Monday, January 12, 2009

Double Lives: Writing and Motherhood

This is a great book that came out last year, edited by Shannon Cowan, Fiona Tinwei Lam, and Cathy Stonehouse.
Usually I only want to read escapist fiction these days--to get away from my business and craziness--but this book was like much needed medicine/nourishment. I couldn't put it down. Reading this book, seeing my old friends, and spending some time with family provided me with some much needed refreshment over the holidays.
The book contains several life stories from mothers who are writers. It was affirming to read the struggles and rewards of other mothers who pursue creative lives. I began to realize that yes, I am a feminine, creative being in a competitive, masculine world, and, yes, being who I am creates issues. But the person who causes the most problems for me is me. I feel like such a fucking failure when I can't do everything I think I should be able to do. I blame myself rather than accepting that I am that kind of being and I am 47 and I have little kids and organization is not my forte and I have teaching jobs and student work and I get scattered and I can't actually "do it all."
I believe a lot of my depression and emotional turmoil is caused by thinking that "I should be able to do this." And then thinking I'm a loser when I can't. Usually I don't make them but here are my modest New Year's resolutions: drink lemon water every morning; swim at least twice a week; and notice when I am going down the blame myself road.

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