I live a good life.
Not every day is perfect and I haven’t accomplished every single little thing that my heart desires, but when I zoom out on my life and look at the bigger picture, I can see that it is good.
I am blessed.
I have good health, a husband who loves me, a nice roof over my head and a big bed that I get to lay down in every single night.
My children are active and healthy — that alone is priceless, but sometimes I take that for granted.
A couple of days ago, I saw a television show where a couple was crying in their doctor’s office. The doctor had just told them that they weren’t going to be able to have children. Their story hit me hard. Watching this couple’s journey and seeing their deep desire to have a baby of their own reminded me that I need to be grateful for my children, even in the difficult times. And as a mom of three young boys, there are plenty of difficult times.
For example, one afternoon last week, I had a marvelous plan to work in my home office and do some writing on my computer (instead of on my phone like I normally do). Now that I’ve made this commitment to writing, I really want to make more of an effort and take it seriously. That afternoon, my oldest son was off on an outdoor adventure with my husband, my middle son was fully entertained by the iPad, and my littlest one was taking a nap, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to escape into my office to write.
Just before I headed into the office, I sat down at the kitchen table to text a friend. About thirty seconds into me sitting down, the baby started to cry. I had just put him down for a nap about an hour before, so I fully expected him to sleep for at least another hour.
I sat very still at the table…and I let him cry for a little while, hoping that he would calm himself and fall back asleep. But that didn’t happen. His cry only got louder and louder.
I was bummed.
The wonderful image of me doing some real writing on a real computer was like a dream to me, and I was about to have to give up that dream because really there’s no competition. If my baby is crying, then I’m going to comfort my baby. He comes first. I will always choose him first. The writing will have to wait.
In that very moment, a dreadful thought came to my mind: You’re never going to be a writer because you have to take care of your children, so you might as well just quit.
For one quick second, I actually believed that crazy thought. But then somewhere inside of me, I had the courage to disagree with my thoughts. (Did you know that you can do that — disagree with your thoughts?)
I disagreed with that thought because I knew it was a lie. It is a lie, and here’s why.
I made a decision that I want to be a writer, but who says that it has to happen rightnowatthisverysecond? It may not happen today or tomorrow or next year or in ten years, but it will happen when it’s supposed to, and I’m okay with that. As long as I’m working hard and doing my best under my current circumstances, then that’s all that matters.
My children are not the problem here. They are not the reason that I’m not a full-time paid writer. They are not holding me back or pulling me down in any way.
My children are also not the reason that I don’t have time to write. I am the reason that I don’t have time to write.
Everyone in our house wakes up around 7:30 am on the weekends. I usually wake up around 6 am, but because I went to bed so late the night before, I’m too tired to get out of bed that early, so I just lay there until I fall back asleep. If I would go to bed at a decent hour, then I would be able to wake up at 6 am and have at least an hour and a half of quiet, uninterrupted writing time. But no…I would rather stay up all night watching some stupid television show. That’s my fault, not my children’s fault.
It has been my tendency in the past to run away from something as soon as I see an obstacle in the way. I would rather quit than attempt to overcome. But challenges are always going to be there, especially when you’re doing something that you believe you are meant to do, so I need to be okay with seeing and meeting those challenges.
Just because something goes wrong, or doesn’t go according to my plan, doesn’t mean that I have to quit.
Just because I’m not able to get to my computer to write doesn’t mean that I have to give up on writing all together. I can keep working, little by little, until big things start to happen.
To sum it all up, I never made it to my computer that day (or today, even), but I am thankful that I have a good quality phone that provides me with everything I need to write and share. I’m also thankful for the ability to persevere even when I feel like giving up, because that’s what I need the most: perseverance. If that’s the one and only thing I get from being on this writing journey — figuring out how to not quit — then that is perfectly fine with me.