Monday, August 6, 2012
I’ve been thinking quite a lot lately about how to build in time for the things I like to do outside of my family and work responsibilities. Let me back up. The notion that mothers have hobbies is not new. Take a look around your FB feed or LinkedIn or even Twitter and note that many women, who also happen to be mothers, make time for their interests. One of my friends is a community theater actress when she’s not working at her day job and mothering her two boys. She just finished the lead role in a show and although the rehearsals and shows took her away from her family more than she might have liked, she made the time to do it because it’s her “thing”. (And I wish I had made the time to go see her perform. Bad friend.)
Other women I know run marathons, are active photographers, write novels, volunteer at their children’s schools with regularity, make beautiful clothing and accessories for their children with their hands (and a trusty sewing machine). Most of these women also have full-time jobs. And husbands, and kids, and homes to manage. I want to know how they do it. They don’t have more time than I do; last time I checked there are still only 24 hours in a day. They don’t necessarily have more help than I have available to me. I think what they do have is a true, deep, and meaningful passion for their hobbies, for their “things”. Am I missing that passion? Is there really nothing in my life that I find important enough to make time for? I refuse to believe that to be true.
I wake up at 5:45 in the morning, get the kids up, get myself dressed and presentable, get to work, work all day, go home, get dinner together, feed the people, bathe the people, read to the people, tuck in the people, and then collapse on the couch from exhaustion. You may have noticed but I haven’t written anything of substance here in months. MONTHS. This blog used to be one of my favorite spaces. It was an outlet for me to tell you my stories, post pictures of the precious babes, and spill the contents of my brain when they threatened to take over. At some point it became just another thing to cross off the list…I had lost my passion for writing. But is it possible that passion can be resurrected?
Twitter and Facebook and blogs sometimes feel like they move too fast for me. Like all the people behind them are living these spectacular lives with opportunities to be even more amazing (and if you didn’t just hear Electrolux Kelly Ripa in your head a little we can’t be friends). They have these wonderful hobbies and are doing pretty cool things in their little corners of the world while I sit prone on my couch with the iPad on my lap and toothpicks propping up my eyelids. Yes, I could be writing away at that non-fiction book I’ve been considering every evening but I’m also exhausted from thinking all day. Yes, I could be practicing yoga at a studio in my neighborhood but the thought of leaving the house after my shoes are off and the kids are in bed…that requires a store of energy I don’t have.
I begin to wonder if it’s just the fact that I have small children. If you were unaware, small children suck the energy out of you, molecule by small molecule (darling as they are). But then I look at these women I previously mentioned and guess what? They also have small children. They just have a better understanding of themselves (perhaps deeper pockets, too?) to make their hobbies a reality on a regular basis.
If I had to name my passion it would be writing; it’s putting words to paper (screen), exploring ideas and wandering the far reaches of my mind. I find comfort in the written word, as much reading it as writing it. I admire people who can weave a good story or communicate with clarity and truth through their words. In the course of writing this post, I began to feel the stirrings of excitement. This…energy (how novel! how foreign!) stemming from the possibility of a new discovery. Can I make time for writing? Is there room for me in the community? Can THIS be my passion?