A few days ago I had to get from Terminal F to Terminal C in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. If you aren’t familiar with this airport, let me tell you – it’s about the size of a small city! To help people move faster with less effort, the airport has a number of moving walkways, like flat escalators. I can’t stand them. Every time I use them, I feel like I’m going to trip and fall on my face, so I opt for walking alongside the walkways, even if it takes longer to get where I need to go.
Life often feels like those moving walkways, only sometimes I don’t have the choice to walk on firm ground. The past few months have been like this for me. Ten months out of the year I work two days a week at a public accounting firm; but between mid-February and mid-April, tax season requires me to work five days a week. 2015 was my nineteenth tax season. You would think that after so many years, I’d take it with a grain of salt. Nope. It kills me every year.
Okay, so I know that a lot of people work full time in very demanding jobs ALL year round, and I feel bad complaining about the lousy two months that I have to go in every day. I guess you could call this a “first world problem.” In reality, I’m blessed with a stable career, working with people I get along with, and doing a job I know how to do well. I apologize for sounding unappreciative or disrespectful.
Still, ever since my writing bug has re-surfaced, I’ve grown less passionate about numbers. Okay, let’s be really honest; I’m not sure I was ever passionate about being an accountant. Not like I was about writing, but accounting was a practical choice for me and during the time my kids were small, I was able to work at home – a huge benefit. And now that I’m a self-published author, it’s helpful that I have knowledge of how to run my own business, something many authors struggle with.
But with a constantly traveling husband, active children, and a house to care for, I didn’t have much energy or time left to write over the past two months. The work I do during tax season requires a lot more mental focus and stamina, therefore I can’t get by on five hours of sleep a night like many authors do. I wish I could, because then I wouldn’t feel like a big part of me disappears during this busy season.
It’s now April 21st, the beginning of the first “normal” week after tax season. I’m slowly getting off the moving walkway, and I pray I don’t stumble as I do. As much as I like helping clients and getting fatter paychecks, I like my writing days better. I’d love for things to change with my job so I can stay part time all year, because this is what feels natural to me, and when I get out of the habit of writing, I feel anxious and incomplete.
I have a lot of catching up to do. My characters have been waiting for me to continue their story. So here I am, easing off that walkway and re-entering the fiction world – where I’ve known since the age of twelve it’s where I belong.
Thanks for reading! FYI – Never Fall, the second installment of my Faithfully Your series, is expected to be released in November.