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Stealing time December 8, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in parenting & family, toddlers, WAHM/WAHD Stuff, writing/editing/blogging.
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Yesterday, I did something that I rarely do. I didn’t go where I said I was going, at least not right away.  And it was one of the best things that I could have done.  As work-at-home parents (especially us moms) we often forget about taking time for ourselves. We concentrate on getting our kids fed, clothed and edified, making sure there’s food on the table, laundry’s done, floors clean and house tidy enough alongside doing whatever our work-at-home career of choice is. If you own your own business or are a writer, it means you’re the one also handling the administrative duties of said career.  So you find that you learn to master the three-minute shower, go without deep conditioning your hair or exfoliating; and a manicure or pedicure—fugettaboudit.  You learn that “napping when the baby naps” means that something doesn’t get done and when you do manage to sleep in, whether it’s a sweet gift from your spouse or by accident because your body said, “girl, you need to stop, I’m taking over” you still feel a bit of guilt or worse, pissed off at yourself. 

That’s how the morning started. Friday is my husband’s day off from his regular job and his day with our son. It’s winterish now, so going on field trips with a toddler with only three good limbs in the snow means they’re inside, since neither of us are about to risk him falling on the snow or ice with his still-healing broken arm, even if he does have sturdy boots. Fridays, I head off to my local café to work among the noise and din of chatter and some really good background music and write. It’s not silent,  but I can sip my coffee in relative peace from one male tugging at my pant leg to come color and the other one asking me where I’ve stashed the new containers of milk. 

Somewhere around 11, I made it out of the house after warming up my husband’s car and packing it with my gear for the day. But I was still resonating at a decidedly unhealthy frequency. Not quite calm enough to sit down and write. I popped in one of my many Broadway musicals—Maltby’s and Shire’s Closer than Ever—exchanging the two-disc set in the CD player for my husband’s Bob Seger and the Outfield. (Nothing against Seger or the Outfield, but that’s what was in slots one and two, and I needed my Broadway today.)

As I listened and sang along to Doors and reached the intersection before my café, I decided that I needed to hear more and took a drive. I also had to finish getting my secret Santa gift, so I headed for my little corner of peace, one of my favorite stores, Flower Child Herbs, easily a 7-mile detour.  The release of driving and belting out the Broadway tunes was cathartic. I didn’t care how rediculous I might have looked to other motorists—they should be watching the road and not me, anyway. Pulling into the parking lot of the store and entering it to find that I was the only one in it aside from the owner and her mom, who I always love chatting with was absolutely delicious. The aromas of the store filled my nostrils and brought me instant peace. Looking at the new merchandise and “playing” with the herbs was calming.  The chat with the women warm, inviting and as always, sincere.  My sanity was restored. I finished making my purchases (some for me and my household too, of course) and headed back to the car to continue my mobile-Broadway therapy. 

The respite was a welcome one, and one that I must remember to do more often to recharge those oh-so neglected batteries of psyche and spirit.

I arrived at the café an hour later than originally intended, but so what? There was still ample time to write. The hour that I may have “lost” writing was better spent on my excursion, for had I not taken it, I would have easily spent that same hour futzing around, trying to collect my thoughts all while still resonating with the guilt, frustration and self-anger that I left the house with.  With tunes in my head and a spring in my step, I bounced into the café with a renewed sense of energy—even the cold air that hit my nostrils and lungs when I inhaled felt fresh. I greeted the owner, ordered my coffee and set up my perch.  It was now time to work.  Sometimes you just have to steal some time.

Copyright © 2007 Erika-Marie S. Geiss



1. Mary Lynn Lewis - December 8, 2007

I stole time over the summer. I’d drive up to the cemetery near my house, sit in my car, or on the hood, depending on how hot it was, and write.

I don’t have to steal time during the school year. All of the kids are gone from 8 am until 3 pm. Once summer break begins, I’m sure I’ll be a thief regarding the time-space continuum once again.

2. Michele - December 9, 2007

I love stealing time! I can be a real thief 😉

Enjoyed your post immensely!

This is my first time here–I just found you, via The Writer’s Round-About–but I know I’ll be back soon.

3. H and H - December 9, 2007

I know what you mean – Julia Cameron calls it an “artist’s date”, taking time out to feed your soul.

To steal a little more of your time – you’ve been tagged! Go to http://houndshome.blogspot.com/ for the rules – basically you have to come up with 5 facts about yourself and link to 5 people, then go tag them.

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