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I'd have more time for writing

I’d have more time for writing* if I didn’t love the evening read-and-huggle routine with Zippy. If he didn’t smell like toothpaste and sunshine, if he didn’t curl up perfectly in the C of my body, simply a larger version of the infant he was when he came out of me. I’d have more time for writing if I didn’t know he’d only be 7 and cuddly for another blink, hands that fit perfectly inside mine, pink cheeks and long dark eyelashes. This is the only time of the day when he is still. I’d have more time for writing if I didn’t long to cuddle his big brother like this, also.

I’d have more time for writing if I didn’t cook actual food for my family -- and serve it at an actual table -- or if we didn’t hold hands when we recite the simple grace rhyme the kids learned in preschool. I’d have more time for writing if this wasn’t my favorite moment of every day, having all four of us in one spot for just 15 minutes, Zippy's hand in my left, Happy's in my right, Honey's eyes locked on mine from across the table. (I’d have more time for writing, too, if chopping vegetables wasn’t so cathartic.)

I’d have more time for writing if I drove to work instead of walking. If the sun didn’t rise so brilliantly over the peninsula, bay, and Back Cove like it does and the snowy egrets weren’t out to greet me every morning, I’d definitely have more time for writing. And I’d have a lot more time for writing if walking this trail wasn’t both exercise and meditation.

I’d have more time for writing if I didn’t read such good books, if didn’t fall in love with old curmudgeonly characters like Leo Gursky or Olive Kitteridge, if I didn’t get swept up in clever word play by Junot Díaz or twisty plotting by Lianne Moriarty, or crave Mary Oliver’s poetic precision. I’d absolutely write more if I didn’t catch my breath with every turn of the page of When Women Were Birds, then go back and read it all over again the second I finished.  

I’d have more time for writing if I didn’t need to put my feet in the sand or my head in the trees as often as I do. I’d write volumes, I’m sure, if the salt air didn’t feel so refreshing on my face and the smell of pine needles didn’t remind me of all that’s good. I’d have much more time for writing if I didn’t need to sit with my face in the sun so often, if I didn’t crave its warmth and energy and promise.

I’d have more time for writing if I didn’t text my people all day long. If I didn’t need to feel so connected to my besties' love and humor to get me through every day, if I didn’t get anxious when I don’t hear from my father or siblings every morning and afternoon. If I didn’t want to share photos of my kids as they grow up so wondrously 500 miles from everyone we love most, I’d write more, I’m sure of it.

I’d have more time for writing if this cat wasn’t so soft and her purr wasn’t so soothing. If she didn’t melt into my touch like this, or look in my eyes like I’m the only creature on the planet, I’d likely write more often and for longer stretches.

I’d have more time for writing if I didn’t look forward to lying on this couch with my husband every evening, just feeling his warm hands on my feet and hearing the smooth rhythm of his breathing.

I’d have more time for writing if I didn’t go to the movies with my kids, or out to dinner with my friends, or wander aimlessly through the farmers’ market on a Saturday morning.

I’d have more time for writing if I didn’t daydream about places we’ll travel to or reminisce about places we’ve been.

I’d have more time for writing if I didn’t get lost in old photo albums or tell stories about my grandparents or try to recall my mom’s smile.

I’d have more time for writing if I didn’t stop everything to dance whenever a Prince song plays.

I’d have more time for writing if I didn’t like the taste of red wine so much.

I’d have more time for writing if I wasn’t so busy living.

* The same could be said for cleaning, too...or sleeping...or exercising...


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