stone. I had read Verghese’s little known memoir from many years ago and loved it. I couldn’t wait for his novel to come out. I think I bought it the first day!

    And good for you for not throwing in the towel!! Best of luck in making all of your dreams come true!

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