Saturday, December 30, 2006

Time well spent

Today has been a good one. The holiday season has finally succeeded in loosening my grasp on the passage of time, so that I have to keep reminding myself what day it is, even though there is no real need to know as we have no plans. Even though days without plans now are hardly as unfettered as they were before we became parents, my sense of appreciation for them has never been so keen.

This morning, as per our normal weekend/holiday morning routine, I went to retrieve J from behind the gate in the doorway of her room (You know, the one that allows me to sleep at night secure in the knowledge I won't hear her tiny, confused voice echoing up from downstairs in the middle of the night, much like I did the night, not long after making the leap to the big girl bed, J discovered we weren't latching her gate after checking on her one last time? Right, that one.) when she called for me and brought her to our bed to "watch somefing." After about an hour of valiant but vain attempts at grabbing just a few more minutes of precious slumber while being used as a human jungle gym/trampoline, she and I came downstairs for breakfast. We left MOMD in bed to sleep off last night's poker triumph - I'm rarely so generous, being as I am of the mind that we got in this mess together and if one of us is suffering for it we both should be, but I had plans to head to the gym later so my time was coming. I haven't exercised since a very short-lived attempt at training for a 5K just before we got pregnant, and I was hoping that the associated endorphin release would help me overcome the crippling fatigue I have been dealing with for the last few weeks. It seems to be doing the trick, helped in no small part I'm sure by the cat nap I was just able to sneak in while J is asleep and MOMD is visiting his dad in the hospital. I came home from the gym to a yummy lunch of grilled sandwiches, courtesy of MOMD's proficiency on the griddle and my rare presence of mind to stop at the store for fixin's on my home, and then cleaned up the kitchen before heading upstairs to lounge on our big bed and make a little headway in the latest issue of Oxford American before nodding off.

No big deal, no great accomplishments checked off my to-do list, but I had an epiphany of sorts this afternoon that though I may have less time now to spend however I want, what I have more of is time well spent. As much as I may fret over the loss of entire weekends stretched before me with no commitments and no responsibilities, if I'm honest about it I appreciate the structure motherhood as brought to my life. I can barely remember what I did with all that time, but I suspect it was a lot of nothing - too few books read, too few words written, too few trips taken, and too many hours with an unread magazine open on my lap and a rerun of some insipid MTV offering on the television. Not that I didn't enjoy that time, I've just been given a greater sense of appreciation for the promise of "time to myself."

Which is what brought me down here to write for the last few minutes of naptime instead of continuing to stare at the spindly winter shapes outside the bedroom window. My father is constantly on me to write a book - my mother has not once mentioned as she is fully aware of the demands - physical, emotional and temporal - of raising small children. And aside from the fact I have zero brilliant ideas around which to craft the Great American Novel, nor, I fear, the patience to sit down and hammer it out, I just don't have the time. I am paid to write, and I write on a variety of topics for a variety of clients. I think I am good at it, and the fact that I often have more work than I can keep up with is seeming testament to my abilities, but in my heart of hearts I don't consider myself a "writer."

To me a "writer" is someone who spends his or her days reading and learning from great writers, and simply writing for the sake of writing, in a sunny, well appointed room dedicated to writing, surrounded by all the pretty, pretty things in the Levenger catalog purchased expressly to support the business of writing, and I have neither the time, the space, nor the supplies.

BUT. I know that one day I will have that time. Soon enough my children - the one here now and the one not yet born - will no longer need me as they do now, will be off playing with friends on weekend afternoons, off to college, {sob} off on their own grand adventures, and I will be left alone with nothing but time. And what I am learning now, is how to grab that precious gift of time and wring out every last drop. And one day I will. I just hope Daddy is still around when I finally get there.

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About Me

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Southeastern, United States
34-year-old freelance writer/mommy of one, married to S who loves his work but is gone too much