A long time ago, probably around the time my first child was born, I made a decision. It was not to let my writing interfere with being a proper parent. I didn’t want my children to be interviewed fifty years down the road and leave them with a situation where they’d have to say, “Well, yes, my Father was a brilliant writer, but he was always too busy writing books to have any time for us.”
So this led to my “Open Door Policy,” where I’d leave my office door open when writing so my children could come in and talk to me or visit whenever they wanted. This left me with an interesting ability: I can be writing, then be interrupted for an undetermined period of time, and then to go right back to where I left off and start writing again without hesitation.
More importantly, if I do say so myself, my two children have turned out quite well so far as a result. There’s no completed or published or best selling book that is worth that.
I still have the Open Door Policy, even though it has results like it did this weekend – Gross Overbooking. Writing time evaporates in the wake of shuttling someone around or running errands. Saturday was a classic – north to a fairgrounds an hour from here so my daughter could get needed information on her goat project. Then picking up food for two different events (my wife handled that) and getting things in the house ready for the new puppy (daughter and I handled). Then picking up the new puppy, swinging by a pet store for supplies, then going to the church building for one of the events. Then staggering home.
Today is going to be similar. Church, lunch out (probably), sneak home to deal with puppy, a 90th birthday party, Church again, then an Elder’s meeting to discuss the results of the weekend’s events.
There’s a little speck inside me that wants to say it’s frustrating when this happens because I have writing I need to do. But I’ve never, ever regretted putting God and my family first – and the writing is always there waiting for me when I manage to get back to it. Richard and K are still in a van on their way to (unbeknownst to them) Phoenix, and miraculously, they won’t get there until I sit down and start typing again.
At times It’s kind of frustrating to be this busy. After a weekend of solid running like this, I go to work feeling like I haven’t had a day off. But then, like I have recently started saying:
“I never fully grasped the concept of Heaven as a place of rest until I became an Elder.”