Balance is a difficult thing. For me that is literally as well as figuratively true; I’ve always been a klutz. But I’m talking about life balance: time, priorities, attention. Beyond the bare minimum of caring for myself I can only focus on one thing at a time. Too often, the rest falls apart.
I can diet or exercise, not both. Take care of my children or clean the house. As my kids get older it becomes easier to multi-task while still caring for them, but let’s be honest — that’s because they need me less. It’s not that I’ve developed a new skill. (Surprisingly, I can walk – even drive – and chew gum at the same time.)
Finishing this novel is like anything else: I’m having a hard time finding the balance. I can write or live the rest of my life. I go to work. I bathe. I feed my boys breakfast in the morning and tuck them in at night. Twice a month I pretend to pay attention to the bills. These things fall under “the bare minimum.” Thankfully my husband picks up the rest (he’s wonderful). If I have a social life, or read, or watch a movie, or clean, or do any of the other million things weighing on me, it’s at the expense of my book. The 226 words I’ve written so far could have been words in my novel.
And when I feel like it’s too much or unfair in some way I think, “This is what professional writers do.”
So no, I haven’t seen that movie. My to-be-read pile is still at the library. (No sense checking them out.) I’ve needed crème rinse for about a month, but haven’t made it to the store yet.
Last night I made brownies. Today I shaved my legs. I could have written instead.