A ways back I attended a professional mentoring event. I had a great conversation with a seasoned mentor about the question he has been asked most by his proteges. The topic that came up again and again was work/life balance. His answer: "There is no work-life balance." I was confused, then he continued, "There are priorities and you need to make choices about what your priorities are, period."
It's some of the best advice I've ever heard. When I had nothing but free time I accomplished very little because time (and motivation) was not an issue. Projects came, projects went and time flew by and the only thing I had to show for it were computer disks* full of half finished projects. I went to school and took courses in play writing, sitcom writing and journalism. I started things, but nothing ever stuck.
For regular readers you know that I have a major "thing" for Douglas Coupland, in fact some may think he's Molly's Father. This is one of my favourite quotes from him, " “By the age of twenty, you know you're not going to be a rock star. By twenty-five, you know you're not going to be a dentist or any kind of professional. And by thirty, darkness starts moving in- you wonder if you're ever going to be fulfilled, let alone wealthy and successful. By thirty-five, you know, basically, what you're going to be doing for the rest of your life, and you become resigned to your fate..."
When I turned 30 I feel as if my creative side met my practical side and I kicked myself into gear. I wrote my first novel and I sent it out to nearly 100 publishers. I received a lot of rejection letters on my self-addressed stamped envelopes, a lot of non-replies and I even had a couple of bites that never made it to fruition, but I was doing it!
After I got pregnant with spontaneous twins I thought that I would chronicle my pregnancy, but I was so sick that I couldn't manage anything. After Molly and Jack were born I tried my hand at fiction again, working on my second novel, but my heart wasn't in it any more, so at six weeks into my life as a mom I began writing Multiple Momstrosity. Parenthood has a bad rap. I was always told about all of the things that I wouldn't or couldn't do after I became a mom; about the restrictions, the time and the endless responsibility. This has become my passion project, a priority and my twisted love letter to my children.
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*Yeah I said disks, I'm that old.