I missed a lot yesterday.
I missed writing a blog post. (I was waking up to cheap coffee, a shower and a hearty pillow fight with my husband and son in a hotel room.)
I missed checking and responding to email. (Instead I was taking pictures: Little Man watching a baby giraffe, Little Man and his dad looking for snakes in glass cages, Little Man and his Grandma eating hot dogs and mimicking peacock noises.)
I missed a noon conference call for a class I’m taking. (We were watching an elephant get a pedicure.)
I missed the traditional weekend.
My mother-in-law was in town all week, and my husband had to work on Saturday. You bet he took a day off to spend at least a few quality hours with his Mama. That day was yesterday. We did a spontaneous overnighter in San Diego to visit the San Diego Zoo yesterday.
I am both blessed and cursed by the flexibility I have as a full time mom and writer. Without an 8-to-5 work schedule, it is easy to accommodate my “off time” (with writing, I mean, not with mothering, ha) with my husband’s. But that balance between being assertive with sticking to my own work and taking time off when my husband can finally catch a break is tricky.
What I mean is, when you are tied to your vocation 24/7 and not bound by a work schedule that is imposed by someone from the outside, it can just be dang hard to let go sometimes.
Take yesterday, for instance.
At first, I was stressed about missing some important work hours – tending to the blog, participating in that conference call, the simple act of writing itself. No email. No Facebook. No blogosphere.
But then I started thinking, Am I really that addicted to screen time? Is the world going to be any different if I post a blog entry on Tuesday rather than Monday this week?
I know I can pre-plan these things, stock-pile blog posts for times such as this, etc. But that’s not really the point. The point is, how do we remain proactive in our art and daily interactions without becoming a slave to them?
It took some mental work, but yesterday I was able to just let go. (I realized this in the middle of watching that elephant, Smitty, get her pedicure. It was 12:10 when I checked my watch. The conference call had been going for 10 minutes. I hadn’t thought twice about that call all morning.) To not worry about what I was “missing,” but to instead focus on what I was gaining by having a complete day devoted entirely to family.
Often those family days happen on Saturday. But that wasn’t possible this week. So we just shifted some things around a bit. Bryan worked, and so did I. How nice it was to wake up to each other yesterday morning and say, “Hello,” and start the day off with a pillow fight.
When was the last time you completely let go of your work? When was the last time you disconnected from the technological world? Do you feel like you’re a slave to some of these things that are meant to keep us conveniently connected – Facebook, Twitter, blogs?
If so, take heart and know all of these things will still be there thrumming away tomorrow. The world, for a day, will not notice that you’re gone.
And if it does, well, you are pretty important. But you can still just give it a wink and promise you will return again, soon.