For the past few weeks my waking hours have been spent mostly shut off from the world.
I rise before dawn to write and read – forcing myself to shut out the world that beckons from the internet. At 7 AM, I’ll wake my boys and spend the next 45 minutes getting them dressed, fed, and chauffeured to school. Then I’ll come home and take care of the few chores I do on a daily basis before sitting down to work until dark again. I’ll re-emerge from my work area in time to make dinner and start the cycle all over again. The short winter days ensure that I rarely see daylight, but the thing I have noticed the most as my job demands more from my family life with the waxing tax season, is that spending less time with my family often means that I spend less time with my blog.
I first noticed this one recent weekend when basketball practice inspired another post and a story for an e-book I’m working. I sat down in the the gym at 8:15 AM on a Saturday, watched Thing1 and Thing2 finish an argument over something important (like which is the better color – red or green) and, as Thing2 began his basketball dance, I felt the urge to pull out my notebook and pen. I didn’t stop writing for the entire morning. Doodles and ideas flowed.
Sunday was equally productive. The ideas and stories overflowed into Monday, but by Tuesday, I spent most of the previous two days away from my family. When I put the kids to bed, I realized I had seen them for 2 waking hours. Simultaneously, the story well seemed to go dry and stay that way for a day or two.
Part of me has been resentful of this new routine. As great as it is to work at home, it can be really difficult to explain to younger children that, even though you’re home, you’re not available. And, through the door, I can hear the evening antics and arguments as homework and its tribulations unfold around the kitchen table. The fairy tale is unfolding without me.
But even as I’m already feeling left out and dreading the seemingly lifeless hours in the day ahead, I’m finding an unexpected story this morning. This story is about the very light causing the shadows. It’s about the good fortune to be shut up in a warm room and to have enough food to feed a family at the end of the day. It’s about not fearing about necessities. But most of all, this tale is about realizing how fortunate it is to have a reason to feel the absence of the stories happening just on the other side of the study door.