In the last year and a half, I’ve managed to transform my hobby-and-occasional-gig into a sustainable career. Which, frankly, still amazes me. When we were down in Georgia a couple of weeks ago, someone asked me what I did and I answered, “I’m a writer” without batting an eyelash.
I had only a short period of time to bask in this accomplishment before the logical follow-on to triumph took over: Exhaustion. Freelancing is not for wimps. There are no paid vacations, no sick days, and it’s very easy to fall into a pattern of working all hours, every day of the week. And then? What initially felt SO GOOD starts to feel a little bit like the third circle of hell.
The last couple of weeks, one thing has prevented me from tossing my computer out the nearest window and declaring that I will never write a single word again. Every night the kids come pile onto my bed and we read. I’ve been reading to the kids at bedtime for, well, forever. But I’m finally sharing one of my very favorites with them, and remembering that YES, I LIKE WORDS. Words make me happy. Sharing words makes me even happier.
In fact, our current book is one I picked up several years before Chickadee was born, when we still lived in California. I paid $1.63 for it (the price is written on the inside of the cover). I bought it because I remembered loving it as a kid, and I hoped that someday I’d have a child (or two or three) to share it with. And here I am, 11 years later, two little creatures burrowing under my blankets and begging me to “KEEP READING!”
So tonight, as we finished our chapter, the kids begged and pleaded for us to keep going, keep reading, because they cannot bear not to know what happens next. They pelted me with questions all the way down the hall and while I tucked them in. (Is their father okay? Will Charles Wallace be alright? Will they get home? What is IT?)
I know the answers, but I smile and tell them to wait and see, because I don’t want to ruin it for them.
The funny thing is, in the mornings, when I sit down to my work again, I think about reading that book for the first time when I was Chickadee’s age. And then I think about my children cuddled up to me, listening with rapt attention, hearing it for the first time. And even though I’m not writing anything nearly so magical, I remember that I love what I do. All of it.
Happy Love Thursday, everyone.