“I need water, Mommy.” Sarah, my precocious five-year old tugs at my black dress. I’m running late. To a funeral.
“Here.” I put the green cup in front of her on the kitchen table as I debate with the mirror. Eye make-up or not. Chances are I’ll cry. I’m a crier. And the make-up will just end up making me look like I have two black eyes. Skip the eye-liner.
“Mommy, here.” Sarah pushes a stapled paper book she made in school into my lap as I pull on my boots. “You forgot to read this to me.”
Now? I’m thinking? You need me to read this to you, right-now? Zip up my second shoe and prop my princess in my lap. Ten pages. I can do this.
“How ’bout you read this to me,” I suggest.
“That’s what I was gonna say.” Smile big, Sarah settles in against me, and turns to page one. Slowly.
I stare at the round clock on the wall. If I had left ten minutes ago, I would have had a few minutes to find parking. Now I have to find parking across the street, or I’m walking in late.
“The snowman has two, green, triangle buttons.” Sarah turns to page three. Even slower than the last time.
“Do you want me to read?” Anything to speed up my departure at this point.
“No, Mommy. The teacher said I have to read it to my Mommy and Daddy. Want me to start over?” She asks like I missed the most important part of the story.
“No. No. I heard you. Keep going. You’re reading really well, Beara. Turn the page.” Clock ticking, two sips of water from the green cup later, and I know what’s happening.
I made my decision this morning when I first stepped out of bed. I need to be more here. When I’m here. Especially for my girls. Let me back up for a second.
About a year and a half ago, I began to take my writing seriously. After almost a decade of the stay-at-home mommy dealio, I felt ready to pursue my little girl dream to be a published author. Little did I know that a writer’s job is all over the place. I wanted to write. All the time. And even when I wasn’t writing, I was thinking. Mentally occupied with dialogue, characters, plot twists, and endings. Changing the ending over and over again. And let’s not even talk about sequels. My mind was elsewhere…almost twenty-four seven.
Hubs suggested I block out specific times to write and then leave the rest of the time for life. Family. Him. He was right. Often is. So slowly, over the past months, I’ve formulated a schedule, found a great place to write, and only work one weekend out of the month. For the most part, I’ve stuck to it, although I still sneak in a few extra minutes here and there when I just have to write an idea down.
Like the other night, I woke up at two in the morning, because I had a “great idea” of how to fix a certain key scene in my manuscript. I debated sleeping it off and trusting my memory to deliver all the details in the morning, but I couldn’t sleep. Fear that I would lose the wording that always sounds so good when your head is glued to your pillow. So I quietly crept to the kitchen and tapped away on my Mac for twenty minutes and then returned to dreamland.
That has only happened a handful of times. I’m not neurotic. Totally.
But even with the schedule, the challenge to turn my mind off is ever-present. Not giving up, though. Because when I do, I’m instantly reminded of how much I love being a mom. Observing the growth and development of my princesses and their ever-changing personalities. Love listening to all the humorous, adorable, quirky and distinct thoughts that leave their lips.
And I love being a wife. To possibly the coolest guy on earth. Yeah, he’s that awesome. Even though I drive him crazy, he’s still crazy about me. Now, that’s just crae-crae. In the best way.
So the hats I wear that only I see. Wife. Mommy. Sister. Daughter. Writer. I’m learning, day by day, how to juggle them. And aware, so aware, that you can’t really wear two hats at once. It would look awkward in reality, wearing two visible hats on your head, so it only makes sense that the invisible ones can’t fit well together either. And there are still many moments when I’m shuffling between hats too quickly and forgetting to take one off when I pull the other one on. Still stumbling and learning. I suppose most of us do.
And isn’t the first step to conquering any problem, admitting that yes, you do indeed have a problem. So I confess I’m a scatter brain, in search of order. Around me. But even more so, inside me. And have no choice but to keep at it. Pursuing and learning. Forgiving myself for the times I fail. Because I do. And I will. And pressing forward.
Knowing that life. Living. Wearing all the hats other than Writer nourish me. And funny thing is, they also feed my imagination. Giving me material for the next story.
“The End.” Sarah closes her book shut. A squeezey hug. Kisses. And I’m off.
Hats off to all who are in this battle with me, whatever career dream you’re pursuing. And if you’re an author, Happy Writing, but even more so, Happy Living!
And you? Which hats are you juggling? Any advice for those of us who are a little disorganized by nature? Is there a hat you want to wear but are afraid to try on?