Thursday, January 30, 2014

Defeated

Live your dream!  Share your passion!  Do what you love and the money will follow!

Ever since I was a little girl, I've been telling stories.  My mom used to stick me in the way-back of the station wagon when we went on driving trips to tell my little sisters stories to keep them entertained.  I remember telling stories on the playground in grade school, and telling stories to my cousins when they visited from Washington, DC.  When I started delivering the evening paper at age 12, I spent my time walking from house to house telling myself stories in my head.  I remember dragging my feet on the way home and arriving well after dark because I was at a good spot in the story and didn't want to quit.  I started telling myself stories to fall asleep at night, just like reading a novel.  I had one multi-generational family saga that I started telling myself as a senior in high school and finished over a year later as a freshman in college.  I didn't write any of it down, and most of it was entertaining only to me, but for as long as I can remember, I've been telling stories.

I've thought about writing a novel for years and finally started working on something with some seriousness a couple years ago.  But I have six kids and little free time, so it's been slow going.  And I don't really know what I'm doing.  A friend recently registered for an intensive novel writing class.  It meets one night a week for 12 weeks--and it looks fabulous!  But I have six kids and little free time.  And no money.  So, no class for me. Boo hoo.

And I'm a Christian, but I really, really dislike most Christian fiction.  What I've read in the past is too simple minded with too-good-to-be-true characters and neat and tidy endings of perfectly answered prayer.  The book I'm working on deals with some pretty non-Christian behavior even though the characters call themselves Christians.  I love the idea of throwing things at characters and seeing how they react, and sometimes having them react badly, but does this glorify God?  And, as a Christian, isn't that what I'm supposed to be doing, glorifying God?  Some days I feel like I'm doing what God made me good at, and that in itself glorifies God, like the character in Chariots of Fire, Eric Liddell, who said, "I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast.  And when I run I feel his pleasure."  When I write, when I'm in the zone, I feel like God and I are in synch, like he's smiling down on me.  But then I look at the inspirational things Christian authors are writing and I second guess myself.  And back and forth.  And around and around.  Big sigh.

In the end, writing is really just a time consuming hobby that won't ever result in monetary gain, and with my oldest heading to college next year, what I need right now is monetary gain.  I'm a CPA.  My last day of work was the day my water broke in the reception area of my firm's office the day my sweet, now college bound, baby was born.  I don't want to go back into public accounting--too many hours and too much work to reactivate my license.  I've been looking at part-time accounting jobs, but I really only have six hours a week to myself and I need more money than six hours a week will earn me.  "Hello!  My name is Ann.  I'd like to do your accounting.  I'm free 6 hours a week and I'd like to be paid $500 an hour so my daughter can go to college."  A couple weeks ago I decided I'd put my youngest in the afternoon child care program at school on the days she goes to preschool, but that same day a news story broke about a teacher in a nearby district accused of sexually molesting little girls.  Ugh.

And so my mind goes in circles rattling between what I want to do and what I should do,  what I want to do and what's best for my family.  And then I just shut down, completely defeated.  There's no perfect schedule.  There's no perfect job.  There's no free time.  There's no money.  I've been spending way too much time on facebook and very little time doing laundry and housework, or writing or looking for a job.  Doesn't that make sense when you have no time and no money, you do exactly the opposite of what you should do or what might actually make the situation better???  And the TV has been on too much lately: Dinosaur Train, Sesame Street, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Super Why, Word World, and on and on.  At least I'm not a drug addict and I don't beat my kids, I think to myself, because comparing yourself to the worst possible type of mother is the best you can do to make yourself feel better.

Stuck.  Defeated.  In a funk.

And I know that this too shall pass.  It always does.  Somehow it all turns out OK.