If life were like the map to a giant amusement park, I would be that tiny dot with the “You Are Here” in big bold lettering hanging over my head. While others are moving about their business, heading into the adrenaline-filled loop-de-loop of a monster roller coaster, or the challenges of play-a-game-win-a-prize alley, I’m stuck trying to figure out where I want to go and what I want to do.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I appreciate all the choices I’ve been given, all of the possible, albeit circuitous, routes I could take. What I can’t figure out, is how to make that decision.
Enough with the whole analogy thing, let me put this into my real-life terms, then maybe you can help me figure out how to figure out what to do.(Yes, that made sense…let’s move along.)
I think I want to be superwoman. I want super human strength so I never have to sleep, keen intelligence so I can predict the future, the ability to fly so I can be in two places at once (or almost), and be given free reign to do good in this world. (P.S. I also wanna look good in that skin-tight, spandex suit while I do it). Why do I want to be superwoman? Because, silly, it is the only way I can do everything with my life that I want to.
Secretly, deep down in the very core of who I am, I want to leave my mark on this place. I want to create something that lives long after I am gone, something that inspires others to do the same. I think part of me has always known that writing would be a part of that goal. But lately, I find myself pushing off my writing, even though the ripples of guilt are keeping me awake at night.
My kids have to come first. Their needs, their wants, their future.I love them dearly, so while I must often give up things I want, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Then there is my soldier husband, who leads a life of service and deserves my utmost devotion and support.
Then there is my job, which at present is not particularly demanding, but it is getting there. I am lucky to have a great employer, and they deserve my time and dedication, too.
Then there is my book (or books, I should say), that stares back at me from the half-typed pages on my screen. Flashes of character interaction and dialogue popping into my consciousness at random and often inconvenient point of the day.
Then there there is my intrinsic need to be of service in some small way to my community. Enter my volunteer work, which I adore. I’ve been lucky enough to find myself engaged with an organization that allows me to take much of what I have learned in life and business to this point, and put it to good use for others. Hand in hand with this, are my writing groups and this new little idea I’ve been working on for a new online writer-meet-reader community.
And somewhere in there are the basic needs to sleep, eat, and bathe and well, I am finding I just can’t do it all. Something has got to give.
I read a quote on FaceBook (yeah, keep your love-of-English-lit snicker to yourself), that we should stop saying “we don’t have time.” Instead, we should replace it with, “I am not making that a priority.” And maybe that’s my real problem. It’s not that I can decide what to do, it’s that I have the inability to decide which is a greater priority.
In my head, I hear a voice saying it’s a matter of practicality. It orders me with its monotone, demanding voice. “Keep your feet on the straight and narrow road of obligation. Work hard at your job and pay your bills, and be content” My heart, on the other hand, is screaming. “Happiness in the pursuit of a passion will always be the true path to follow. Love your family and create something beautiful and find joy!”
So now, here I am again, that silly dot, waiting, trying to decide what to do with my limited amusement park time. Have you ever been here? Did you find the miracle pill that makes you super human so you can do it all. Did you have to decide? Any advice?