Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Free time

     Like many mothers and professional women, I struggle with trying to find the time to do things for myself. As a creative person I especially find it difficult to balance creating with the needs of the house and of the children. When I carve out a tiny bit of time to do something for myself, it's lovely ... And my sister yells at me less.  I can find a little bit of pleasure in something rather simple, as I did two nights ago, when I painted my fingernails.  It's not a new poem or a new painting, but it's something.  I had found this really cool tutorial on the Internet involving sharpies and I thought ... Why not.
     So I went into work with this nifty design on my nails, and I was kind of proud of myself, because it had actually turned out close to the example.  One of my coworkers noticed, and the next thing you know I was happily showing it off.  Then something interesting happened after one of my customers noticed.  She said, "Looks like someone must have a lot of free time on her hands."
     I immediately responded with oh I wasn't able to go to sleep, I was up late blah blah blah making excuses for why I had carved out this little bit of time for myself. What I should've said was, "not really, but I made time for me."  Later, I forced myself to reflect on why I would've answered that way.  Why did I feel that I needed to rationalize away a little bit of personal time? Why was I quick to dismiss my own needs?  I am a creative person, I know I need this time why would I dismiss it.  Interestingly enough, I didn't question the rationale behind my customer's statement.  Unfortunately, we humans are often shitty to each other when we should be more supportive.
     I don't want to call women out in particular, but I think that many women reading right now can point to examples in their own lives where they've dealt with this.  Why do we as women do this to each other?  Is this a generational problem ... Some sort of expectation of martyrdom.  I may be going out on a limb here, but I believe that many creative people, both men and women, end up sacrificing the time that they need to create to the needs of the family and of survival.  For me, I willingly made those choices ... Life is not successfully lived in regret.  But I do struggle daily with balancing my needs and their needs and unfortunately, I frequently take the easy route and make the personal sacrifice.  This leads to a grumpy mama.
     How do you do it? How do you find the time? Do you just make it? I welcome your thoughts.

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