I'm participating in an online writing group hosted by Ann Dee Ellis. She gives a prompt and encourages 8 minutes of uninterrupted writing. Here's yesterday's exercise:
I probably start a least a dozen things every day that I don't or can't finish. I start getting ready and have a few minutes to myself before I'm interrupted by my toddler crying because I'm not putting on a belt. I start a meal and have a few moments to eat it before I'm interrupted by someone needing a drink, or the dog barking at a blade of grass moving in the wind. I start answering an email, returning a phone call, or formulating a thought in my head and have nanoseconds to hold onto those things before someone falls off the couch, hits their sibling, or cracks their head on a bookcase.
These things seem so important to me- having a shower, eating a meal, conversing with other adults... and there are, but they're not everything. Yes, it would be nice to finish all the things I start, and not just because I want to follow through and see items checked off my list. Being able to accomplish something, no matter how seemingly insignificant, reminds me of who I was before I became MOM. And that's the root of my desire. I want to do things because I used to do things. I was reliable and efficient once upon a time.
My to-do list wasn't always organized and completed daily before kids, but it was a heck of a lot easier to cross something off. I miss that feeling of satisfaction due to starting something and finishing it on my own timeline. Now I have many surprise obstacles to overcome before I can get something done, or a price to pay for focusing on something while leaving the kids to entertain themselves (like two rolls of toilet paper shoved in the toilet).
Even now, as I attempt this 8 minute writing exercise, I've been interrupted multiple times. It shouldn't matter because, really, the point is that I'm trying to write. I'm stealing a few minutes to let the words flow, even if a few dams pop up in the form of derailed electric trains that need righting, diapers that need changing, or small toys that need retrieving from mouths.
And now it's time to head outside and anxiously await the arrival of my first grader, who's walking home from school with friends for the first time. So my prompt has to be finished whether I'm ready or not.
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