Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mom-life balance: Creativity through conduction? Only time will tell, but Life is Good.

Today, like most days begins with a small, blond boy holding a stare of innocence to my hazy yawn. He greets me with the easy spirit of a dawning new day. More often than not, he will recite a list of things he wants to eat: "Kiwwwwi, Waaaffffleeee, Yoooo-guuuurt...."

Every day as a mother in this new light of life is different. Cast and characters change, routines fall to the side in one "tummy ache" or fever. Plot twists drop without foreshadowing. Everything can be a small variant to the plan set forth with best intentions. The very nature of change, so clearly in my recent life, is the most reliable of things, that holds me at its mercy.

I spent the day still in this manic-like "white hot" spell of creative writing...but with no time. Feverish within in me is a kind of focus and abundance of thoughts, that make everything else feel like an awful intrusion.And intrude, life does.

From my waking moment I am forced to choose: sideline a pumping, breathing, growing idea or deal with an absolute? A boy falling on his face without any arm support is an absolute. A requested glass of water can wait the two minutes I need to "finish a sentence" on my Mac Book.

 It's hour by hour, and any mom can agree, the more you try to control it, the less anything goes your way. The fourth-grader didn't go to school, so there is that to contend with now. (This limits time away from the house.) Gym plans squashed doing some editing and negotiating an iPad between two children.

 I noticed that my website page-views hit 61,313 and I'm one "follow" away from 100. Not too shabby for five weeks, and what started as an outlet my restless thoughts with no particular audience in mind. I sought the "pressure" on myself to sit down and write, not the outcome. It's transforming into a platform to display my writing, which has brought serendipitous connections with both strangers in my own town sending sweet notes, and professionals in the writing industry inquiring for more.

 I would be lying if I said it didn't feel rewarding. The analytics graph is trending pretty well from last week. A seemingly-controversial post hit nearly 200 shares and "views" when up by 5000 overnight. My husband actually got scared. (cue "Crickets"sound...Nothing happened.) I don't assume anyone cares, but somebody IS clicking on posts. I've been on twitter for three weeks, my following doubled last weekend, and that social media forum is so much more full of intelligence and beauty and inspiration than my earlier perceptions of teenagers typing: "#YOLO, I drunk a Cola, it good. #Winning."

I tried meditating for fifteen minutes (half a "Peppa Pig" show) and was interrupted by my son, a magnet to moments of attempted serenity. He was trying to pull the bolster from under me, a quiet mind that did not make.

I stayed fluid, unattached, and chose to surrender which meant I had to defer my meditation yet again.  Then, I found myself isolated in public by other mothers/peers trying to punish me for something that affects their lives in no way whatsoever. My two youngest children witnessed this with puzzling awareness to the awkwardness.  Nap?  "LOL, I  only do that for the nanny." -My toddler thinks. The day twists and turns with little regard to whatever goals I dared to have.

I should be pissed, crabby, reaching for the bottle of Xanax. It's 9pm and I find a book, that looks like it must have been a gift to me at some point. It's called "642 Things to write about." It is a "workbook" for creativity. In the introduction, a writer from the "SF Writers' grotto" name PO Bronson, starts by saying: "This book was written in a single day. A single 24-hour period, with no advance notice. Nor was it our idea."

The two paragraphs below elicit that simplistic "YES!" reaction from me after a seemingly mundane, possibly-bad day.

Excerpt from the Introduction to "642 Things to Write About."

I could let those words: "bad-day" be my conclusion. Instead, I sit here in retrospect and make mental notes of the little blossoms of creativity peppered into the madness. answered a simple "How are you?" from a  literary expert/new-friend with: "Every day comes in a sunrise of fresh palette and ends in the spectrum of colors; some dark, some bright. Writing is the only thing that clears the canvas." I typed this while brushing my teeth, and using my body to keep my 30b-son steady on the bathroom counter top.

Putting my kindergartner's love of her friends and social events, before my own comfort, I subjected myself to the silliness of forced isolation by grown women. It was empowering and a little funny. I feigned a theatrical voice to my husband on the phone and said: "Into the hot hen-house I came! Luckily,  false heat only warms me. The true burn of real fire already emboldened my sense of self."

Realizing a "nap" was not a possibility for my youngest child, I trolled on Google+ and got inspired by the random quotes and photography. From that, came this:

After talking to a loving friend, with whom I had not spoken in some time, I remembered not everyone thinks I've changed entirely. There is an indelible mark on me, sure. But let it be mentioned that same person I was months ago, still exists on some level, too. They are not mutually exclusive, for that wouldn't be growth, would it?

After all every day is what you make it. I made it.....alive.
Unharmed, without drama, (my definition has changed drastically.) and if anything, a glimmer of hope. That's a win. A big win.  No, I don't have massive pages, or word-counts to feel productive going to bed, but I learned a few very important things in the small moments "in between" life's tasks that count far more than words on paper.

I know one thing: I'd rather be here, learning, than on the other side, judging. The life-altering connections and events happening for me with this "silly writing" thing, far outweigh the prudence required to stay quiet until the fruits of my hardship and hard work speak volumes.

So until tomorrow's unique mosaic of responsibilities and creative flickers, I bid you good night.

Life is tough, busy, crazy, relentless, yes, yes, I know. Look closer at the end of the day. Inspect it from an unassuming, "Why-shouldn't-I-be-happy-to-be-here?" viewpoint of a toddler first thing in the morning...

You may just find that LIFE is good, indeed.