Monday, February 1, 2010

And It Goes Like This

Yesterday, in the midst of the usual weekend craziness, I was noodling around in my journal. This is the only kind of writing I try to do on the weekends. There are just too many things vying for my attention to do what I think of as serious writing. In the midst of all the usual weekend chaos, journal in hand, I had a revelation. It's this creative project that I've been struggling with for weeks and weeks, the long poem that just will not come together and suddenly I know exactly what it needs to sing. It will require a big chunk of focused time, so I make a plan. I rearrange my Monday schedule, plan on doing the grocery shopping very early in the morning and that should give me the bulk of the day to rework the thing. I go to bed buzzing with the idea.

Can you guess what happens next?

About two a.m. I begin to hear sniffs and sneezes and coughs from Max's room. By the time I get up at five, he is too congested to sleep and he gets up with me. He has a snotty, rattly cough, no fever but there is way too much going on in his nose and throat to go to school.

This happens all the time. The minute I get revved up creatively the universe will throw a wrench into the works with illness, car trouble, financial woes, some kind of crisis that completely derails me. I used to think it was the universe slapping me down, saying Who do you think you are?

Not anymore. Today I think it is the universe saying, Okay. How bad do you want it? So I make notes. I'm doing as much prep work as I can today while snuggled on the couch with my snotty boy, so when the next chunk of time comes my way – I'll be ready.

Besides, there is no better way to spend a Monday than snuggled on the couch with your kid. Right?


  1. Oh man have I been there...when I declared that I would write my rough draft in two months, everyone got sick multiple times, we had a bunch of snow days, etc. But I think you're right--it's about how bad we want it.

    Life will never run smooth enough to please us--we have to write around the errands, the sick children, the visitors, everything. Sometimes I get mad and think that male creative geniuses probably don't have to deal with this stuff, but then I think, so what? This is my life, this is what I've chosen. And I can choose to write anyway.

    So take care of your boy, do lots of snuggling and tending, and then when you can, write.

  2. Thanks, Karen. Snuggling away over here - though occasionally he remembers he's nine and needs his own couch space...