It’s late night and early morning when the magic happens.
People always ask me, how do you juggle it all? A television career. A side hustle. Being a mom, a wife, and a writer.
Well, you will find the answer in the dark. Literally.
During daylight hours, all I can take on are the “priorities.” That means a job I love at ABC News and my 3 children, who I love even more. All of my energy is poured into these two roles, which means if I want to pursue other interests, I have to do them very early in the morning before the sun comes up and when everyone in my house is asleep … or very late at night when the sun is down and everyone in my house is asleep.
That’s when I work on writing my children’s books. That’s when I write stories for my facebook page, Scarnation. That’s when I draft power points for my media consulting business. That’s when I write these blog posts you are reading now right here on my website. That’s when I freelance write for a magazine. All of this happens in silence. At my kitchen counter. Normally with a box of cookies on my lap. And a candle burning in front of me, next to my computer of course. 4 a.m. and 10 p.m. – same story.
A friend once asked, “Isn’t that a lonely existence being a writer … there is no one around and no one to talk to?” I didn’t even pause when I answered … when I am writing is when I feel most like myself. I love the quiet and I love putting words on paper just as much as an artist loves putting paint on canvas. I got into journalism 22 years ago because I get such fulfillment from telling stories. Other people’s stories and my own stories. And truth be know, I don’t have tons of talent, but writing … well I can do that pretty darn good. If you ask me to sing or dance or play sports, you will be out of luck.
So for all of you ladies out there reading this, know I am just like you – my husband works long hours and I don’t have any help besides the occasional babysitter. My parents live out of state and so does my only brother. That means I have to figure a way to figure it out. I am forever grateful for neighbors and other moms who pitch in occasionally to help with a carpool drop off or pick up. Find the helpers in your world. Like Mr. Rogers said, they are all around.
Bottom line, if you, like me, have many different passions, you must find a way to squeeze them in. I think of my life as a puzzle – it takes several pieces to make it whole. I’m a good mom, but I don’t just want to be a mom. I’m a good TV host, but I don’t want to just be a TV host. I’m a good writer, but I don’t want to just be a writer. I want it all. I make it happen. AND SO CAN YOU.
You don’t have to pick one thing and do it for the rest of your life. You do a lot of things well and constantly reinvent yourself. That is the magic of life. Maybe you sacrifice shopping, or television, or happy hours with friends, or weekend trips to the lake, or in my case SLEEP to squeeze in all the things that make you, you.
If this article hits a cord with you, sit down and write out hour by hour, what your day looks like. Then highlight the activities you don’t HAVE to do. You will be amazed at the time we all waste during a typical day. 5 minutes here, 30 minters there, it all adds up. Next, carve out one hour a day that you can focus on only YOU. Then, write “DREAM UP” in your calendar or planner, just like you would write down a doctors appointment. My point – schedule time to pursue your dreams, instead of just thinking about them. And do not break that appointment each day. It is a promise to yourself and you are worth it!
But most importantly, do it NOW. Don’t put off hobbies and interests and passions that also light your soul on fire. Because eventually every fire goes out, unless someone pours fuel on it. That someone is YOU!