It’s graduation/wedding/end of school season. For me personally, it’s also wedding anniversary-slash-daughter’s birthday season. Oh yeah, and summer; trying to get in every single possible second of glorious sunshine-filled days because I live in Michigan and fully understand how few and fleeting those days are.
This summer, so far, I’ve only received one wedding invite; scheduled for the last day of my vacation, no less. But I do have plenty of high school graduations. In fact, I had two invites for last weekend and two more for this upcoming one. There’s also my brother-in-law’s birthday party and my niece’s horse show, my daughter’s last day of school, and prepping (mentally and literally) for the vacation my husband and I are taking for our twentieth wedding anniversary (!!). And as soon as we return, it’s my daughter’s birthday, and after that, I think summer slows down for a few weeks until our annual family vacation (and that wedding) toward the end of July. Thank God.
Oh crap, and I just realized Father’s Day falls in there, too!
Meanwhile, I’m riddled with guilt as I try to juggle two jobs, a teenager, nurturing my garden so I can have fresh salsa by the end of summer, attempting to lose a few pounds so I actually don’t hate the way I look in my swimsuit; on top of all those obligations listed above. Which, by the way, ultimately, will be fun, so honestly, calling them obligations isn’t the correct term, but that’s how I feel at the moment.
Because it’s too much. And yet I want to—or at least feel obligated to—do it all. Two of the grad parties are for children of cousins whose parents are brothers, so optimally I’d like to only do one, but is that really fair? Truthfully, I may not be able to do either, which only adds yet another layer to my constant companion, Guilt.
And then there’s the reality that my husband and I chose to get married on Father’s Day weekend all those years ago, so we have to figure out how to celebrate that special event, honor three fathers (my husband and both our dads), as well as make my daughter feel special on her birthday, which is also right there in the mix. Oh, and three of my five nieces have birthdays all that same week as my daughter. This summer in particular, I am so grateful we enrolled my daughter in the school she currently attends if only because they end their school year a week before her old one does; otherwise, that grand event would be happening right smack in the middle of everything else listed in this paragraph.
Oy, we should have planned out our lives better!
I know, I know, that isn’t how it works, but that comment makes me chuckle because I am, while not strictly Type A, most definitely a planner, and I need to make everything fit, everything work; find order on the chaos that has become my June calendar. (Yes, I still use a paper calendar. Two of them, as a matter of fact. Because I don’t care what you say, it’s just easier.)
And so, up front, before the event-filled weekends even arrive, I have to mentally make the decisions: What will we do? What will we decline? And those decisions are, admittedly, made with my coveted writing time in mind.
If I go to the work event on Friday, the graduation on Saturday, the dinner party on Saturday, and the graduation on Sunday, when will I have time to write? And so I start trimming obligations, so that I can sit on my backporch and work on yet another novel for your enjoyment.
Because I enjoy it too. And I don’t feel obligated to do it; I simply want to. Which is how writing ultimately is the winner in the end.
Rather, you are.
Tami Lund writes books and drinks copious amounts of wine to combat the guilt of choosing writing over all that fun stuff she should be doing. This book just released on May 31, if you want to check it out!