Time is a precious commodity. We each have a limited amount of it and it is incumbent upon us to make appropriate choices as to how we spend it. I’m having to rethink how I spend mine. I’m having to make difficult choices in order to ensure that my time is used in ways that are in line with my priorities. I’ve not done a very good job of that recently and changes are required.
But making changes – even good ones – hurts. I wish that I could say that it is easy to let go of projects and commitments, but when you’ve invested time into something or someone, letting that go is painful. I’m grieving the losses already and the choices were only made yesterday.
So it comes down to this . . .
I only have a limited number of hours available to me. A certain number of those hours are committed to my family. That, obviously, goes without saying. I’ve come to understand recently that I have been short-changing this time. My kids have buys lives. They have friends and activities, and hopefully soon they’ll have jobs. I see less and less of them, and I miss them.
There are hours committed to my work with Eastern Star and supporting my girls in Job’s Daughters because I believe the value of both organizations. I also enjoy the friendships I have through them. They represent a connection to my father and my grandfather; a tradition I hold dear and honorable.
A significant number of hours is committed to my job, but I am now realizing that I give far more time to this than I need to. I love what I do, and I am grateful in this difficult time to have a job that pays me well and affords me benefits. But it is still just a job. It isn’t who I am. It isn’t my heart.
My heart is writing, and for nearly two years, the bulk of my writing time has been taken by my job and by my work for the Institute of Children’s Literature. I have loved working for ICL. I have loved giving my students the tools to follow their dreams. But it is getting harder and harder to give the time necessary to the coaching that this endeavor requires, and my students are not getting 100% of my attention. I’ve fallen behind on their assignments, and I’ve used my own writing time to try to make up the difference.
The choice has been difficult, but it is obvious. I’m not longer going to work for ICL. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity, and so thankful for all that my students taught me. Their honesty their desire to follow a dream served as a constant source of inspiration to me. But that inspiration is only of value if I am following my own dream. Too often, lately, my own writing has been put on hold. The stress that this situation creates for me is harmful to the point that I become blocked.
Now, I’m not trying to blame either ICL or my students for being blocked. That comes from a situation of my own making, and I own the responsibility for both its creation and its solution.
That’s why I’ve had to make this choice. That’s why I’ve had to turn my students over to the capable hands of other instructors to finish their journey. I have to get back on my own journey.
I’m sad, I’m disappointed, and I’m wishing sincerely that there was another alternative. There isn’t. So the change has been made, and I am re-dedicating myself to myself, my own writing, my own purpose.
But to Joe, Kelly, Maureen, Evan, Dianna, Amy, Jackie, and my many other wonderful students –
I look forward to reading your work. You are each amazing, talented writers with hearts of gold. I’m excited for your success. Do keep me posted.