Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hahahaha Balance HAHAHAHAHA

There are three things I know for sure:

1. Never choose the food challenge on Amazing Race 
2. Beer before liquor, never been sicker
3. Do not talk about Fight Club

But balancing work, writing, and family? I haven't got a clue how to do that. If I knew, I'd be doing it. This has become all the more clear to me since having a baby in January. I haven't slept more than 3 hours at a time since... November? Possibly earlier? It wasn't easy to sleep during pregnancy, either, so it's possible I haven't had a truly good night's sleep in a year. Anyway. What was I saying? Where am I? How did I get here?

As someone on Doomsday Preppers would say, balance means having a stockpile of food and a weapons cache with which to defend it. If only life were that simple.

I think any kind of balancing act is a myth. No one can have, be, or do it all, just as no one can be the perfect wife, mother, employee, author, or friend -- and definitely not at the same time. But that's okay, because I think perfection is overrated -- especially for writers or any other kind of artist.

Perfection is boring. And perfection won't help you when something goes wrong in your life.

Anna Quindlen said it best, in her book BEING PERFECT (p.47-48):

"Someday, sometime, you will be sitting somewhere: a berm overlooking a pond in Vermont. The lip of the Grand Canyon at Sunset. A seat on the subway. And something bad will have happened: you will have lost someone you loved, or failed at something at which you badly wanted to succeed. And sitting there, you will fall into the center of yourself. You will look for some core to sustain you. And if you have been perfect all your life and have managed to meet all the expectations of your family, your friends, your community, your society, chances are excellent that there will be a black hole where that core ought to be."


Sarah Skilton grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated with a  TV/Radio degree from Ithaca College in upstate New York before moving to sunny Los Angeles, where she's worked as a production assistant, a TV extra, a film reviewer, and a script analyst. She has also studied Tae Kwon Do and Hap Ki Do, both of which came in handy while writing her martial arts-themed debut YA novel, BRUISED, due out Spring 2013 from Amulet Books

She's represented by Sara Megibow of Nelson Literary. Check out her blogTwitter, and Facebook page.

18 comments:

  1. This is a great post! I really like your writing.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Gina. I really appreciated your comment here and at my personal blog :)

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  2. My husband loves Doomsday Preppers :)

    I agree that there's no real way to balance everything. I just sort of scramble all the time, and everything mostly comes together and the kids stay alive and fed. With a new little one, you're right in the thick of it, so I hope things get less intense for you as your baby gets older. Right now I have a three year old and a 19 mo old, and while things are still psychopants, at least I don't wake up drenched in milk and baby pee anymore. And that's something.

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    1. Hi Bethany,

      Thanks so much for commenting! I bet you have your hands full with two little ones. I laughed at the image of being drenched in milk and pee :)

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  3. Beautiful. Thank you, Sarah!

    (And my rule for The Amazing Race is, never choose a challenge that involves searching through piles of things--like apples or hay.)

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    1. Caroline, you are SO right. The hay bale search a few years ago was seriously one of the most painful moments I've ever seen on a reality show.

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  4. Sarah, awesome post. But I do not know this word. Balance??

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  5. Elsie, I'm with you! I'm still not sure what the word even means ;)

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  6. Fabulous post, Sarah. I don't feel like I have a balance either, really, but would I swap all the exciting stuff that's happening to me right now for 'balance'? HELL NO.

    Love the Anna Quindlen quote, too!

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    1. Thanks, Emma. Glad you liked the quote. I found it comforting.

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  7. Things will get a little easier when sleep returns, Sarah!! That first year is almost impossible to keep one's head on straight.

    I love the Anna Quindlen quote! This week I'm trying to juggle my newly received editorial letter with tax preparations and kids home for spring break, so I'm definitely feeling like I'm far from achieving perfection as a mother/writer.

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    1. Thanks, Cat, I hope so! I can't imagine getting regular sleep ever again, but I imagine one day it'll happen ;)

      Hope your edits are going well!!

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  8. I recognize that "Hahahahaha." That's the laughter of the underslept!

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    1. It is indeed. I sense you are familiar with it :)

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  9. We do not talk about Fight Club <-- I'm SO there! I just watched this last week, how coincidental!

    Awesome post! "I think any kind of balancing act is a myth." Yes, YES!!

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  10. Beautiful post, Sarah, and huge congratulations on the birth of your baby. Rocks one's world, doesn't it? I haven't read Being Perfect, but I really like Anna Quindlen's writing. Thanks for sharing this.

    ~Nicole

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