Tuesday, February 24, 2009

An Epiphany

A few months back I was feeling antsy. I wanted to throw myself into a project but wasn't sure what that project should be. I tend to be kind of an all-or-nothing kind of gal, and so in the past I've been obsessively in love with:

*genealogy and family history
*research (into a variety of topics)
*cooking (Lyle liked that short-lived stage)
*horses (they now live elsewhere)
*scrapbooking (currently I'm YEARS behind)
*all things adoption (still love it, but you can only read so many websites)

So when Lyle saw me in my antsy state, he crossed his fingers and made sure cookbooks were easily accessible. I told him I wanted to write. He was relieved---no large purchases of farm animals. And as always, he was unfailingly supportive.

One of my very earliest school memories was the day I realized that not everyone can write. I don't mean forming letters, but putting something readable down on paper. I stink at math. I stink only slightly less at science. To know I was good at something, or at least better than average, made me very happy indeed. When I saw people struggling with writing, my advice always was, "Just kind of 'talk' onto the paper....but with a little more thought." It felt very natural to me and through the years essay tests have saved my bacon in many a class.

So I wanted to do something I'd never really done before---I wanted to TRY to write. I started the blog as kind of a daily warm-up and I worked hard on some pieces and sent them to publishers. To my surprise, I had success. Lyle and the kids were so proud of me. I was proud of me. I knew that if I desired a writer's life, I could have it. But here's the epiphany:

Sometimes knowing you can do something, is as satisfying as actually doing it.

I know writers who can devote a tiny part of their day to writing, but I can't. When I'm writing something, something that I'm really trying to make good, it's on the brain 24/7. I wish I could compartmentalize my life a little bit more but I don't think I'm wired that way. As much as it's satisfying to see my name in print, there are things that are infinitely more satisfying. And as much as I love writing, I love these guys more.

I'll definitely keep the blog, but I might not update as frequently. Cholita needs someone to read her a story. Bruder needs to talk about all the craziness of being a teenager. Lucy needs someone to appreciatively listen to her practice the piano. Rose desperately needs her hair combed. And yes, on occasion Lyle needs a decent meal. It's the one obsession that's stuck--my family.


Lisa said...

Brava, my dear friend! Brava! I quite agree....just the satisfaction of knowing IF you wanted to do something, you could, is just as great as actually doing it!!! And Eileen, you DID do it! I am so proud of you!!!!! Wise, wise lady you are. AND gifted, gifted writer as well.

Fireball said...

Great post. We all need an epiphany of this sort from time to time. We could all do so many things, but what's more important than family?

Terynn said...

I would have to agree that for a woman who has been blessed with children, *they* are her first and most important ministry/project.

It is the very thing I am struggling most with right now (and one of the reasons I dabble with writing). I have LOVED being a mom. It is the most important thing I can think of doing. Nothing else compares.

You are wise, indeed and I humbly put forth that you will not regret this decision. Applicable to most things, shopping included: Just cuz you can, don't mean you should. :~)

rachel said...

You are a beautiful writer and a beautiful mother...you CAN do both, but you've chosen the better part. Thank you for the inspiration!

CSIowa said...

Eileen, you are wonderful! I will continue to look forward to your posts above all others, however (in)frequently they may come. God bless motherhood!

Jaxon and Brittney said...

I have come to realize the 'seasons' of my life are just that. I will only have small children once, I will only be 21 once (thank goodness for that) I will have plenty of time to indulge myself in what 'I' want to do later on. What 'I' want to do now is be with my babies as well. I am very happy to see smart, talented, determined women such as yourself know whats really important in the 'season' they are in. You don't even know how wonderful I think you are. Thanks for being my friend. =)

Kelly said...

Congratulations on your writing and on your epiphany! You are so great!!

Lisa and Tate said...

Blogging really does take a lot of time.... but really is rewarding. I so enjoy reading your writings. Hope you do still keep us posted.


Katy said...

Okay. I am thinking that someone who actually celebrates President's Day and DECORATES for Valentine's Day Brunch is not neglecting her family too much. In fact, not at all! Still, you definitely know best and it sure has been neat to see, through your writing, what a stellar mother you are!

Oh, and I have to say one more thing. If you've never done NaNoWriMo, you should definitely try that and neglect your family for just one month a year. (National Novel Writing Month -- go to nanowrimo.org) It is just that much fun! In fact, this past year for NaNoWriMo, I wrote a book starring my children and I think it will always be something they will treasure!

It could work! But we all need a break. Just don't completely give up on it. I suppose you won't!

Amy said...

Eileen, you ARE a wonderful writer.

...And you ARE a wonderful mama.

I will enjoy checking in every time I see a new post of yours pop up, but it makes me very happy to know the fun you'll be having with the very people that are most important in your life...

With Love,

Ivy said...

Hi Eileen,
I haven't been by to say hello in quite some time! Looks like you have things in order there! Love all the photos of the family of course.

I am so glad you want to write! You CAN and inspire everyone around you. Writing is such a gift you have. Glad to know you are pursuing it!

Stop by and say hello.