Balancing Acts

My life as a stay-at-home mom by day, student by night, and employee on weekends will begin in March. I’m one of those people who always has about seven different projects going on; my mind is like having seven tabs open simultaneously. I won’t have as much time for writing as I do now; l miss that extra time already. Perhaps that’s why I’ve been burning the 2 am oil every night this week, trying to make up for the time I haven’t spent yet.

I will finish my novel, The Rise and Fall of Alfred Bomber, which, after eleven years in the can, and submit it to Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Contest. Alfred is about a Mormon missionary who returns to his hometown of Sidney, Montana (where I was a live-in nanny for nine months about a decade ago) to find that his brother has come out of the closet. There is also the subplot of the mysterious and elusive “Summertime Rapist,” who haunts the town’s tween girls, as he only attacks after the final thaw.

Also, there are three novelettes I am editing for submission to Amazon for digital publication, as there isn’t much of a market for novelettes.

Since becoming a wife and mother, I’ve learned to manage my time better; I think time management is the key to prosperity. I simply won’t have the time to accomplish all I want if I spend too much of it watching TV; I have since learned to be choosier with what programs I spend time watching.

I discussed Dave Ramsey’s “20 Things The Rich Do Every Day” list with my parents, who interpreted it differently. They believe the poor watch a lot of TV because that’s all they can afford to do—they can’t afford to go to plays and the opera and such; they don’t become poor because they watch TV.

For me, if you don’t spend too much time watching reality TV but do (rather than watch) something more productive, you’re more likely to be successful. I’m not saying everyone who watches reality TV is a cretin (Megyn Kelly watches The Bachelor), but I know television watching has replaced reading for many as the preferred form of entertainment. When one watches a television program, they don’t have to use their imagination, but when one reads a book, their imaginations fill in the blanks. One of the preschool teachers at my and my husband’s church said that it wasn’t unheard of for one of her students not to have any books in their house. Some didn’t even know how to use a crayon!

What many people don’t understand is that kids don’t have to be entertained all the time. They may whine at first about wanting to watch TV, but they’ll get over it and find something else to do. I think all kids have imaginations—they just need to be allowed to use them. Maybe kids don’t have enough work to do anymore to keep them busy. I told my husband if Hannah ever says she’s bored, she’ll be given something to do that won’t be fun. That is one sentence I am not going to put up with hearing in my house.

It seemed to bother one of my friends quite a bit when her young daughter said their house was boring. A few of us told her to give the girl some chores. What kids need to realize is that life isn’t going to be exciting all the time. Sometimes it’s routine and mundane, and that’s okay. There is a time for everything.

I’m no fan of Dr. Phil, but I agreed with him when he said bored people were boring. Though I find some things boring, I, myself, am never bored. I’m not a workaholic (I’m a big believer in having a work-life balance), but I believe staying busy keeps us happy, as long as we make time for our family and friends.

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