Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Determination & Discipline = Happiness

N set his alarm for 4am today so he could go Steel head fishing. After his alarm clock went off I began wondering how long it would take for him to throw off the covers and plant his feet on the floor. But before I could finish thinking this thought, he was up and dressing himself for a morning on the river. 4am is nothing for an outdoorsman determined to catch Steel head. N told me yesterday that he is giving himself 30 days to catch a Steel head, and until he catches one, his daily fishing streak will continue. If he catches one before 30 days he'll "cut back and make it a 3-4 days a week." I smile.

If there is one thing that I have learned throughout our marriage, it is to encourage N's fishing hobby. For a fast-paced, spontaneous, and slightly rambunctious guy like my husband, quiet is not often sought. For a girl who loves her solitude, I don't quite understand this sort of existence, but know that good things are happening when N comes home from fishing with his buddies (who are also very much like him) talking about what a great time he had. Not necessarily because of his friends being there, he says, but because it is quiet. He hasn't quite put the feelings into words, but I know that feeling that he can't get enough of. Serenity. Solitude. It is safe to say that I have no issues with N's time spent fishing, or his die hard determination. With birds chirping, the river moving, and fish jumping--It is a certainty that God is teaching.

I consider N's motivation and determination to succeed at catching a Steel head and compare it with my writing. I was so inspired by him that I even got out of bed at 4:15am today. For the last few days especially, I've felt frustrated with the timing of wanting to be SO many things 100%. Mostly though, it is the writer in me who feels confined. Too much to say in my mind and not enough time to see enough to its fruition. I am a mother, a doting mother at that. I am snobby enough that the thought of a regular sitter for my kids pains my heart and makes me yell "No way!" on the inside. But the urges to sit down and write and create never leave me throughout the day. When I am at the park with the kids, I think in descriptive sentences. While I am on the treadmill, spontaneous writing topics scatter my mind. When I am home and near my computer, I get anxious because the timing is not right. I have children who deserve the most undivided attention that I can give them. They deserve new experiences, to play A LOT, and to be stimulated. I'm struggling to find a balance between giving these things to my children and doing the same for myself.

Just as the past few days have gone, I sit here wondering what shall I do? Will I continue the same sporadic routine and attempt to get some writing in at 8am, maybe 2pm, and on occasion in the late evening? These windows of time have proven to be insuffice, as I look at a handful of posts and ideas that go unfinished and mostly forgotten about. Not the best writing regimen. I must come up with a better plan!

Plan of Action

1. Set coffee pot the night before.

2. Set alarm for 4am.

3. Write/read until the kiddos wake.

4. Attempt my normal daily routine with the fam.

5. Go to bed shortly after the babes.

6. Do it all over again.*

*This plan of action is the first in a series. Once I map out my writing goals and in what time frame I am striving for, I will re-assess and make a more precise plan. This will do for now.

Am I crazy? How do you balance such things in your life?

Cheers and Good Morning!

P.S. N just called to tell me he's on his way home and he had success! With determination and discipline he prevails!


Keri June 16, 2009 at 7:47 AM  

Cassie, good for you for waking up at 4am...that takes some MAJOR discipline. I also think it's good for a guy to have a passion or something they love to do...it's good for them to get out too and be alone or with friends. As for your parents, I'm sure I'll be seeing them. Did you know that your grandparents live in my neighborhood? Small world. :)

Cassie June 16, 2009 at 8:20 AM  

Yes, what a small world! I had no idea that you lived close! Are you doing the sewing class that she is teaching?

mme. bookling June 16, 2009 at 3:28 PM  

What a catch!
N is luck to have both you and that steel head.

I am no expert on balancing a life with children, but I have noticed that in this writing life, we must be easy on ourselves. To attach performance goals to such mysteries as our soul's artistic endeavors can sometimes steal all joy out of the times we actuall CAN sit to write. If we feel underproductive, so be it. I say when you cannot help but write, that is when you should be writing...and in those moments of inspiration (even if they don't fit into the kid's schedule - lock yourself in the bathroom with a little note pad) such amazing art will pour from those fingers.

