Back in college one of my professors talked about the four stages of a relationship. This relationship is usually with another person but can also be with a new career or hobby.
First is the Honeymoon phase – Everything in the relationship is wonderful. The little quirks that make a person or thing unique, are endearing. You have energy and things are good with the world.
Then, the Disillusionment phase – Everything in the relationship is going wrong. All those endearing little quirks are now driving you insane. You are tired and feel you can’t handle life. You want to quit.
Then we hit the Acceptance phase – Life and the relationship is stable. This phase isn’t nearly as exciting as the Honeymoon phase, but you are happy. The quirks are still there but you have accepted them for what they are. Things are ok, you can handle it.
And finally the Thriving phase – You begin to see new opportunities for growth and you feel you can take on new challenges. The relationship finds way to grow new roots and become stronger.
I have run smack into phase two with my writing ‘career’ – disillusionment. I still want to write but reality has gained the upper hand. I lead a number of lives, a mom, a wife, a writer, a housekeeper, etc. Most of these lives can exist concurrently. I can be a good mom while doing housework, it doesn’t need thinking. If I want extra ‘mommy points’ I can make chores a game and have the kids help. I can’t do that with writing. It requires a great deal of thinking and in no way benefits from the advice of my four-year old. I can’t be a good writer and work effectively with kids screaming for my attention.
Imagine, you’re trying to create a poignant scene, something crucial to the climax of the story. While you are fighting to find the right dialogue and imagery. . . a child climbs into your lap to ‘type with Mommy.’ The moment is gone along with your mouse, whatever great idea you might have had has evaporated. Bob the Builder is blaring in the background and it’s snack time for the kiddos. You wonder why you even try.
In time the kiddos will be in school and I’ll be free to write to my heart’s content. I’m not a patient person, waiting another three years seems like a death knell. Until then, I’ll be forced to life this bizarre half-life, sneaking away in the rare moments of the day and the quiet shadows of morning to keep the work moving forward. The sooner I accept this as my fate, the faster I will be able to find ways to live all the fragments of my life the best way possible.
“The only way of finding the limits of the possible
is going beyond them into the impossible.”
Professor Phil Earramehe Ph.D.