Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Where I Find the Time

I've had a comment that it seems like I plan to do a lot of blogging. I suppose it may be hard for a lot of you to imagine trying to keep four blogs updated daily, with others as subject matter comes up.

Let me explain a bit about my life. I'm a 45-year old woman, married to a 55-year old man. We will have been married 13 years next February, which should give you a clue that we found each other and got started on this fairly late. I was 32, and he was 42.

Our family is just Gryphon and me. We thought we wanted kids for a long time, then while we were waiting for that to happen, we got our other interests and activities together and started leading a pretty busy, full life. About the time that we figured out that it wouldn't be fair for us to have kids (because they would completely change our lives and we'd have to give up most of the things we enjoyed so much), we also learned that it probably wasn't physically possible for us to have kids. I have had serious endometriosis and ovarian cysts that required major surgery, and while I still have one ovary left, it's not a completely normal one, anyhow.

So it's just the two of us, living in a fairly small (2-bedroom) apartment. Gryphon has a regular job, but I don't work outside the home. I have asthma and am sensitive to various things like perfume and smoke. We tried to have me working temp jobs years ago, but it turned out that I could never tell if I was going to have to work all day next to someone who either smoked on their breaks, and therefore always reeked of it, or used perfumed products heavily. The last temp job I went on, I left at lunch break and couldn't go back because the woman I was working side-by-side with all morning stank to high heaven of some sort of product. I was coughing all morning, and came close to having an all-out asthma attack.

Needless to say, the temp agencies never called me again after I had to explain why I was leaving that job. Gryphon and I decided that, though it would be tough financially, the risk to my health was turning out to be too great. I know that smoking laws have tightened up in the meantime, but smokers don't understand just how long they still smell of the poison after they take that quick toke break outside. So even laws that strictly forbid smoking in the workplace don't help me.

It's been over 11 years since we made the decision that I would stay home. In that time, I've been responsible for the cooking, the household planning, the grocery shopping. I can't say I'm quite a Donna Reed, but we did have one classic moment when Gryphon walked in the door from work just as I rose from the oven and turned to him with a fresh, hot apple pie in my hands. It would have been straight out of an episode of Donna's show, if it weren't for the fact that I was barefoot, wearing stretch pants and a t-shirt instead of high heels, pearls, and a full-skirted dress.

Although I haven't worked at a formal job (which I consider to be one where someone else hires me and pays me money to do what they need done*), we do consider my constant crafting - and even my blogging - to be my work. I'm an artist in search of a message, I guess, exploring my creative possibilities. Since writing is one of my media - and communicating about your craft is an essential part of building yourself as a working artist - it is reasonable to consider these blogs to be among my workday tasks.

It doesn't hurt that I enjoy writing them, too. And we know that, somehow, someway, there is potential here for my blogs to be a medium through which my craft is aided in earning money. We may not know what the overall plan is here, but we do have a sense that letting me craft and blog every day is a significant component of it.

So, yes, it may seem like I'm making a big commitment in time and effort to these blogs. And for most people, that would interfere too much with the other parts of their lives - like outside jobs, raising children, and so much more. But I have no outside job. I have no children to take care of. We don't even have pets, as much as we'd love to have a cat - the apartment we can afford doesn't allow them. It's just Gryphon and me, and we collaborate on the running of the household because we like it that way and it spreads the load.

My blogging isn't quite my life. But my life is such that I can make blogging a significant part of it, because I enjoy it.

*Yes, I did own and operate a bead store for the better part of three years, and that was a job. And I came in contact with customers who wore perfume, or who smelled of smoke. But the contact was always limited in scope, and very irregular in occurrence. The job was of my own creation, and I wasn't having to answer to someone else's demands - only my own. That made it very different than if I was forced to work with a smoker side-by-side for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, because my boss said that was my job.

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