what I've learned

we are what we repeatedly do

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”.

Aristotle

Based on this quote, I would think my teeth would be gleaming. Must be the occasional glass of Malbec or my morning consumption of espresso that are sabotaging my efforts.

Only a few years ago, I was aspiring to get into my writing groove. I couldn’t fathom when I’d do that though. I had kids, and four of them. I wanted to pursue this activity as it charged me; it felt like me, something I’d aspired to since childhood. My journals, though simple, were daily unbroken. “I woke up, made my bed, and brushed my teeth“; might not be inspiring, but I was writing when I was seven.

Fast forward thirty years, fitting in a quiet, re-creational, creative endeavour amidst “mom, can you get me a glass of water?”, “mom, she called me stupid“, baby cries for breast milk, or someone falling down the stairs, well these kiddos didn’t give me an hour of reprieve.

And so I didn’t write, or at least I wrote sporadically. You’d think as the older they got, my time would be more my own, but demands there will always be…and of course, bringing them all home would fill my mental space like a mom on amphetamines.

When I forced myself into that space, because I wanted it like a nursing mom wants a pb&j sandwich at two in the morning, like a premenstrual woman wants Lays potato chips and chocolate five days a month, like a two year old wants to touch that forbidden thing again, I found a way.

I have writing aspirations that I still don’t have enough time for or haven’t sorted clearly in my mind. I have volumes of books stirring in there, and occasionally making their ways through pen or keyboard. When the kids are all ‘growed up’, I won’t be twiddling my thumbs; rather, they’ll be tapping the spacebar.

Alongside a daily dose of reading, the more I write, I increase my comfort with the process, and better skilled I will become.

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