We wondered, this year in Boston, if April would ever arrive. But here she is, alternating rain with sunny blue skies, slowly raising the temperature and melting the snow. Yes, there is still snow…small piles have hung around at the sides of the streets and patches of it still cover many front and back yards. But now grass is peeking through, buds are visible on the trees and rhododendrons, and for the first time today I saw small pots of flowers for sale in front of a store at a nearby shopping center. As I write the wind is howling up the hill. The tall pine tree across the street is swaying and the telephone wires are shaking precariously, but no matter. Spring is here. It’s just taking a while to nudge winter on its way.
It’s been a busy time. The final month of the spring semester at Lasell College is in full swing, and my class is wrapping up study of Maus I and Maus II and moving on to This Boy’s Life. Before you know it the semester will be over, and another group of freshmen will move on to summer and whatever awaits them in their futures.
For me, this has been a challenging time to continue my creative work. I manage to get an hour of writing in early on most mornings, but sometimes, like today, the time slips away from me. I’ve been focused on some of the freelance projects that help make ends meet, including the drafting of two corporate e-books. When you juggle many hats as a freelance writer, editor, proofreader, and social media consultant, projects come and go. For a while you have little or no work, and then suddenly too many projects land on your plate all at once. It’s hard to find that balance in-between. When you add the responsibilities and time commitment that come with teaching, it makes for a life of professional juggling that can be — I admit it — pretty stressful. The creative part of my life ends up relegated to the early mornings, and sometimes it’s hard to clear my mind and my heart enough to give it the space it deserves.
Still, I see more time for my own writing on the horizon. A couple of my freelance jobs will likely come to a close in the coming weeks, and the semester ends in early May. Summer looms ahead, and it’s holding the carrot in front of me of real writing time.
Sometimes I feel frustrated with myself and my life because I don’t read and write nearly as much as some of the writers I know. But each life is what it is. Each of us has our own ebbs, flows, and responsibilities.
Well, the new personal essay I’ve been working on for the past month is about spring (in a roundabout, creative nonfiction kind of way). I’m on the second draft, so here’s to finishing it before summer!