Saturday, September 04, 2010


You've probably noticed, I haven't felt much like blogging. I blame facebook, and also laziness. They complement each other. But I think I should discipline myself to do more writing, real writing, and this is a little start.

Lucy is inspiring me this week with her snippets. They're so fun to read, really what a personal blog should be like if you ask me. I don't know if I'll do the same thing exactly, but I do want to write more about my life. Exercise the writing muscles.

I need to do more sorting out of my thoughts. I feel like I have racing brain syndrome a lot of the time lately, and I'm pretty sure it would be more productive to think through all these thoughts through rather than playing Lexulous all the time and ignoring them. Because they don't go away. They just come back even crazier.

Dr. G. is so happy in his new job. The stress I saw in him as a grad student and even in his last job as a research scientist seems to have melted away. He thrives on teaching and still gets to do some research - well, theoretically. Maybe not so much this year while he is developing his courses and writing papers based on his previous research. I'm super happy for him. He really has found the perfect fit.

This makes me think - as I so often do - I should be doing what makes me super happy for myself. A lot of times I am. I'm reading children's lit. I am cooking and baking, hurray for that. No escaping those pursuits when you are a mother of four, so it's good that I like them, huh?

But as always, I yearn to do more creative work.

I had an interesting experience last month in Utah at a family reunion, singing some Gershwin with my uncle Tom who is a jazz pianist in New York. He was so complimentary that I really started feeling like I need and want to do more. What I imagine is finding a good local pianist who loves standards and can really swing, and just starting to make music and maybe working up to performances after several months of working together. Performances where, though? Bars? I think no. And what pianist? And with what time? Obstacles are many.

Another option is the local symphony chorale. It's not exactly what I would choose to do with my voice in an ideal world. But it would be easier. My friend Christine sings there and has kindly encouraged me to join up. But I am torn about the rehearsal time - Monday nights. Boo. Possibly we could have it a different night now - but what about in a couple of years when sports and other activities are competing for our family time?

I sacrificed music on purpose, a long time ago. I knew soon after I got married in 1993 that the kind of musical life I would want would be pretty tough to combine with the kind of family life I would want. Sometimes I've thought I might have been wrong about that. But really, I probably was right. Especially considering how challenging and consuming it's been for us just to get our kids, let alone raise them. And I do still think the family life is more important. The key now is not to resent the choice I made.

The creative thing I can do without depending on others' schedules or cutting way into family time is writing. So that sort of brings me back where I started.

I thought it was going to get easier this year - my plan was to get S back in public school and Z in preschool. But I was increasingly uncomfortable with the public school idea over the summer, and after a lot of prayer decided to homeschool S again. He just learns better when he's not facing the constant distractions and poor-behavior temptations of a regular classroom. And it's been good for our relationship, there's no denying. Then it made more sense, if I was going to have S at home again, to wait one more year before paying for preschool for Z. So she will do the co-op preschool two days a week with a group of moms and kids from church, and save formal preschool for next year. She can't go to kindergarten until Fall 2012 anyway, thanks to her November birthday.

All this just means I have to be disciplined and organized if I am going to get any good writing time. And probably get a good laptop so I can work while S is occupied with computer learning.

That's doable, right?


annie said...

yes, total sense. :O)

Lucy said...

Were we separated at birth? My dream musical life would be singing standards with a jazzy pianist accompanying me. But, alas, that is not my musical life. I say go for the symphony chorale. It opens doors and gets you singing repertoire again, not just hymns.

Braden said...

My situation is not quite the same as yours, but oh, how similar! When I read what you wrote about giving up the musical life for a family, I remember giving up my own performance dreams. Musical theatre was just not going to do it. And it is difficult at times. Not that I would have it any different and I would definitely make the same choice. But still it can be a bit wistful.

MollyJae said...

Ana, I would love to see you write more. It's so hard though to find the right balance between being a great mother and filling your own soul with the things that you personally need. We sacrifice so much sometimes. I hope you do get to sing ....somewhere.

Denise said...

I understand absolutely and completely. It's so important to have a creative outlet, and sometimes we have to give up what we love, but we find something equally good to take its place.

I haven't given up music entirely, but I stopped doing shows after I had my first kid, and found out how hard it was to juggle rehearsals and babysitters. I haven't done one since. I miss it. But I've made my choice, you know? I get what you're saying.

And yes, writing is an excellent outlet, one that can be more easily worked into a mother's schedule. I've followed a similar path. A girl's gotta have something besides laundry and scrubbing toilets, right?

Keep on keepin' on.