Monday, May 30, 2011
My quest to find balance between my day job, writing, and family life has led me to say “no” quite often this year. “No, I can’t take off work to go on that field trip.” “No, I can’t do all the chores by myself.” “No, I don’t have time to cook tonight.” I've even set aside some much beloved activities in order to pursue my writing, like keeping my scrapbooks up-to-date.
But I’ve found there are some things I don’t want to give up yet. One of these is basket making.
No, I don’t mean literally. I mean decoratively. For years I’ve been in charge of assembling the raffle baskets for our local RWA chapter’s annual Readers’ Luncheon. I also assemble some for authors who provide baskets as door prizes.
I admit, I’m addicted to the creative process of finding the perfect goodies and putting them together into something eye-catching and appealing to our romance readers. This is the “Mental Health” basket I put together for Problem Child this year:
She’s a big “hot tea” fan, so I included a sturdy teacup and tea, salt candle, bath stuff, gel eye mask, and a book with 1001 ways to relax. For Instigator, I searched far and wide for “peach” themed items, because her newest book was set on a peach farm. And while I love the end result, I’ve asked her that we never do this particular one again. I never realized how hard it was to find peach stuff anymore!
I found peach tea, peach antibacterial hand soap, a peach sachet, a peach candle (that I had to search 5 stores to find) and peach preserves with cornbread crackers (this is the south, after all). Playground Monitor found me some sparkling peach juice at World Market in Birmingham.
I’ve also assembled the “official” Published Author basket for our chapter, which features books from all our published authors (23 books in all). This year’s theme is “summer fun” so it contained lantern candle holders, a beach towel, after sun gel, sunglasses, and freezable drink mixes, among other things.
So much fun, but I’ll admit that it bites into my spare time (not that I have spare time anyway). And sometimes I feel guilty for enjoying this creative outlet when I feel like I should be channeling that energy into my writing.
So tell me, what do you say “no” to in the name of balance? What is one thing you simply can’t give up?