Friday, July 19, 2013

Figuring it all out

I feel like a runaway. I'm sitting in the cool, coffee-scented air of the Barnes & Noble down the street from my house, listening to some version of I Just Met a Girl Named Maria ('cause B&N is down with the show tunes) playing over the store's intercom system. I'm here to work on my neglected novel. There are food stains scattered across my t-shirt from Baby Girl, my face is devoid of makeup, and my (unwashed) hair is hidden beneath the faded purple Northwestern baseball cap that has absorbed the head sweat of probably a thousand workouts. I am thus attired because I made a mad dash to get out of the house as fast as humanly possible the minute Baby Girl was safely in Afternoon Napland (not without a twinge of guilt) and I am probably not in any state fit to be seen in public, but I'm here and that's what matters.

I was supposed to begin doing this - spending Friday afternoons in the bookstore, writing - back at the end of May, when summer hours bega (which translates into having Friday afternoons off via flexing out your work hours over the course of the rest of the week).

It's mid-July. It's my first time here. Argh.

So yeah - I'm supposed to be working on my novel, but I just needed to get this off my chest first. Because, well, for all my good intentions back in February and all my lists and organizational tools, I am still figuring it all out, meaning this whole work-from-home-mom-aspiring-author-living-in-a-new-city thing. And I'm realizing this: it's okay. Really and truly okay. It's okay that my house is messy and working out consistently is still a challenge and the baby weight that continues to plague me is trickling off a quarter pound at a time and my blogs continue to get sporadic attention. It's okay that I still don't have any friends here and we still haven't found a church and we still don't leave the house four days a week most of the time. Because in spite of all this, there is progress. I mean, I'm here, aren't I?

And I've figured out a few things for sure. Like the fact that I am best at working out consistently when I go to the gym during my lunch hour. Early morning is just too early for me, and late afternoon is slump time. Between 11 and 1 is perfect. So that's what I've been doing, and it works.

I've also figured out that travel kills my blogging habit. Oh, I take my laptop along every time, but finding the time or even the physical space to think, much less write, escapes me. There's always too much going on. It's not that I don't have material - my backlog is scary, in fact. So sometime, somehow, I plan to get ahead (ha!) and have posts scheduled to publish while I'm gone. I have no idea when I'll be able to make that happen, but I do have a plan, and that's the first step.

Ultimately, what I keep learning over and over is that I am so blessed to work from home. To not miss a millisecond of Baby Girl's development. I'm reminded of this every time I travel for work or have to spend a week in the Grand Rapids office. I get to be there. I get to witness  every new discovery, every new word. And for me, personally, that has become more and more priceless over the past year because she has changed so much so fast. And even though she gives me a hard time every day about being at my desk, and she begs to sit on my lap and pound on the computer keyboard and fusses when she can't do that, she gives her dad a harder time when I'm not there at all. It's definitely not "out of sight, out of mind" with her. I'm so thankful for this season of being home with her and still being able to provide for my family while E is in school. I'm grateful for my gracious colleagues who express delight when we're on a conference call and she's babbling (or shrieking) in the background.

So all the rest of it - running and blogging and time for my novel and a social life and church - I'll keep figuring out those things, and eventually, I'll get there. Because God doesn't give us passions without also giving us the wherewithal to pursue them. I'm going to stand on that truth for as long as it takes.

For now, I have a giant iced tea and a manuscript full of corrections to make and a few precious hours. It feels good.


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