The Next Step.

 With the LM starting kindergarten in a few weeks, and Gray following soon after (for a whopping 6 hours a week) I've been thinking a lot about what my next step is going to be. Granted, it is a few years away, but soon, both my kids will be in school full time, and I am going to be left with quite a bit of time on my hands. I realize that things will be busier in a different way, with car pools, school responsibilities, after school sports, homework, etc... but I can't deny the fact that from 7:45-2:45 I am no longer going to be pushing a stroller for miles a day, wiping butts, spending hours at parks, museums, play dates all on a pretty steady cycle, and knowing myself, this is going to leave me feeling a bit restless. Sure, I welcome the idea of daily yoga classes, photography classes, gardening classes, cooking classes, leisurely lunches with my girlfriends (who, as it is now, I don't see nearly enough), and learning more languages (something I've been dreaming of for years) but neither of these things is going to fill my days completely, and I know soon I will be longing for something a little more challenging. Already I am trying to figure out what that will mean for me and my family.

There are two things I know for sure; 1) I do not want to go back to practicing law in any shape or form, and 2) I don't want a full time, year round job. I realize that being about to put these disclaimers out front is a complete luxury, one that I most definitely don't take for granted, and I also recognize that in this economy, especially, it means I'm going to have to get creative. My husband and I talk about this all the time. I am in the incredibly fortunate position where I can pretty much do anything I want, so long as it doesn't disrupt our family balance too much. When I quit my job after I had the LM, we both agreed that their were pros and cons, and one of the cons would be that I was signing up for our arrangement for the long term. Unless I was truly miserable, there was not going to be any take backs, from either of us. The fact is, that since that day, I have been happier than I have ever dreamed, and my husband and my children have benefited from this happiness by being able to rely on the fact that whatever it is, Mom will get it done. I enjoy being that person, as much as they enjoy having it. Family balances are so tricky, and no two are alike, so for us to find one that everyone approves of is not something that I am going to upset without real cause to do so.

I've considered possible enrolling in some sort of teacher training for yoga, or my beloved core fusion, along with wardrobe consulting, interning with a design firm, clothing designer, or media outlet. I've thought about the endless number of volunteer opportunities, how I could possibly use my legal background for a beneficial purpose, rather than for a paycheck. I thought about trying to grow my blog brand, and seeking partnerships with various established "mommy" blogs. Believe me, I've pretty much thought about it all, and there is one thing I keep coming back to.

I'd like to be a writer.

A novelist to be exact. A purveyor of literature geared to women. Yes, I'm talking about chick lit, but something more along the likes of Emily Giffin, than E.L. James. When I think back to all I've ever really wanted to do, it was this same thing. When I graduated from High School. my family gave me books on how to make it as a writer and I had planned to be an English major. My first year of college I became convinced that only a few people actually "make it" as such, and quickly switched over to political science and law, as being the only "safe" career choice. Read: paycheck.

Now I am at a completely different point in my life, where I don't have to play it safe, and working to finish my novel is something that I can do on my own time, at my own pace, without disrupting any part of our family life. So what if I, and maybe some of you, are the only ones who ever reads it, or the one that I am already plotting that will come directly after the first. What do I need to be afraid of?

Failure of course. This is why I have been sitting on my first 100 pages for almost 3 years now. Those of you who have been reading this blog since its inception know that I've thought about doing this all before. At the time I wrote 100 pages, and then began researching book agents, and how to self publish and I got so overwhelmed by the whole thing that I just put it away. Around that time we were in the middle of fertility treatments, then I was pregnant, and then I was juggling life with two kids, and I had almost completely forgot about the whole thing. It was only when I started having trouble with my computer and had to desperately save my pages to transfer them to my beautiful new 2 lb machine, that I realized what it meant to me. Now that I have it back, and on a portable piece of equipment, there is nothing standing in my way and I feel like this year is the perfect time to try to give it a go, even if it is only to say I finished.

Yesterday, I went back and read the first chapter again, and I am right back where I was three years ago. Hooked, obsessed, determined. I read a lot of fictional literature, and some is incredible, and some is crap, and I truly believe that what I'm writing is good, and will make for one hell of a beach read. With my husband riding my ass (as he likes to do when it comes to finishing this thing) and you all holding me accountable, I'm hoping that maybe I can actually do it, and how great would it be if this led to something that would be a fulfilling enterprise over the next few years. That really is the dream, isn't it?

AND if it doesn't work out, and no one but my sister wants to read it... there is always this:

So begins the next chapter... literally.