Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Personal Perspective: Balance

In The Prosperous Writer this week, Christina Katz challenged writers to think, and blog, on the topic of balance. It’s not a topic I approach with any kind of authority. I can’t give advice to anyone else on how to balance their lives…their work, their kids, their spouses and their laundry. I’m still working on that myself. I have learned in my short career that balance is different for everyone. Still, “balance” is the last word I would use when describing my life. It’s all or nuthin for this WAHWM. At least, that’s how it seems.

On days when it’s just me and Baby M, with no reinforcements forthcoming, I enter a writing void. It’s difficult to concentrate with a 22-month-old climbing my leg and waging war on my computer. I’m lucky if I get to jot down some notes and check my email while she’s napping. Then, when help arrives, it’s all writing, all the time. Baby M is an orphan, my parents lose their youngest, my husband is widowed and (greatest of horrors) the bed goes unmade. No balance there!

Yet, I’ve become glad of those zany days when there’s no backup plan. On those days—when my husband is teaching in Portland, when my mom has her church quilting group, when my dad makes himself generally scarce so he won’t get recruited to babysit—I get a chance to regroup and reconnect. Those are my sewing days, my baking days, my cleaning days, my days to spend time with Baby M and not feel guilty about the work I’m not doing. In their own way, those “unbalanced,” writing-less days restore balance to my life. Without them, I’d be one burned-out writer mama.

Balance. It’s a work in progress. I’m finding it though…one writing wasteland at a time.

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