Stealing Time

Summer break is upon us. I haven’t signed the kids up for summer camp..surely, this a sign of insanity.

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I had rose tinted images of us running around in parks together, building sand castles, and visiting art museums – connecting in a way that school days don’t allow.

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The reality is far from that. I am driving them around from one class to the next, breaking up fights over markers, rainbow loom and the cat, and feeding them about six times a day.

There are good parts, I always exaggerate for comic effect. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are great days because we have a routine in place. The kids have swimming lessons for an hour in the morning, then a friend and I teach our kids Hindi, after that, it’s home for lunch.

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Post lunch, I get two hours to work on my writing and my documentary, while the kids do their homework and watch a show. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I have nothing concrete planned, we go on errands, playdates or visit parks. These are the days, when finding time for my creative work becomes more challenging. It is easy to make excuses and find ways to avoid the page and the laptop, yet all the more critical to persevere. Unless I do something everyday, I fall into a lazy pattern and a funk.

Last Thursday, I took the kids to the library, there I found a book called ‘Women of Words’ about thirty-five important women writers. I was inspired by this snippet from the introduction by the editor, Janet Bukovinsky, it made me stop complaining about stolen time and keep creating.

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“Stealing time was an essential skill for creative women of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and remains so today. Time has always been a great luxury for women, the traditional housekeepers and family caretakers, and only in quiet hours was the peace and quiet necessary for writing to be found. Women writers, didn’t let housework, depression, childbirth, war, madness, disapproval or poverty stand in their ways.”

Today I saw an amazing piece by Sa’ adat Hassan Manto on Scroll posted by a friend on facebook, and was inspired some more. You have to keep expressing in the midst of life, there will be no perfect time or place, it just has to be done and re-done. Keep expressing.

 

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