Thursday, April 24, 2014

On Time

I have had several posts bobbing around in my head for the last month or so, and yet if you actually follow this blog you'll know that I haven't posted any of them. There are several reasons for that, but the main one is that I simply haven't had the time. Or made the time, or taken the time, or whatever it is we're supposed to do with the time that we're given every day.

I suppose this could be a rant about being overly busy, or a whine about having two children under four, or excuses about why my house is messy and I usually refuse to clean it up, or something educational about time management or inspirational about priorities, but I don't feel like writing any of those things. I just feel like talking about time. And writing.

We all have 24 hours in a day. I think, if we're being honest, most of us sleep for about 6 of them. I now have an app (which drives my husband crazy) that tells me exactly how much time I spent in bed and what percentage of that time was spent in deep, restful sleep. At least, that's what I think the percentage is. Honestly I really don't know, except that the higher it is, the better I slept, supposedly. Sometimes it's as low as 47% and sometimes it's as high as 88%. I do know that out of the last 36 nights, I've spent 1.4 weeks in bed. So maybe that's why I haven't been blogging. I've slept for a week and a half.

When I'm not sleeping, I spend lots of time doing lots of other things, and lots of that time wishing I were writing instead. I have many roles in life, the primary ones being a Christ follower, wife, mother, and friend, but when I think, "who am I?", what immediately pops into my head, almost every time, is: a writer. Not that I think any of the other things are less important. In fact, I think they're immensely important, certainly more important than this little writing thing that I do whenever I get a spare hour or two, usually only once or twice a week. I spend much more time feeding kids, changing diapers, answering the deep questions of life presented by my almost-four-year-old, texting friends, reading my Bible, tweeting, talking to my husband, cooking, driving, going to church, running errands, and even grocery shopping, which I abhor. So then I ask myself: if I spend so much more time doing other things, why do I identify myself as a writer? I don't really even make any money at it, maybe $1000 in my whole life.

The simple fact is, I've always been a writer. I've stated this before (This Is Who I Am) so I'm not going to labor the point, but when I think about me, just me, apart from anything else I've ever done or ever been, I am a writer. Whether I do it full-time or for one or two hours a week. It's my identity. Would I like to spend more time at it? Sure. Do I have to do it full-time in order for it to be truly who I am? No. At different seasons in my life I believe God has called me to set aside writing for a time in order to focus on some other role or calling, and that's just fine. Because ultimately my identity is in Christ and who He has called and equipped me to be. Writing will always be a part of that, but meanwhile, I have other things to do. I have years of my life to spend sleeping, after all.

Some day, I think it would be nice if I am able to spend enough time writing that when other people think of me, they think "She's a writer." Maybe even a good writer. But if what they think instead is, "she's a mom," or a wife, or a good cook, or a friend, that's just fine too.

Who are you? What do you spend the most time doing? Are you okay with that?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

On How I Met Your Mother (no spoilers)

So I guess How I Met Your Mother ended last night. I didn't see it. I haven't watched the show in at least a year and a half, and I stopped caring about it long before that. But there was a time when I wholeheartedly endorsed it as probably the best show on television. So what happened?

How I Met Your Mother was a well-written show with a cast of well-developed cast of characters, unfortunately based on a ridiculous premise that was doomed to failure. Some of the episodes were so funny I thought I'd die laughing, and some of the moments were so poignant and real that I'm not sure they belonged in a comedy at all.  For the first five or six seasons, it was fun to watch the relationships develop between the characters, see them grow and change as people, and get fun glimpses at their lives before (and sometimes after) the years chronicled by the show. There were running gags and "inside" jokes that made the characters feel like real people who I really knew, and that was the brilliance of the show. Unfortunately, it was not set up to be successful for more than five or six seasons because at that point, no one really cared about who these kids' mother was and the jokes started getting overdone and stale. But that's not exactly why stopped caring about it.

Like I said, I felt like these were real people who I was getting to know better as the show went on. Eventually, I began to realize how little I had in common with any of them. And then, as they got older and more crass and obnoxious, I stopped liking them at all. So I really didn't care who married who or how they met or if they all were still friends years later because I didn't care about them as people. This is truth in real life and in TV shows: there is only so long you can live a life completely focused on self, pleasure, and fun, before it starts to wear thin and get really old, really sad, and really ugly. That is what happened with How I Met Your Mother. At some point I realized I was no longer entertained by the ridiculously self-focused lives of the characters. And that's when I was done with the show.

I've seen some of the reactions to the finale. I actually don't know what happened, but I'm not worried about spoilers because I'm not even remotely curious about it, and I don't care. I used to be a fan of How I Met Your Mother, and now I'm just glad that I never have to hear about it again. And you know, maybe that says more about me than it says about the show. I guess I'm okay with that.