Taken from a Writing Prompt from Mama Kat: What Would You Change About Your Life If You Could?
If there was something I could change about my life, it would be that I would have more time. Over the last few months (okay, realistically over the last 6 months or so) I have not been keeping up with writing on my blog. It’s definitely a time problem. At the beginning of last year, when I started this blog – inspired by other bloggers whose work I read regularly and who I think are incredibly talented – I had free time. My then almost-3-year-old frequently napped, which meant that I had a few hours in the afternoon to myself, while my hubby was at work and my son was at school. I used that time to feed my passion for writing. It was something I used to do a lot when I was younger – in elementary school I wrote poems, short stories, and even raps (!), and in secondary school I wrote for the school newspaper – but that was a LONG time ago. I loved getting back to it. I even wrote and self-published some children’s books. It had been a dream of mine to create something that I could be proud of and show to my children, as an example of setting a goal and achieving it. (Shameless self-promotion: The Duck Who Lost Her Quack, Sammy’s Rainy Day-And How It Went Away, and Every Bunny’s Different are available at blurb.ca and amazon.com.)
But the afternoon naps of my youngest disappeared, and, with them, so did my free time in the day to write. The nights have also gotten busier, with me single-parenting three nights of the week. So it’s difficult to have any time to just sit and think…and write. I honestly don’t know how the other bloggers I follow find the time to write as much as they do, and I wish I could do the same. The only reason I am able to write this right now is because I am at work…shhhhh…which means I am alone (and I can do this because I’m just a body here in case something goes wrong!).
Of course, keeping up with writing isn’t the only thing I would do with more time. In September, my son and I started taking guitar lessons. It’s something I have wanted to do since I was 14, listening to Bon Jovi and hoping to get an electric guitar for my 15th birthday. That didn’t happen. And I didn’t ever take lessons. So when the opportunity came up months ago, I jumped at it. I loved the lessons, but I started to feel overwhelmed with life a few months later. It seemed we (my family) were always running here and there, though I know we’re not nearly as busy with extra-curricular activities as many people we know. That, compounded with daily headaches and back and neck problems, led to me abandoning the guitar. I jokingly told my hubby he could step in for me for a bit. Now he’s hooked. And I haven’t yet been back to guitar lessons. It’s been four months. I miss it. But, again, I don’t feel like I have enough time to practice as much as I need to. As much as giving it a real try deserves. If I had more time I would definitely continue with guitar lessons, and, in a perfect world, I’d have loads of free time to practice.
With more time I’d also start taking voice lessons. I used to sing. All the time. It’s what I’d do on whenever I had any free time. It was my thing. And I was good. WAS. When I started teachers college, I moved home, leaving the big city and my vocal instructor. That was in 2000. When I first started this blog, one of my goals for the year was to follow my bliss: singing. I originally intended to start lessons to get my instrument back into shape, and then pay for some recording time and make a CD for me and to have something cool to show and play for my children. That lasted one lesson.
I admit that I feel bad about focusing on myself with my make-believe free time, but I really think it’s important to do what you love and what makes you happy. Obviously my kids make me happy, and I love them more than anything in the world, but I think it’s important to show them that Mommy has hobbies and activities she loves and needs time to do. Hopefully that will also ignite a passion for something in them.
I have been fortunate enough to have had four years off from my regular job – teaching secondary school – to concentrate on taking care of my family, so I know that the time I have free to do anything “extra” will diminish drastically in September when I go back to work and my youngest starts school. I’m sure I will have a much different list of things I’d want to do with my free time then. I know that I’ll miss spending all of my days with my daughter, having the time to drive my son to and home from school every day, and spending every minute of the kids’ time at home with them. Instead of lamenting the loss of free time to do things for myself, I’ll be wishing time wouldn’t move as quickly as it does, mourning the loss of the time I used to have to just hang out with the kids.
Time, why can’t you just stop for a bit and let us do all of the things we want to do?