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Saturday, February 11, 2012

What Keeps Us Whole

The other day, I was talking with some new acquaintances about the different aspects of my professional life.  There is the Educator Part and the Writer Part.

Their comments were along the lines of, "When do you have time to write?  Especially a novel?"

The answer is both simple and hard.

The simple part is that we all have those things we do that keep us whole.  Sometimes those things are social, sometimes artistic, sometimes restful, sometimes get the idea.

The hard part is the realization that you can't do all of them all of the time.

I am making peace with the fact that I will not write quick novels because often, after a full day of teaching, I manage only a page a day, and am usually very grateful for that meager page.  That page helps to balance me.  That page keeps me whole.

And sometimes I am so incredibly jealous of writers who have the luxury of writing full time.  (Notice how I phrased that?  Written by someone dripping with envy.....)  But then I have to admit that the teaching part of my life, the part of me that works side by side with kids as we try and figure out this thing called Knowledge,  this thing called Meaning, this thing called Life, keeps me balanced as well.  My work with children keeps me whole.

I suppose it's a bit of a Yin and Yang thing.

And instead of being overwhelmed by it and by the lack of time to do everything that I dream of , I am deciding to embrace it.  I am lucky to have stumbled into those things that keep me  sane and alive.

And whole.


What keeps you whole? What feeds your soul?


Laura Marcella said...

I think it makes writers more insightful and knowledgeable when they have a life outside of writing. Life inspires new ideas and characters and unique stories!

Hope you have a great weekend, Shelley!

erica and christy said...

As both an educator and a writer - I LOVE that you wrote this. That one page really can be fulfilling, can't it?

Jemi Fraser said...

Love this and agree with every word. I can't imagine not teaching. I can't imagine not writing. They both are me. :)

Catherine Denton said...

Beautifully said. We're rarely defined by one word or balanced by one activity.
Catherine Denton

Dawn Simon said...

Ooh, great post! I'm currently transferring my California teaching credential to Washington, and I plan to start subbing in the fall. Not full time and I obviously won't have as great an impact as a full-time teacher, but I totally get what you're saying.

What feeds my soul? My family, friends, kids, books, silliness, and learning.

Lisa said...

I am in the exact same position with teaching and writing. As hard as in can be, I carve out one hour of time between school ending and picking up my kids from after care and use it even when I don't want to. And I also get time to write for an hour or two on weekend days.

And it totally keeps me sane (relatively). The two days a week I don't write due to kids' activities I go crazy. I get itchy. Writing keeps me going and it's MINE, not my work or my family's.

Hardygirl said...

I don't think I could write all day, even if I were given the time.

And my best ideas come to me when I'm in the middle of something else (they often get written on the back of my wrist).

Embrace it. Yes!! It's the only way to go.


Hayley Lovell said...

I'm double majoring at school, first in education and second in writing. A lot of kids here don't know why I want that. They think I should pick one or the other. But I want to teach because I know I can make an impact, and I want to pass on the great teaching methods that impacted me. But I could never give up writing.

Reading this, and our blog all the time in fact, always gives me hope that when I finally do become a teacher I will be able to balance two of the things I love in life. Thank you.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I feel better about everything when I write and exercise. Sometimes it's hard to find the time to do them both, but it makes a big difference in my attitude.

SA Larsenッ said...

Fabulous post! I'm so glad I found you. Writing is all about balance, fitting it into 'living.' We writers sometimes forget that some growth in our craft has to be credited to living out the other aspects of our lives.
Doing the above, while raising my four kiddos with my husband keeps me whole...and sometimes a little nutty. :)

Christina Lee said...

ooh I like Laura's comment! It's GREAT that BOTH keep you whole, not everyone can say that, ya know? Teaching did NOT make me feel whole but my duel jewelry biz and writing do. So I guess we can feel lucky!

JoSVolpe said...

I am reading some of these pages that keep you whole right now.

And they are brilliant.