When Life Gets in the Way…

We all want to have our cake and eat it too, but sometimes life just gets in the way...
We all want to have our cake and eat it too, but sometimes life just gets in the way…

2016 has been a rough year for me, as far getting any work done goes. I’ve spent most of the year so far battling various colds and flus (Note to self: next year, don’t forget to get your flu shot) and resting when I should have been writing.

Last week, I was fine with being sick, and even with missing my blog post. After all, I felt terrible, and didn’t have the energy to do more than sprawl on the couch and watch tv. But this week, I had more energy – not a lot more, but more. Enough that I only needed to spend about 75% of my time sprawled on the couch, resting.

And yet, I barely got any work done.

I mean, I got some work done: I did a few critiques and posted a chapter of my WIP to my online crit group, I sent out some publicity requests for FUN WITH FROSTING, and I tried to keep at least vaguely on top of my social media accounts. But I didn’t get any new writing done.

So, what happened?

Well, we needed groceries, the boys had appointments, we have a bunch of birthdays coming up that require gifts (some by this weekend), it was spirit week at the kids’ school, requiring different ‘costumes’ each day (waaay more work than you’d think, between shopping for items, doing laundry, and just generally trying to find specific clothes in the disaster area we call a house – I haven’t had the time/energy for cleaning, either)…you get the idea…

In short, life got in the way.

It’s frustrating, but it happens. I’ve always said I’m an almost-full-time writer (/part-time parent), and this is why. Because when you have kids there’s always going to be something that needs your attention: homework, parties, field trips, laundry (so much laundry!), sick days, food prep, hair styling, not to mention actually playing with them. And there are only so many hours in a day.

I am so fortunate to have a job that allows me to spend so much time with/on my kids. If I had a regular, out-of-the-house “real” job, not only would I probably have been fired already due to absences, I don’t know how I’d find the time to get everything done that needs to be done, let alone find time for writing.

On the other hand, if I don’t manage to squeeze in some writing time soon, I’m not going to be able to be an almost-full-time writer for much longer.

So I’m working on ways to squeeze writing in. Step 1 was getting up at 5:30 this morning to write this post. Step 2 includes bringing my notebook to the doctor’s this afternoon so I can work while I wait. Step 3 is taking the kids to go visit their grandparents for March Break next week. Hopefully with their help I’ll rest up enough to finally kick this flu, or at the very least, find more time for writing. Wish me luck.

What about you? How do you balance work and life? Ever had your life completely take over your work? How did you get things back on track? Tell me about it in the comments.

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5 comments

  1. It’s hard! I work all day, but I try to hold up somewhere at lunch to do some writing. And in the warm months, I have my screened-in porch waiting for me when I get home. My family is great and doesn’t expect a home cooked meal from me, so that frees up some time too. I usually do my workouts in the early AM before work, but I quite often will ride my recumbent bike and read what I’ve written. I’ve had to learn to multi-task.

    Oh how I wish I could write full time.

  2. Good luck squeezing your writing in. I agree, it’s very hard, between work, family obligations, (and blogging!). I make lists and writing always seems to be at the end of them, so I often don’t get to it. I guess doing it first, even if just for a little while might be the secret.

    • Thanks. It’s really this flu that’s been killing me – I learned last year that if I try and power through, it takes me twice as long to heal, so it’s better to take the time off and rest. But I needed less rest time today, and actually managed to get some writing done, so hopefully things will only improve from here. 😀

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