A new productive / by Christina Rosalie

Hi. It's a rainy Friday, and sadly I haven't posted nearly as much as I'd hoped this week. Excuses: my camera is broken (alas, DH accidentally dropped it) and every available minute at the keyboard was spent finishing a piece I want to send out today. Also: 7 baby New Hampshire red chicks in a box arrived this morning at the hardware store for us; and in spite of the rain and the rather unseasonably chilly weather, I spent yesterday morning putting seedlings (chard, more lettuce, cabbages, broccoli and herbs) into the ground with Bean. The chicks are now in a big wooden box in the garage huddled under a heat lamp. The garden is a mess of mud. And I'm feeling all kinds of quivery about sending writing out. I love to write. Love to be published. But god, submitting work feels a lot like perpetually hearing the sound of nails on a chalkboard. It's so anti-climatic and off putting to work so hard on something and then to send expecting to maybe hear something back in ninety days or never. Still. If there was just one thing I could do in the world, it would be this.

I've been thinking about my time and how I use it this week. How I find myself many days in a state of harried heartache wishing I were writing while I'm doing everything but. How some days, especially rainy indoor days, the repetition of folding laundry and putting glasses away, making snacks and attaching treads to little Lego vehicles feels just about as futile as a hamster on a wheel.

I think there will always be this. It's what motherhood has come to mean for me. This push pull. This tug, this feeling of being pulled asunder, this way and that by the deep drum beat of my creative self and my love for my boys. And I do love them. Adore. Nothing makes me feel quite the way they do, with their smiles and long lashes. It is just that still when I'm asked about what it is that I do, the word "mother" rarely comes to mind, though this is what I do for a great part of every day.

And because daytime is typically boy time, I've decided to stop wimping out on the couch at the end of the day after they are asleep. Instead I've been writing furiously, and then running three miles on the treadmill. As a result I've felt insanely more productive this week. Maybe more sleep deprived too. But who cares? A piece is finished, and I ran 2 miles in 17 minutes last night, so it's all good. Right?

When do you find time? How? What are the non-negotiable things you feel like you need to do in your life in order to be really living it? How do you fit these things in?