Here I sit, de-stressing by way of my netbook. Sure, it’s a little cramped in the front seat of my Toyota, but the shortage of wiggle room is barely noticeable once I get going. I’m parked in a strip mall with the car idling and the heater blasting in defense of the freezing temperature outside.
Confession: I’m playing hooky from work today. Just taking a “mental health” day. I needed a day to relax with my coffee, my computer and my words. A cherished, if stolen, block of time I need to write without being interrupted by my young children.
Every night my sleep is disrupted by my son's cries for a toy that's fallen from his bed, or by my daughter’s fear of a shadow in her room, or even by my barking dog. Point is, I haven’t slept soundly in over six years, and I can’t punish my body even more by staying up any later at night or getting up any earlier in the morning. Not even for the therapeutic act of writing.
I started working on a story last month, scribbling down snatches of ideas here and there, on any materials handy. That story has been transcribed from thoughts I hurriedly jotted down in crayon on a phone bill, and from memories I'd scrawled on a paper towel, and on a borrowed page from my toddler’s coloring book. Whatever tools I found nearby. You know how puny my attention span is, loveys. I can't--
Ooh, look - something shiny!
Never mind. It was just a gum wrapper. Anyhoo...
I'm sorry. What were we talking about again? Oh, yes. My office.
I don’t have the luxury of spending hours at a time concentrated on writing, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My babies inspire and motivate me. I’m grateful to God for them. But I still have a dream and a relentless tug from my creative spirit that begs for nourishment. So I still write.
Sure, my husband shakes his head at me for the occasional day of hooky, but he would never dispute the healing power of my pen. And yes, my daughter may protest when I ask to tear a page from her coloring book to jot some lines on, but eventually she’ll appreciate the inheritance of detailed journals I’ve recorded for her. I write for my family as much as for myself, and in the end they’re my biggest motivation.
Tomorrow I’ll rise early and trudge to the job that helps pay the mortgage.
Tonight I’ll hit my pillow by eleven, and maybe, maybe, even get to sleep soundly.
But right now, I will stay scrunched up in my car, hiding out in homespun tales on the page. Because that is how I write.