Seasons to Create, or, What I dropped while I wrote a book

Some people have expressed wonderment that I wrote a book in two months. In light of this, I have decided it is high time for another dispel the pedestal post. (For more glimpses into just how human I am, check out these posts, please!)

There are seasons in life, peoples. Please remember this. Especially you mommies. Remind yourself every day – every hour, if necessary. Seasons are different times in your life that require different grace in different areas – letting some things go while you focus on other things. Your seasons are determined by priorities.
For mommies of young children, we don’t have much else that fits on our list after feeding, changing diapers, and keeping the children relatively content and clean. (Operative word here: “relatively”).

The past two months were a unique season in my motherhood. I have a 2 year old who I am not yet potty training and who still takes a long afternoon nap. My 10 month old is almost sleeping through the night, as well as taking two large naps a day. He is also not quite crawling yet. My 4 year old is just now old enough to amuse himself happily and safely without requiring constant surveillance. For a few weeks we are enjoying a season of slightly less maintenance on the child-rearing front. I say slightly less because you KNOW there is still a ton of stuff to do even if they all behave like angels and take their naps.

Thus, I had a window of opportunity.  I chose to write a book with it. I worked 1-4 hours a day, 6 days a week, and sacrificed any and all ‘free time’ I might have otherwise enjoyed. I did no sewing, crafting, and even fasted from my favorite inspiration blogs. I reviewed the schedule I created for myself when reading Tell Your Time and made sure I kept my online time focused. I read no novels (I’m in withdrawal here, peoples, and now open for suggestions for summer reading!), watched no TV and maybe two movies in the entire two months. That’s how I found the time to write a book.

There were also some other things that I let slip that you may or may not be disposable on your list. I just wanted to share them with you so you could see that I am human, just like you. To remind you that there are seasons in which you may not have all your ducks in a row, and that’s ok, ’cause art is being made, passions are being pursued, relationships are in a high-maintenance, deepening mode, or your just in survival mode – just for a season.

  • The paper towel roll ran out in the kitchen sometime last month and I didn’t refill till a week after the book was published (the new rolls are all the way down the hall way in the bathroom, dontchaknow)
  • We did not have kefir smoothies with breakfast 4 times a week. More like, once a month. We had our eggs or oatmeal went on with our day. 
  • I did not make my bed (oh, wait, that’s never been a habit!)
  • I did not clean the toilets as frequently as I might have. (gross, I know, but you feel better now, don’t you?)
  • I lost my laundry routine and reverted back to using my dryer. The laundry often got worn again before I had a chance to put it away.
  • We did not do school. (Jesse is four, and not yet ready for this full-time anyway)
  • I did not keep my desk organized and the papers are beginning to spill off and decorate the studio floor. 
  • gave up (temporarily) on my quest to make my own mozzarella cheese.  
  • My homemade wipes ran out and, instead of simply making a new batch, I lazily just whetted down a paper towel every time I had to change a diaper. Not really any easier. Just to busy with other things.

Now that the book is published, though, I feel a great desire to take a deep breath and clear some space on the desk, in my schedule, and on the couch so I can sit down and read a book once in a while (after I get caught up on the laundry.) I also want to make a batch of fermented sun tea, try some new recipes, and take my kids to the library.

What do you have the grace to let go of in this season? It’s ok – you can put it down. Embrace, and make the most of the season you’re in.  I’m right there with you.

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Comments

  1. says

    You & me, we’ve been walking the same road these last couple months, lady! (Only I’ve been painting all those hours, not writing!) I felt the same need to dispel the “she does it all” myth this week, and the urge to restore order to this crazy messy house. Love it!

  2. says

    Hi Trina, I found you through Donielle. Love this “dispel the pedestal” post! While I'm the mom of a 23-year old, I can still appreciate how you broke down the reality of writing your book–good for you and thanks so much for sharing! We can all benefit from these lessons. :-)

    Shirley

  3. says

    Ann, Erin, and Megan – it's such a delight to have you join me here. Such sweet fellowship when we see similar graces and passions in eachother's lives.

    thanks for the book recommendation, Erin – sounds great!

    Megan, lovely to hear you like the oatmeal. :) thanks for letting me know.

    Ann, it's lovely to hear your commitment to investing first and best into your daughters. Truly the most worth place to share your talents. I am going to check out your blog, though!

  4. says

    The part of me that doesn't have to water the garden is loving the dry weather we've been having in upstate NY. I haven't mowed the lawn in three weeks! (Yes!) And it has been so supremely dry that even most of the weeds have given up the fight, so upkeep is minimal there. All that to say that home maintenance (especially exterior-wise) is one of the first things I let slip when life gets hectic. Still, it's also one of the things that leaves me most overwhelmed when it gets out of control, so there's a balance there. Another big thing I find very difficult to let go, but that is very necessary when a full schedule or crisis demands it, is my availability for others. If someone needs help with housecleaning or childcare or wants a visit, as tough as it may be and as much as I agonize over it, I will say no. Focusing on my home, husband and self are my top three priorities (after God, of course). If hubby and home ain't happy, everything else will be miserable. This can be super hard for me, though, 'cause I am a helper and giver of myself and my time.

    Thrilled for you, Trina, that you have a lull in your busy seasons, and hope that you can use the time to recharge yourself and your family, and catch up on the daily stuff. If you're looking for some fluffy, fairly spiritually focused fiction reading, check out Delia Parr's Candlewood Trilogy. I'm on the final book and have found all three to be a great balance of everything – - comedy, drama, romance & faith. Happy relaxing! :-)

  5. Megan says

    I found your blog through Passionate Homemaking and I am in love! :) You are now 1 of 4 that I take a look at each day. I can't wait for more tipi tales. Anyway…as for today's post. I have a 3 1/2 yr old and a 15 month old. For this season, I am getting up at 5am in order to have my alone time and get some things going before the kids are awake. As for letting things go, I only keep the house picked up and do the very basic cleaning (keeping my kitchen sink clean and the bathroom wiped down and toilet cleaned each day) and only do more cleaning when we might be having people stay with us. I am also doing my best with using more real foods but I am having grace for myself to allow it to be a process. Also I am practicing saying no to things I don't really want to do. My husband and I have both decided our top 3 priorities for this season and I am focusing my time and energy on those 3 main things until I feel that it is time for them to change. Great post and great blog! P.S. I made Not Yo' Mamma's Oatmeal this morning (including soaking last night)- it was great!

  6. says

    I love reading your blog. I am always so inspired to try new things when I read your recipes, today it will be fermented ice tea, or listen to your heart as you prayerfully choose what you will spend your time on. It is so true that we have seasons on our lives when we may not be able to do all we want to do. I have a great friend who is encouraging me to develop myself, she says I am smart (she is smart to see that, LOL) and that I should share my talents with the world. I replied simply to her last night that right now I was too busy sharing my talents with my girls (ages 11 and 14) to share with anyone else right now, well except for my blogging.
    Thank you for choosing to blog and share your heart with us!
    Ann