matt and ben, Canon Digital Rebel XTi
No one told me that when you become a parent you actually inherit a brand new gene – the hyperefficiency gene! My friend Stef came over to take Ben for a stroll and in two hours I got a ridiculous amount of work done. It was as if I had 25 arms. Who knew you could check your email, chat with your sister on the phone, design some jewelry and pump at the same time?
Now I understand why women are the multi-taskers in the family. I had no idea how much time I whittled away doing only ONE THING AT A TIME. What a waste!
I’m actually kidding about being an advocate for multi-tasking. In theory I believe in doing one thing well, with presence and focus. Trouble is, in my new world I have already let go of so much of the doing of my life (brushed teeth, combed hair, answering the phone, not to mention creative projects, photography, blogging) that when I have free slices of time I am a doing machine. And it feels great.
I heard an interview on Fresh Air years ago with the Pulitzer prize winning author Carol Shields. Somehow she raised five kids while she was writing her books. Terry Gross asked her how that was possible. She said that every time the babies/kids took a nap she knew she had one precious hour to write. She promised herself she would complete 2 pages in that hour each day. 9 months later her book was complete.
This story inspred me long before parenthood. As creative people, we spend an inordinate amount of time setting the stage for our creativity. We go through all of the reasons in our mind why we should just quit because we SUCK WAY TOO MUCH to be writing/painting/designing/etc. We spend hours getting our studio just so, getting “inspired” (read: surfing the internet, one of my faves), catching up on email, and doing just about everything but getting our creative work done.
With much less time on my hands I am hopeful that my creative projects will still fluorish. They will be done in the smallest of slices, but that is how I prefer to work anyway. And now that I have inherited the gene for hyper-efficiency nothing can stop me.