Well, now…that’s a cheery title for a blog post, isn’t it?
True, it’s not as exciting and peppy and others I’ve shared, but the good news for you is, this will be shorter than usual!
I have been trying and trying for months now to come to terms with a new lack of time available to work – either for my voiceover business or my writing – and having finally come to the conclusion of what I need to do, I’m finding it extremely difficult to put that conclusion into practice.
You see, my 2-year-old daughter has decided naps are no longer her ‘thing’…and it’s killing me that I have now lost 2 hours each afternoon in which I used to devote time to recording, writing or marketing myself. The only time I now have for my work is at night, once my daughter and 6-year-old son are asleep. And that doesn’t leave a lot of time for much of anything else.
The stress has been getting the better of me, I hate to say. I work late now, but still wake up at 5:30am when my wife gets up for work, at which time our son usually wakes up, as well. Consequently, I’m exhausted more and have less patience with the kids – and then add in the fact I have to drive nearly an hour away once or twice every week to help my parents who are in their 80’s and having a hard time getting around – and my time is no longer my own.
I’m racing here, racing there, forcing my son to hurry up and eat his breakfast and get dressed for school, then hurry my daughter so we can leave to run errands, then try to get her to be quiet for a little while in the afternoon so I can at least check emails, then hurry up and make dinner and hurry up and get them to bed so I can hurry up and try to write…it’s absolutely exhausting.
And not just for me; I’m sure it’s exhausting for the kids, as well.
Selfishness is hard to fight
I have to admit, I have selfish reasons for wanting to work: two-and-a-half years ago, I left full-time employment to develop my voiceover business, and had a hard time building it up because, as a stay-at-home dad, so much of my time was spent raising my son.
Fortunately, I was able to write quite a bit at night, and my children’s writing career took off even stronger than my voiceover business; I started selling poems as a contributor to a number of different books, and even signed my very first contract for a full-length picture book just last year.
So things were really growing for me, and I wanted to maintain that momentum. I wanted to be writing more, submitting more manuscripts to publishers, and hopefully sign another contract. But now, with almost no time left to myself, I feel I’ve hit a wall.
I squeeze my recording sessions in where I can and squeeze in my writing where I can, but feeling that heavy sense of urgency when trying to write poetry (or anything, really) is counter-productive. How does one “hurry up” and write anything that’s worth reading??
So, as I mentioned earlier in this post, I’ve come to a conclusion that I’m having a difficult time putting into practice. And that is…
To put it in God’s hands.
You see, what we expect of ourselves is not always what God expects of us. What we expect of others is not always what God expects, either. In fact, as my wife and I were reminded this past Sunday at church, even Jesus was not the king that people were expecting at the time.
So I’m trying to remind myself that my daughter’s and son’s well-being are the most important things I should be concentrating on right now. I’ll continue to work on my voice career as time allows, and will write as time allows, but if I can’t capitalize on my publishing “momentum,” so be it. Perhaps I can capitalize on it next year.
Or perhaps I’ll manage to sell one of the 5 or 6 manuscripts I’m currently submitting.
Regardless, I need to change my way of thinking, and it’s not easy. Not easy, at all. I’d like to be a successful voice actor, a successful children’s writer, and a successful father/husband. But if it’s not possible to be all three, I know which one I need to pick.
I need to make an effort to be the person my kids, my wife, and God need me to be…not the person I want to be.
But come to think of it, that’s not entirely correct.
The person I should want to be…is the person my kids, my wife, and God need me to be. And if I can strive for that goal, all other goals can be secondary.
With that frame of mind, there’s no disappointment.
And I’m happy with that.