Reentry (or Acknowledging Those People You Live With)

May 3, 2011

I’m not the most attentive person to begin with. Daydreaming is the norm for my brain. I have my moments where I can hyper focus on a task or a person, and in those moments I am thrilled at the progress and connection…but those moments are rare. More often than not I hear, “Are you listening? Did you hear a word I said?”

It’s pointless to lie, because the glazed over look in my eyes gives me away every time.

For the most part, the people who love me understand me, but that doesn’t mean they always like me. Yesterday, while we sat at the dinner table—my mind still stuck in the land of plotting—I reached for my laptop (always on and always nearby) to type a thought.

“Really? Really!” Hubby sat across from me, shaking his head.

“Sorry. I have to get this out before I forget.” (Always the same excuse)

He goes on talking, and I go on thinking—and not about what he’s talking about.

I have a problem, don’t I? Reentry isn’t smooth. Sometimes, it isn’t even successful, and I’m left straddling two worlds for days, which isn’t good for story or family.

I’m blessed to write in a quiet house from 8:30 a.m. until 3:15 p.m. every weekday. I don’t normally have other obligations to distract me from writing. (I don’t clean, cook or do laundry until I have no other choice, which, when coupled with the not listening thing, makes me wonder why my husband even keeps me around.) I get six hours and forty-five minutes of writing, five days a week, and still, it’s not enough.

Writing is the No. 1 reason why I get out of bed in the morning. As the mother of three, that statement sounds particularly harsh. I appease myself with the reminder that when they were little, writing wasn’t a passion—writing (non-fiction) was a job from which I had no trouble detaching. My children had all of me then, so I’m okay with giving me all of me now.

Still, I wish there was an off switch. It would make reentry so much easier.

Do you struggle with reentry? Does your family ever think your distant or not paying attention? Have you figured out a way to make everyone happy? I’d love to know I’m not alone on this.

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5 Responses to “Reentry (or Acknowledging Those People You Live With)”

  1. nicolehelm Says:

    I definitely have this problem. I had to set some boundaries for myself after I got numerous complaints from my family (like not taking books with me in the car to read, and instead have a conversation with my hubby) 🙂 It makes for slower writing and sometimes I have to actively sit on my hands to keep from reaching for the computer, but I just always strive for a balance. Not always easy, but then what is?


    • The closest I have come to a balance has been dedicating the time when kids are at school and the time when the kids are at work to writing, and trying to keep the writing out of the evenings and weekends. It’s usually doable, but it can be tough. There is “spillage.” 🙂

      They can’t complain too much though, because when I worked for Disney, I was on conference calls until 8-8:30 at night. (I’m ET my main office was PT.)

      I don’t know if everyone will ever be happy.


      • The kids don’t work. Cripes! Proof read, will ya? It should read “dedicating the time when the kids are at school and the time when Hubbie’s at work…”

  2. Tari Says:

    I tend to be the opposite….and my guys are 19, 21 (28 yr old is on his own)and of course hubby. I’ve spent too many years putting them first, and there’s sooo much guilt involved in putting my own dreams first!!! (When do they feel guilt, I wonder?) I’m working on it though. I’m leaving the house to write more often…still have that cell phone though….I really need an office…or just a desk somewhere that I can work at!!!


  3. Wouldn’t an office be amazing, Tari? I dream of that dedicated space, decorated to my liking, where I can close the door and get lost in writing. Sigh! Then again, my family might never see me. 😉

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