I’ve been complaining a lot about feeling creatively ‘wiped out’—that is, having no energy or ambition to make something. It felt like everything was going to the son, the wife, the house, the garden. I know: completely self-indulgent. It was a feeling, and feelings have a reality-distorting gravitational pull that can be difficult to escape, like a black hole’s.
And then the other day Danielle and I were having a recurring conversation that snapped me awake, so to speak. She wanted to know if I had a ‘roadmap’ (I think that’s the word she used) for how I was going to handle the application process for my MFA. I admitted I had none. I had set it aside as an impossibility. I had a whole list of excuses: Sean is too demanding. When on earth am I going to find time to go to class? to do the reading? to do the writing? The program at Old Dominion University (the only one in the area) is a three-year program. We’re only guaranteed to be here through 2012!
Danielle picked off my excuses one by one, pegged them for exactly what they were: stealth procrastination. Sean will be pre-school-age by next fall. I can make time to do the work. Babysitters. We can do a shore tour in Norfolk. All of my roadblocks had easy detours, if my eyes had just been open to them.
The whole thing is rather daunting, especially on mornings like this when I’m tired and Sean, like a predator who can smell fear, seems to sense it. But we need to do this. It cements my usefulness in the post-daddying future.