My husband just got back from a 3 week work trip and I'm really happy to have him home again. I struggle a lot with a combination of loneliness and the extra-weight of chores and responsibilities that comes whenever he's out of town for long periods of time. Honestly, I get resentful that he's able to take these little sebaticals to focus soley on his career, while I get stuck with the boring life stuff on top of working hard to earn money (but not necessarily in the long-term career that I want). I wish I didn't feel that way, but I always do whenever he's gone for longer than a week.
Sometimes I wonder how military spouses are able to handle year-long deployments without completely breaking down. I went to school with someone who ended up marrying a fighter pilot, and they've lived in some of the most beautiful places in the world (Italy! Key West!) - but there's a cost. Her husband often isn't around for months at a time. I can only imagine how hard that is for both of them.
Anyway, being apart (even if it doesn't remotely compare to deployment) is something that my husband and I are always working on. He admitted I get stuck with more of the household responsibilities even when he's around, and has promised to step it up and take on more tasks so I can also focus more on developing my own career. Like writing some more, that would be nice.
Unfortunately, I still haven't gotten back into the swing of things after calling it quits midway through NaNoWriMo. I don't even know whether to be annoyed or understanding with myself. It's just that I can't seem to maintain the thread of the story. Every time I get in the "zone" and feel like I know exactly how the characters would respond to a given situation, something gets in the way for a week or more, and by then I've forgotten what it is I wanted to do.
Honestly, I've been really busy for a while, and things just get extra difficult when my husband is gone. It makes you wonder how single parents ever manage to write a book in their spare time. It's like, what spare time? And I don't even have kids! I just have a dog who needs long walks and two cats who crave attention. I try to keep the house pretty clean, but nothing crazy. And I've almost given up on cooking. So what's eating up all my time? Maybe I'm just lazy.
Or maybe I value my relationships more than an aspiring writer can or should. When you hear about the lives of famous writers or artists, there's this reoccuring theme of how generally awful they were to their families. Negligent, is maybe the better word. If you want to be a succesful artist, I think the sad truth is you can't prioritize the needs of your friends or family above your own creative goals. And that sucks. I'm not like that. I do care.
With the holidays and the cold weather, we haven't seen our Chapel Hill friends in a few weeks. So on Saturday, my husband and I made the trek into town and met up with our group for drinks. We had a really good time. It was just one of those perfect evenings at the local dive bar. I don't socialize a lot (I'm fairly introverted), but I do need some, and clearly I'm just not willing to chuck time with my husband and my friends so I can finish my book. I wish I could make two copies of myself so I could have one side of me that focuses solely on my creative needs, and the other side that maintains the relationships I have. Because I really do value both.
Do you have this problem? How do you get your work done, love your friends and family, AND write a book? Is it really possible?
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