This Sunday afternoon, a writer friend on deadline emailed me: “You work full-time, with two children at home — how do you find time to write?” I was out at the movies with my husband, so I didn’t answer in time for her deadline. If I had been home, I’d have said, “I find time to write because I want to. I love writing. The real question is how I find time to do my day job.” My friend, writer Amy Gutman, consulted a few other writers — and everyone said the same. Her excellent article is here: The Why is the How.
Isn’t it funny how we can find time for what we truly want to do? I didn’t think twice about spending a few hours seeing Silver Linings Playbook with my husband (loved it!). And hey, we can “find time” for a kiss. It’s gotten to the point where if I’m struggling to do something, anything, I stop for a second — and ask myself whether I want to do it. If the answer is no, I ask whether there is an alternative. Can I skip vacuuming this week? Can someone else do it? That’s why my house is messy. That’s why I don’t buy clothes that need ironing. And that’s how I wrote my new poetry chapbook, Folding Water. I’d rather have a book of poems than a spotless, soulless house. I think this joyful Buddha would agree.