Making Time for Mission Creep

How do you make time? I thought I’d be making a lot of time after I quit my job last year.  Hell, I’d be freeing up at least 60 hours a week to do lots of things. Making time to raise my kids, making time to train a puppy, making time to whip myself into shape, making time to take on some consulting gigs, making time to write…

Although I’ve successfully carved out time for raising kids and puppy, and taking better care of myself, I’ve only passively engaged in seeking out consulting work (because it’s work, for crying out loud) and I’ve done an absolutely shameful job of getting myself on any kind of writing schedule.

I am disappointed that I haven’t been more productive with my writing.  I’ve been unshackled from a full-time job for more than a year now. The honeymoon is officially over and has been for some time.

What’s my convenient excuse?  I’ve come to the realization that being Chief Mom Officer entails a huge amount of mission creep.  And the mission creep is a strange beast – it’s simultaneously time-consuming and paralyzing.  Driving the girls around town to see friends and go to activities. Picking the girls up from their friends’ houses and activities. Taking care of the dog, my ragamuffin third child, is the epitome of mission creep. Cooking sporadically, but not nearly as much as I should, despite an initial promising burst of home-cooked meals. Folding laundry all the time.  Planning weekend fun and vacation fun. Becoming more efficient than I ever thought I’d be at sewing buttons.

I’ve managed to carve out a fair amount of “me” time, but I’ve experienced my share of mission creep in that area as well.  I’ve focused on staying in touch with friends and professional contacts. But I’ve spent way too much time trying to comprehend the black hole that is social media – another great example of the dangers of mission creep if there ever was one.

And lest I judge myself too harshly, I often remind myself that I wrote about 2/3 of a first draft of a novel.  But that was back in November, and other than writing for this blog and working on a few other small projects, I’ve not returned to my creative writing in any meaningful way since last fall.

Of course, I’m realizing all of this with one day to go before school ends for the year, and the mission creep that entails being a mom will become all the more apparent with the kids at home.  But I firmly believe that it’s never too late to turn the tide.  I’ve had a standing “writing” appointment in my calendar on Mondays-Thursdays since last September, which I created in a fit of optimism and confidence and have only occasionally respected.  Tomorrow, however, is Monday.  And from 12:30-3:30 pm EST, I will be sitting somewhere that is not in my home, putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) once again.  Mission creep be damned.

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