i read this quote the other day.
I've seen women insist on cleaning everything in the house before they could sit down to write... and you know it's a funny thing about housecleaning... it never comes to an end. Perfect way to stop a woman. A woman must be careful to not allow over-responsibility (or over-respectabilty) to steal her necessary creative rests, riffs, and raptures. She simply must put her foot down and say no to half of what she believes she "should" be doing. Art is not meant to be created in stolen moments only.
it was a punch in the gut. that quote snuck around my house, my life and called me out on my bullshit. i am constantly telling myself that i'll do the things that make me feel human AFTER i've made the food, washed the dishes, made the bed, vacuumed the floor, done the laundry, scrubbed the shower, taken out the trash, done the grocery shopping, and pulled the weeds.
i have long since been this way. i call it puttering. i clean and cook and clean and cook in circles. i am in constant preparation for life. having a baby has exacerbated that energy thousandfold. i am waiting for the next nap. i am waiting for that nap to end so playtime begins until the next nap that i was waiting for, which i then anticipate ending.
and then what happens is:
the day is over. the day is over and then the next day happens and i just wash and make and vacuum and scrub all over again. i await naps and playtimes. i get stuck in anticipations and preparations. and all the things matter. i have to do those things.
but i can't do it all at the expense of also doing things i love.
i can't wait to live my life until after my life is over.
so this is my plan, to keep me grounded, to make sure i also include creative energy instead of just sustaining:
i will write or draw every day.
i don't promise it will be good. i don't promise it will make sense or be funny or touching or relatable or even coherent. but i'm going to do it, because it's important.
and, more importantly, i will do it before i do the rest. i won't wait until the day has dipped past and i'm too tired to make it happen.
i know i will miss days. i will give myself that already. this will not become some new vehicle through which to berate myself for my failings. but rather, it's an intention to pour energy into the things that make me feel good.
writing and drawing make me feel good. they make me feel connected to other people. i would like to spend my life feeling good and connecting with other people.
so here i go.
there are dishes in the sink. there is dust on the floor. the baby is asleep on my chest, wheezing warm, rapid baby breaths into my neck. i wrote these words. i made a little cartoon about how quickly my priorities have changed as a mother/ how impossible it is to wear real pants after having a baby.
being a mom is weird. being a person is weird. being a human, wired for survival, but with a cognitive ability that somehow instills me with doubt and fear and anxiety that keep me from most fully embracing the moments of my own survival, is weird.
i am going to embrace the weird. i am going to live big.
i am living big.
i am not going to wait to live my life until after my life is over. it is happening, now, this is it.