I recently took a power walk with my friend, Sandy. She’s one of the most amazing people I know: smart, funny, creative, talented, and a standup gal.
Her resume is insane.
A successful actress, writer and producer, she wrote a sketch comedy musical about parenthood called Rated P (for parenthood), which opened to critical acclaim Off-Broadway in 2012. I saw it at least three times and adored it.
It recently got picked up as a musical series for TV on ABC Family, through Kelly Ripa’s production company. Then, one day she had an idea and sat down and wrote a full length comedic straight play called The Cottage, which ran in Queens for a few weeks last year and has now been picked up in regional theaters in Aspen, Phoenix, and Plymouth, MA this summer.
She has a one-act comedy that won a playwriting competition and is currently in development for TV, and created and stars in a web series on NickMom.
Exhausted just reading about it, right?
What’s most annoying is she’s a wonderful daughter, supportive friend, and attentive, fun mom to two little boys. It would make me feel better to think she’s a crappy wife, but I know her husband and he doesn’t seem like the type to put up with that.
A walk with Sandy is like a hard slap to the ego. No matter how much I’m doing professionally or personally, it never seems enough.
I’m no slacker. I’m busy all the time, like most of you. In addition to playing cook, maid, chauffeur, therapist, and gal Friday, I work in Manhattan two days a week and write freelance pieces for various websites in any “down” time, when the kids are in school.
This summer, the down time has been minimal to nil.
I signed the boys up for various camps but there has yet to be a week when all 3 are out of the house at the same time. I don’t have any childcare on the days I’m not working in the city so I’m on call all day for meals, rides, and questions like “Where’s the remote?”
I’ve really enjoyed the one-on-one time with them. But instead of embracing that time, I always seem to have a nagging feeling I should be getting more work done.
I should be blogging, reading, pitching stories, or trying to get paid for stories I’ve already written. I should be completing the bedroom upgrade I started three months ago, or getting forms ready for the new school year. There are scores of to-do list items swirling around my head at any given time, distracting me from enjoying the present.
I’m lucky I have the option now to be with my kids more than when I was working full-time. I should channel my inner bumper sticker: Carpe diem! Live in the moment! Life is short!
Sometimes I do. But not often enough.
The life of a freelancer and blogger is extra tough on the psyche because you have to constantly hustle and produce content, but the amount of hours doesn’t always translate to dollars. I love what I do and don’t mind the hustling, but life sometimes gets in the way, and I don’t want to feel badly about that.
But I’m getting older and worry that if I don’t make a big mark in my career soon, it will be too late. The window on work goals is closing slowly and I want to be on the right side when it does.
I’m always in this weird middle place between dreaming big, working hard and making sacrifices….and wanting more flexibility and time with my kids before they grow up and leave. So I haven’t figured out how to feel satisfied about getting a little of both, and enjoying that luxury.
There’s always going to be a Sandy. She never makes me feel like slouch, I do that to myself. My new goal is to try to feel gratified, whether I’m working hard or hardly working.
I spent today with Aden, Brady, and some friends hiking in a state park.
I didn’t get any work done.
But it was a good day.