Posted in humor & fun, writers, Writing and Poetry

Balancing Home-Life with Writing


Cottage
Image by cheesy42 via Flickr

Balancing Home-Life with Writing

Traci Kenworth

 

It becomes a challenge (with any career) to balance such with home-life. On one end, you have the kids, piled up laundry, dirty dishes, pets that demand attention, and at the other, there’s your job, that thing you do that supports/fulfills you. Writing is that for me. It’s my pick-me-up, face the bald facts, never-going to-end-till-I-die occupation. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

As I think I’ve mentioned, writing kind of saved my life after my divorce. It brought me back to believing in myself, in going that extra mile, and restored my faith in the kindness of others. When you have such a life-line, it can drag you through shark-infested waters. I won’t say it’s been easy. There are hurdles like in any other field. You have to train, train, and train.

You also have to figure a way to prioritize things. For me, I spend the early morning hours and afternoons writing, I split the rest of my day taking care of the house and spending time with the kids. It’s not easy. Sometimes I wish there were more hours in the day, but there aren’t. We can only do what we can do. Don’t beat yourself up about tasks you don’t get finished, save them for the next day.

One step at a time, I guess, is how I balance things. Giving my all in all three areas. Someday if someone special pops into my life, I’m sure I’ll have an even tougher spin of the wheel. But I do love a challenge. I didn’t used to, but I’ve come to realize that they’re what keeps us alive and going forward.

The kids respect my writing, but they also know I’ll be there for them if they need me. And yes, I go through thousands of little interruptions a day, as I’m sure any stay-at-home or work elsewhere mom goes through. You take care of them then go on. Does it break my concentration? Sometimes. But the truth is, the kids will only be young once, I figure I better treasure them now before the house becomes silent to their laughter. So, no, when they need me, I do my best to be there.

And you know what? I still have plenty of time left to pursue what I love. Writing is a tangled, exciting, enriching, and glorious job. It can also be painful. That’s when we need to step back, enjoy some time away, and get back to the basics. You and me, kid. Life kicks enough dirt in our face, let’s do our best to wipe it away, and get back in there. Anything you put your heart into will pump back the rewards. Motherhood. A career. Your love-life. It’s only a matter of time to figure out how to handle them all.

When things seem over-whelming, just retreat to your quiet place. In fact, I recommend doing so, at least ten-to-fifteen minutes out of the day. Just relax your mind, dream a little, have a talk with your muse, whatever helps. It’ll calm and energize you and set you on your way again. So the secret to balancing your writing (aka career) with home life is to handle things as they come. Figure out what’s important to you, the rest will fall into place.

How do you handle your day-to-day tasks? Any advice to others on how to stop the craziness that is life and get down to what matters?

 

 

Posted in a bit of seriousness, humor & fun

Genealogies are Stories in Themselves


Collage of Cherokee men and women from public ...
Image via Wikipedia

Genealogies are Stories in Themselves

Traci Kenworth

 

I’ve been researching my family for years. I’ve poured through hundreds of birth and death certificates, tax and census records, and even old addresses. Anything to find a clue, a link to the next stage or to fill the pieces in clearer on the person/s in particular I’m looking into at that moment. It’s always exciting to learn their stories. For instance, in the 1800s, my family owned a stagecoach inn here in Ohio that burnt to the ground at the turn of the century.

My family also was quite well off (wish I could say the same for me. lol.). They owned a lot of acreage, giving some away to churches and dowries for their daughters. My great, great grandfather was one of the earliest pioneers in Ohio, coming here from New York. It’s been a struggle to find anything going back further than that or who his parents are, but I’m not giving up. It just takes turning over that piece of puzzle to make it fit.

On my mother’s side, our great, great grandfather comes from PA. We know who his parents are but have little info on them. Sometimes records get lost in fires or misplaced. I do know that we have Cherokee blood in us from my Mom’s side as well. It’s been fascinating learning about these people and their lives. You can see the hardships and triumphs they’ve gone through. This same great, great grandfather, for instance, married a second time to a woman who turned out to be a gold-digger.

It’s been difficult to trace some of my mother’s side as well as there are 16 kids on that side (no, we’re not Amish. Lol.). People lose touch and move on. That doesn’t always mean their life stays invisible to us though. It just takes a little more effort. I’ve been fortunate to find three others who share my passion for looking into our roots. They’ve filled a lot of blanks in for me, and I hope I’ve returned the favor.

Pictures are scarce from days past, but when found they are a true treasure. To see the resemblances, the face of someone who helped shape your future. I’m trying, right now, to link my family pages with as many of them as I can. Oh, and FB, believe it or not, has become a good source of info as well, though you still have to cross-check your facts.

I encourage everyone to look into their past. Open those family Bibles, you’d be surprised at the stories you’ll find. And get people talking—what they have to say may surprise you. Moms, dads, grandparents, aunts & uncles, cousins, you’ll be fascinated by what they went through and what led to defining who they are. So take a look, have a listen, you may be delighted to find that some ancestor kept a journal, wrote a book, invented something, stood out in battle. Good luck!