Lately, I’ve been feeling… stuck. I wake up, exercise, take my vitamins, make breakfast, do school, make lunch, do more school, make dinner, take whichever child to whatever activity, work on school plans, watch a little Bob’s Burgers if I’m lucky, collapse, pass out from exhaustion, and do it all again the very next day. This is my life.
It’s a good life. It’s the life I’ve chosen. However, it doesn’t allow room for anything else. Once in a while, I can carve out a minute to write. Occasionally, I get to work in my sketch book because I sneak it into our school day. Every now and then, I happen to be inspired to write a blog post at the same time I have a spare ten minutes to type up my ideas. (I type this as there are three minutes left on the timer before my dinner is finished). I am an artist. An artist who is aching to create, day in and day out. My head is full of ideas. My problem is certainly not lack of ideas. No, my problem is that, frankly, this ain’t my time.
These are my times of sacrifice. Seems unfair since I spent the first twenty-plus years of my life sacrificing myself, my creativity, my desires for school (and for living in an area where the opportunities for young artistic types like me were rather lacking). I finally have my arms free from babies. My mind is free from academics. I’m swimming in artistic ideas and inspiration… in every medium. But there is just simply no time to make much of it happen.
Earlier this week, I had to make a difficult decision. Last year, I submitted the play that recently I wrote for consideration to be presented in a monthly Nashville series for local playwrights. I was delighted and flattered to be offered a spot in March of 2015. Unfortunately, I had to turn down that spot. My children are all planning to take part in a local production of Winnie the Pooh. My oldest has his heart absolutely set on playing the role of Christopher Robin. As much as I’d like to present my work in this series, I know that I don’t get to do that. I know that it’s just not my turn.
Maybe I’ve already had my shot. Maybe I’ll get another chance again when the kids are older. But this time in my life is about being a mother. A taxi driver. A cheerleader. A teacher. A facilitator. If I can sporadically slip a writer’s group meeting in, assuming I’ve had time to write at all, then great. If not, who could blame me?
I struggle with feeling useless. Unemployable. Lacking in marketable skills. I freak out when I think about ten years from now, trying to find a job while competing with those who are more recently educated and who have real work experience under their belts. My back up plan is a full time job at Whole Foods. Okay, I admit. It’s my only plan.
One day, my children will be able to say that, because of the sacrifices my husband and I made, they were able to spend a considerable amount of time pursuing their passions. It is my prayer that they will look back upon their youth and feel gratitude. They will surely know that we gave them our absolute best and that we didn’t spend our best on other people and endeavors. And maybe they will be a little bit in awe of their cool parents… ones who found a little bit of time to use a sword and pencil during tiny breaks in responsibility.
Surely they will know.