Saturday, January 9, 2010

One Lucky Bitch

It's Friday, and I'm wrapping up a pretty successful morning of revisions to my novel by consuming a big bowl of tomato soup at a favorite cafe before heading back out into the snow to drive home, relieve my sitter and resume my role of crayon distributor and milk pourer.  I love both of these roles, writer and mom.  Many days, I wish I had more time to write.  Some days when I'm writing, I miss the kids too much to really focus.  It's a balancing act, one that my husband and I set up about a year and a half ago after I got pregnant with our second child.  Wanting to spend as much time as we possibly can with our kids, we have a sitter just one or two mornings a week.  I've quit teaching for the time being because when I'm teaching, I've got no time for writing or much of anything else.  But, someone's got to make some cash, so that falls entirely on hubby for now.
 
As I write, I can't help but overhear the conversation of the two women at the table next to me.  They are complaining loudly about their jobs, about the "idiots" they work for, about how underappreciated they are and underpaid, and mostly about how much they wish they could quit.  This is likely their weekly lunch bitch session. I used to have similar sessions with my coworkers when I was the primary breadwinner in our family, before I decided to attend grad school.  I've done my share of time in cubicles, logged hour upon hour in conference rooms as both the person doing the talking and the person falling asleep in the back row.  I have to say, I don't miss it much.  What I do miss is the camaraderie.  It's lonely writing sometimes, but that's a post for another day.

Today, I'm reminding myself how lucky I am to have this time in my life to focus on the things that are most important to me, my family and my writing.  No matter how frustrating the writing process is, I could still be back at my 9 to 5 writing newsletters for clients and wishing I was working on a short story instead.  It's hard to explain to people that writing is my "job" now because I'm not making any money.  With some people, it's easier to call it my "hobby" and say my "job" is a stay-at-home mom, though, hey, I'm not getting any money for that either!

I'm listening to these women talk about how much they hate their work, and I'm thinking about how I desperately hope I'm still writing at age 95, how there isn't enough time in the world to get all the stories down on paper that I want to tell, how my worst day writing is still better than a good day in the cubicle jungle, how the only "boss" I have to deal with is the one in the mirror.  It was fun to bitch about work with my old office pals, but I'd much rather be where I am now, just one lucky bitch.

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