- Ann Schwarz
- I'm a published author of short fiction for kids and adults. I have an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. I'm a former content writer for Spirit and Truth publishing on their Living the Word series. I've also worked as a paid book reviewer and as a student editor for The Louisville Review literary magazine. I'm a wife and mom to two great kids, three dogs, and a cat. I love books, movies, gardening, kids, and animals.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Racing Against Time
In honor of one of the greatest sporting events ever, the Kentucky Derby, I had to post something about racing. In my case it is feeling like I am always racing against time. Does this strike a cord with any of you? Do you ever feel like there is never enough time in the day?
Here is an example of a typical day for me. I get up, I get the kids up, I let the dogs out, I ask the kids what they want for breakfast, I pack lunches or snacks, I help/fight with them over clothing choices, I make sure they have at least brushed their teeth before leaving the house, I wave to them and their dad as they leave. Phew. Then it is my time. Right? Sometimes.
I begin trying to get some work done once I've collected my thoughts. The phone rings. I choose to ignore it. I'm working! It is my daughter. She has to tell me something about what she is doing this afternoon. This particular day, it is a track meet that has been rescheduled for Monday afternoon. Great. I didn't have anything due, i.e. online class assignments, chapters for my latest critique group meeting, critiques to do for someone else, market research to get done. Unplanned for track meet that will take up the whole evening and make supper for the kids a bit of a challenge. No problem, heh! I have now been thrown off my train of thought. I settle myself back down again. I can do this. I still have an hour before lunch to work. I settle myself down. I begin to write. The cat jumps on the table and begins to yak all over my papers I've carefully gathered. NO!
Okay, okay. It's all going to be okay. Who cares if it is now lunch time and I still haven't managed to get my shower or get dressed. My husband won't care. No one will be close enough from the college campus near my backyard, to see that I'm still in boxer shorts, when I let the dogs out again. They'll just think they are regular shorts from that far away. The dogs don't care if my hair is greasy and nasty looking. My goals for the day are still attainable. I can still get a good chunk of it done.
I get in the shower and remember that I was supposed to meet people at the demo garden that afternoon. I have exactly 20 minutes to finish my shower, slather on some sunscreen, and get my clothes on. I get there ten minutes late. I enjoy being outside and try not to think about what I still haven't gotten done work-wise. Being outside with nature and the plants is soothing. I do have thoughts whirling in the back of my mind about how to change that scene in my novel to make it more suspenseful. All is not lost. I get home and then promptly leave to get my kids. We get some snacks and then it is off to the track meet. I bring a notebook and some of those chapters I needed to critique for others with me. While the kids do their warm-up, I do some work. I pause and cheer on my youngsters and visit with people I don't get to see except at the track lately. All in all it isn't such a bad day after all. I might not have gotten as much done as I thought. But then I never do. As a stay-at-home mom building a freelance writing career, I've learned you have to be flexible. Time will never be on my side. But in the end as I reflect on my day I realize that being tenacious, keeping my cool, and living in the moment makes me feel at the end of the day like my moment in the winners circle is coming soon. And when I get there, I'll bask in the moment for as long as my kids, and my pets allow. Which may be a whole afternoon, or more likely about five minutes. Then it will be time to get back to the stables and rest up to prepare for the next great race and strive for that next great moment in the sun.