An Empty Sandwich

Saturday, August 25, 2018
"Hey Crystal, do you know how you know you're the sandwich generation?"

"You mean the generation caring for aging parents while raising families?"

"Yup - that's the one."


"You use the same tone of voice talking to your parents and your children."

We laughed together uneasily while the thought of what she had said sank in. I had my last baby at 40 and my mother had me at 32. I'll let you do the math, but there are days when I definitely use the same tone with my mom and my toddlers. I practice patience. I've even had a phone conversation about bowel movements (or the lack thereof) while changing a diaper. The truth is, I am definitely part of the sandwich generation.

What does that have to do with writing? Well...There are a few things at the top of my list of things I cannot live without. Family, Writing, and Coffee fall in line right after God. The good news is I can drink coffee while caring for my mother and my children. The bad news is I have been struggling to find time for my writing. I'm not blaming my mother or my children (or my hungry husband) for my lack of writing. It's me. I am the one who keeps putting the needs of others before my own. I am the one who is sitting here with two pieces of bread and absolutely no bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, or mayo on my BLT. I've missed article deadlines. I've let people down.

Here's what hurts the most: I've let myself down. When I'm putting pen to paper I feel lighthearted. When I neglect my craft, I feel discombobulated (my mother's word) and it effects the other areas of my life. When I'm so busy doing what needs to be done, I am short tempered, crabby, and I'm not as patient as I'd like to be. How about you? Have you ever found yourself (for whatever reason) neglecting your writing life? How did you get back to doing what you love?

How did you fill your sandwich when it was empty?

I'm starting by getting up earlier. This sounds simple, but according to my FitBit I average 3-4 hours of sleep, but as much as I know I need sleep, I know I need to write even more. I'm going to commit to 20 minutes each and every day for writing, dreaming, and putting pen to paper. What else do you recommend? What has worked for you? What hasn't?

Thank you in advance for being my bacon, my lettuce, and my nourishment!

Love & Hugs,

Crystal is a secretary, council secretary, and musician at her church, birth mother, babywearing cloth diapering mama (aka crunchy mama), business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing, Press Corp teammate for the DairyGirl Network, Unicorn Mom Ambassador, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and their five youngest children (Carmen 11, Andre 10, Breccan 4, Delphine 3, and baby Eudora), two dogs, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 230 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal riding unicorns, taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books, baby carriers, cloth diapers, and all sorts of other stuff here, and at her personal blog - Crystal is dedicated to turning life's lemons into lemonade!


Margo Dill said...

That opening line made me laugh very loud. I am the sandwich generation, too, and that is so true. I do use the same tone of voice and I often joke that I have 3 kids (1 7 year old and 2 above 75)! And a dog!

I also totally relate to what you said about feeling cranky when not writing or doing something that is creative for your writing. So i've been trying to write 500 words a day. It doesn't always workout but then some days I'll write 2000, so I figure it all equals out.

Great post and I can totally relate to your life!

Sioux Roslawski said...

Crystal--If we beat ourselves up when we don't write, it becomes a vicious cycle. I think we have to give ourselves a little leeway, and try to keep moving forward (more or less) with our writing.

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