Earlier this month, I decided I would quit writing because I could no longer fit it into my life amid all the other obligations of work, motherhood and basic human maintenance. Trying to find time to write was impossible. I was maxed out. Stressed and cranky. Desperate to get out of the rat race. I had too much to do and too little time to do it in.
Be careful what you wish for, folks.
Fast forward two weeks and it feels as if Universe heard me, and in its perverse and deep unknown wisdom, granted me more time to write. Enter the COVID-19 pandemic.
I know that isn’t what really happened. But being forced to stay home and give up the ridiculous schedule I’d been keeping feels like a gift. While I’m stressed that school is closed and people across Canada and the globe are isolating themselves to stop the spread of this new virus, part of me is happy to have the time to catch up on all the things I’ve want to do for a change, without feeling guilty.
Grateful for the Gift of Time
I can now write- uninterrupted!- for hours a day without having to get up at an ungodly hour to do so. I don’t have to squeeze reading or research into the small gaps of time surrounding my kid’s extra-curricular activities. I have time to commit to the online writing communities I’d been neglecting. Our virtual meetings keep me sane and focused. They help me laugh.
I love the pace of this new reality and the time it gives me each day. With no commitments outside the house, besides starting the novel I’ve been researching, I may have time to learn a new language. Practice guitar. Take up sketching. Get back to knitting and gardening.
The possibilities are endless- I’m like a kid in a candy store!
Besides stress regarding writing, prior to the pandemic, I’d been mourning the lack of quality time with my kids, especially my oldest (in grade twelve and preparing to leave for University). We now have time to bake and take hikes together. Catch up on old eighties movies and board games. We eat almost every meal together. So far, we laugh and enjoy each other’s company (though I am very glad we have our own rooms to escape to and great wifi).
Precious time I am so grateful to have.
I realize my privilege. I’m healthy, living in a large home, with a partner that continues to make a living. I don’t have aging parents, or immune compromised kids to worry about. My part of the world is stable and we have a government that appears to have things under control.
And yet, there are still serious concerns that intrude into my happy little bubble. Questions that pop into my head as I’m drifting off to sleep.
How long will my kids be out of school? What will school be like for them when they do? What happens to my son’s graduation traditions?
When will I be able to visit face-to-face with family and friends again?
How will the economic downturn effect me in the long term?
How long will it be till a vaccine or effective treatment will be available?
When will we be able to continue with “normal” life? What will the new normal even look like?
Focus on What You Can Control
These are enormous questions I’m not able to answer, especially on my own. I am confident, and hopeful, that humanity will answer them all in the weeks to come. For now, I’ll enjoy my bubble and be grateful that the Universe has seen fit to grant me this small favour. The opportunity to practice the goals I set for myself in January: to be present, seek balance and be kind, to myself and to others.
I’ll focus what I can control in all of this madness and write my little ass off.
I’ve returned to a world I loved writing in a few years ago because it gave me great joy. Stay tuned to this blog as I publish glimpses into the happy world of Balsam Creek, home to a plucky little mouse named Wire, and his diverse neighbourhood friends. I hope they give you as much joy in reading as they give me in writing.