A Question of Time

100 Days of Writing – Day 38

Countdown to NaNoWriMo – 11 days

Countdown to half term – 0 days

There are countless people who say they’d love to write but haven’t got the time and just as many dedicated writers who respond with a dismissive sneer.  After all, if you really wanted to do it, you’d just get on and do it, wouldn’t you? You’d FIND the time, surely?  Actually, I think not (‘you arrogant, self-satisfied, smug arse,’ I’d be inclined to counter-respond).  Finding time to do the things we want for ourselves requires effort, energy, organisation and a level of selfishness that many of us, particularly women, are not completely comfortable with or feel able to give.

Plenty of people have written books, blogs, scripts and launched entire businesses while caring for a brood of pre-school children.  I don’t know how they managed it.  It genuinely blows my mind.  When my two boys were babies/toddlers I wore pyjamas for four years solid and could barely sign my own name on a prozac prescription. Write a book? Are you kidding me? I didn’t have time to WRITE?! I didn’t have time to get dressed. I didn’t have time to pee for god’s sake.

In those days of early parenthood the seconds, the minutes, hours and days all blended into one long bendy, stretchy epoch of necessary but eye-wateringly mundane tasks, one after the other, day in, day out, punctuated by short bursts of unsatisfactory sleep and tears. And no. time. what. so. ever.

Then my babies got older, went to school, needed marginally less than 24 hour care, the fog lifted and hey, it’s all good now!

And this is how I know:

Today I had no time. There was washing, food shopping, meetings, coffee with friends (necessary, for both sanity and retention of social skills), dog walk, phonecalls re cars, bills to pay, kids came home, cooking, clearing up, post-school chat, post-dinner snacks, more clearing up and now…here.  I’m knackered and in another lifestage this would be the point where I stop and say, I have no time.  But things are different now.

So even though the The Simpsons is blaring out of the TV, the kids are tearing around the house (and me) on some freakin hover-board swegway things they’ve borrowed from the neighbours and they’re firing questions at me and they’re excited because SCHOOL’S OUT and the dogs are wound up by the swegways, I’m here, at the table. Writing. Having no time but finding time.  Not in a smug, self-satisfied arse way, but in a grateful, relieved, secretly selfish way. He he.

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