Have you ever felt like you’re juggling too many balls?
As a full time wife (if you’re married you know it’s a full time job keeping your spouse in line) and mum to four kids, (14, 16, 18 and 20) our life is crazy busy and must be operated with military precision. Don’t laugh, but we have weekly “diary night” where we all sit around the table with our diaries and co-ordinate schedules! Add to the busyness a border collie who demands a daily exercise regime, a neurotic Burmese with stress-related urinary tract issues, a part time job as a school nurse, and a ministry role as a worship leader in the school chapel, life is busy. Then throw some more things into the mix. Such as a job as an intensive care nurse.
Oh, and did I also mention I’m a writer? A published author of one book (Intensive Care), with another one due for release later this year?
Life. Is. Busy.
The other day someone asked what my hobbies are? I almost spat out my Pepsi Max. Hobbies? Who has time for hobbies? I used to run and God knows that’s a ball I’ve dropped. I used to do Crossfit. Another dropped ball. I used to document every single moment of my family’s life in scrapbook albums. I used to watch television. I used to have a social life.
Now? I have a new hobby.
How do I fit it all in? How do I balance my hectic schedule? How do I find time to do everything? How do I find time to write?
These are questions I get asked every single day.
I wish I could say I’ve got life all sorted and that things flow smoothly, but I’d be lying. Here’s the truth: I vacuum my house only when I feel more dog hair beneath my feet than floorboards or carpet. I mop if I visibly see mud. Thank goodness slate floors cover a multitude of sins. I clean the bathrooms when I see mould. Yes. That is truth. I cook the bare necessities. I shop sporadically. I have the local fish and chip shop on speed dial and we have (weekly) half price “parmi nights” at the local pub. Other nights it’s fend for yourself and I see nothing wrong with toast or two minute noodles or chocolate for dinner. I don’t bake (but that’s because I’m the world’s worst cook), I don’t sew, I don’t fold clothes. I don’t do canteen duty. I don’t attend parent teacher interviews. I make it to some sports games. Some music concerts.
Are you getting the picture? Life. Is. Busy.
Tonight though, as I was operating the ventilator that kept my patient alive, as I was writing notes, hanging fluids, taking blood, listening for chest and bowel sounds, documenting vital signs, liaising with doctors, giving drugs, checking wounds and drain tubes, educating students and explaining things to family members, I also had time (don't tell my boss) to make some basic edits on my current manuscript, “Emergency Response” which will be released with Momentum in October.
I write contemporary medical romance (one book published, one due for publication, a third almost ready for pitching at the RWA conference and a fourth half-finished) and some days the best place to write or dream or brainstorm is at work. At work where I’m surrounded by sick patients and stressful situations. That’s where I get my inspiration. That’s where I get my stories. That’s where reality smacks head first into my fictional world. And at that moment I don’t care that I’m busy. Because although I’m busy, I’m fulfilled. I’m doing what I’m called to do. I’m making a difference. As a nurse. As a writer.
And you know what I’ve learned in this busy season? It doesn’t matter if I drop a ball now and then. Sometimes I drop the whole lot! That’s okay. I just bend over scoop them up and throw them back into the air.
Juggling takes practice.
Lucky it’s a hobby I enjoy.
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If you've read my debut medical romance, "Intensive Care" (ebook only at this stage), I'd love to know what you thought of it. Would you be kind enough to drop me a note or leave a review? I'd really appreciate it. And please stay tuned for release dates of "Emergency Response" later this year and look out for "Life Support" too!