Hello friend! If you’ve found your way here, more than likely you are like myself and so many other writers I know trying get the words down while raising a family and holding down a job. You have embarked on a life that desires the whole enchilada: family, creative fulfillment, and the ability to pay all your bills.
All three of these pursuits are important to you and, for the most part, bring you joy (family), satisfaction (creative fulfillment), and a sense of accomplished responsibility (paying your bill).
But let’s be honest, while all of these pursuits fulfill us in different ways, they also often compete with each other for the one resource they all need the most of.
And it’s this competition pulling at our brains that often creates the conflicts for those of us trying to do it all. Our kids need us, our jobs need us, our creations need us. There really are only 24 hours in every day and you do have your limits. It doesn’t take a psychologist to tell you that this is why we start wishing, hoping, praying that we could combine two of these pursuits into one:
creative fulfillment=ability to pay bills
Wouldn’t that be great?
Okay, so we’ve admitted to that wish, hope, prayer–but you know as well as I do that getting to that magical land where our creations keep the roofs over our heads is, most often, a long, long, long road. Uphill. Unpaved. Unmarked.
It’s easy to think that giving up on one area, your creative pursuits, would solve all your conflicts. But maybe you’re like me; you tried this already and it didn’t stick. Eventually you returned to that keyboard, camera, or easel unable to just walk away from something that brings you joy.
Let me say this first: What you are doing is hard. Very hard. And it may at times feel overwhelming, pointless, unfair even.
How can we keep on? How can we persevere? We want it all: the best for our kids, a creative life, AND food.
For me, it’s helpful if I keep a few things at the forefront of my thinking.
- I actively, and enthusiastically, participated in the creation of my life as I now know it.
- I would love to spend my work days writing and my weekends and evenings with my family; this is a destination I’m heading toward.
- I’m not at my destination–yet.
- My journey toward that destination will not look like anyone else’s journey. We are starting in different places, taking different routes, and most likely ending up on different continents.
- There is zero point in paying attention to the journey other’s are on unless it is to cheer, lift up, congratulate, or otherwise encourage them to keep on going. Other people are not my competition.
- To that point: Since we are all on different journeys, my only reference point for degree of advancement along my road is, wait for it, MYSELF.
- Every day I’m alive and able to love, hug, hold, strive, think, reach out, encourage, empathize, connect, care, and basically try to be a better human being than I was yesterday IS A GIFT. Treat it as such.
- Some days it’s very hard to remember that every day is a gift.
- When I remember these things, it is basically impossible for me to ever feel anything but completely blessed for every aspect of my life. Conflict and all.
- Do your best, keep showing up, hug your kids and tell them you love them every day…especially when you’re shooing them out of your office door.