Be kind to your artist inside. Don't tell it when and where it can appear. If you have ideas on the playground, take a wee notebook with you.

I so appreciate and stand in awe of mothers who determine that they will still be true to their soul's desires, despite the demand of their children. Remind yourself continually that you are going to make their adult lives so much better if you SHOW them what a life of self-care and balance looks like.

Sorry for the long post, but I stumbled upon a moment of inspiration...as I often do when I read you.


ps. as a total side note and matter of practicality, many people hire sitters and stay home still so they can work. any family or friends willing to sit with the kids for a few hours a week so you can be at home and write?

Britt June 17, 2009 at 4:37 AM  

I think you are such an amazing woman Cassie. i am so veery blessed to call you friend. You go girl!

amber johnson June 17, 2009 at 7:46 AM  

That's great for Nathan. I agree. It is good for him to spend time doing something he loves. It's good for all of us!

Yeah, I just think you can set a plan that works for you, but sometimes you can't decide when inspiration will come. The notebook idea was a good one. Sometimes, I try to be all ready before the kids get up so that I am raring to go. A little quiet time for them is good so maybe you can catch a little time during the day too. Well, good luck with your new plan of action!

Janet Fonoimoana June 17, 2009 at 8:44 AM  

Cassie, I'm SO glad I get to have this little peek into your thoughts and life. What a sweet couple you two are, and so fortunate to have each other! And what a cute mom you are. I'm so grateful to have this technology to help me get to know you better.
Much love, Aunt Janet
PS We're so excited to have more of your family members here in Utah. We plan to see a lot of them -- and more of you too!

Cassie June 17, 2009 at 9:06 AM  

crm- Thank you for kind reminder to "be kind to the artist inside." It's important to remember. How true it is, that inspiration flows best in it's own time. I'll definitely start carrying a notebook with me. It would only be wise. :)

Oh, and to hear that you find any inspiration here is an exciting compliment! I very much am inspired by you!

Britt-You are an amazing friend. I think of you often and can't wait to craft!

Ambs-I like the idea of a little quiet time during the day. I'll give her a shot. I'll have to be creative with Asher. Raring to go before they wake up? Ohh...I am one slow mover in the am.--too much reading I guess. Thanks for the ideas, sis!

Aunt Janet-When are you going to get a blog of your own, so I can keep up with your family? I am happy that you come to visit me here. It is a great way to stay in touch! I always appreciate your kind words!

Thanks for the comments, friends! I love reading them!

Jeannie June 17, 2009 at 10:21 AM  

Hi Cassie, I can SO relate with your constant strive for balance! I've decided it's never totally mastered in this life - we just keep trying. At least I've never come close to mastering it! I can also relate with having a constant flow of ideas that RARELY get put to fruition - although mine are rarely in the "writing" department. :) I've struggled with being a mom and keeping the part that's ME alive. Currently, I'm feeling like the motherhood parts are going by too quickly, and I'm trying to appreciate and enjoy them more. Cuz as Toby Keith or Trace Adkins say, "you're gonna miss this."
I could really relate with this bit of your writing. Trying to go about the daily tasks of life while the brain is flowing and flowing. Oft times I find myself getting irritated listening to my kids ramble on - as they are interupting my thoughts. Bless them!
I like what your friend, mme booking said about creativity - it comes when it comes and just harness it anytime, anywhere. She didn't say it like that, but that's my interpretation. Mine often come in the middle of the night, and I often find myself up for a few hours between 3:00 and 6:00. It can make for a groggy next day, but so it goes.
Best of luck with your schedule, and keep writing! You have a gift for it! Luv, Jeans

Cassie June 21, 2009 at 10:31 PM  

Jeans-- Thanks for the reminder that these are the days that will be missed later. It is so true. Already in the time that I have been married and watched our kids grow, I look back just a few short years and get a little choked up. The changes are ever so rapid.

I will definitely try to harness the creative moments that come. It think having a notebook where ever I go will be important. Inspiration has no guidelines or time frames, you know?

“You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury
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