Used. To. Be.

Sometimes I find myself with twenty minutes all to myself and I don’t know what to do. My life has been so rush rush rush rush rush rush for the past, oh, I don’t know, FOREVER (it seems), and so it’s generally that the second the children are down for naps, I am here, at the computer, manically trying to complete some sort of work-related task. I’ve started teaching myself to not open my email account, to not open Facebook or TweetDeck/HootSuite until the work is complete, and generally, well… generally I have run out of time by the time that comes around so my tweeting and facebooking seems to occur on my phone these days.

But some days, like today, I find myself with time to kill, all projects mercifully done and shelved for the time being, awaiting permissions and go-aheads, and I feel kind of… jittery. Like I’m forgetting to do something. Like ZOMG I cannot have free time what is wrong this is just not right. And so I open “add new post” in both the Arbolog and over at Tenth to the Fraser where I occasionally write (and should write more) aaaannnndddd then I draw a blank.

So often lately things happen and I say to myself “I need to blog that” and then when I have the time to sit and write and research and find pictures and post, POOF it is gone from my brain. I’ve gotten into the habit of actually recording a little voice note in my iPhone when the topics strike me now and then, and then I can remind myself when that 20 minute stretch of nothing-to-do knocks on my door again.

I ran across a person in a weird twist of fate recently. My friend Gillian donated some of her gorgeous cowls to an auction for Haiti, and since I have three cowls, I didn’t bid on her items (and if you don’t have a cowl yet, you need to go buy one because cowls are the new cool). BUT I did bid and successfully win a set of six children’s books written by a very nice lady in Nova Scotia about a boy named Toby and his bear, Broughton the Bear. I actually bought two sets, and had them autographed, and will be using the second set as a gift for a special little person in my life who will be turning two only a few short weeks after Kale does.

Anyway, also listed in this auction was some poetry from a writer living in Edmonton named Marita Dachsel (here’s her blog and some stuff she wrote). Funny thing is that I instantly knew that name and I instantly remembered all sorts of strange details I have no business remembering: her tudor style house, her shiny dark hair, Girl Guide camp. Marita and I went to elementary school together for the 3 years I was marooned in Williams Lake. And so I shyly wrote her an email, suggesting we knew each other, and she replied we did and we compared a few notes. The internets, it’s small. Turns out, she also knows my friend Melanie, who I’ve only known since I was blogging.

Anyway, I relate this little small world anecdote to you because it’s a fairly nice segue to something I’ve been thinking about lately, but haven’t really been able to put fingers to keyboard and get out.

I used to be a writer.

Notice that up there? Used. To. Be. It’s staring me in the face. Like that kid from the Simpsons pointing and going “Ha!Ha!”, it’s a reminder of what I’m not.

I used to write a lot. I went to college to be a better writer. I’ve been paid to write – not much of course, but a bit. I have chapbooks. I have poetry. I have a few half completed novellas. I have short stories, and op-ed pieces and all sorts of other notches on my literary belt. But it means nothing.

What I write here isn’t particularly a stretch of my talents – I write amusing little anecdotes about my pretty cute kid, I write product reviews for stuff I have bought or tried, and I try hard to stay away from the rants and the speechifying that used to happen before Kale came along because the internet is forever and the mark I want to leave on the world doesn’t come under the category of Whiner.

Maybe its because spring is springing and with that comes the dusting off of cobwebs from unused portions of creativity. Maybe it’s because things are pretty mellow – I mean, sure it’s pretty rush rush rush around here, but it’s also fairly predictable and routine and I often don’t need to be fully engaged to do the rush rush rushing.

But something needs to change.

12 years ago


  1. But it means nothing.

    Jen it means something. To you. Thats something.

    You ARE a writer, maybe not a paid one, but nonetheless you ARE A WRITER! A well articulated one at that.

    Over the years I’ve read what your talent can produce, and yes even some of the poetry. All great stuff.

    You’re not the person you were 5, 10, 15 years ago, you’re better more evolved, experienced, witty, softer and harder in different places.

    Personally I’m looking forward to what you come with in the next while.

    And one for good measure cos I know this drives you mental…………. Best of luck……………………….

    lol no comma’s or periods…………….

  2. We all used to be something, before we became Mommas. Thing is, we get to be that again- the babies get bigger and less demanding of our time.. well maybe, demanding of time in different ways. I think this is common- the whole “lose yourself” feeling that happens when the focus on Self changes to focus on Baby.
    I guess from having Jenna, I realize that this whole baby part is temporary, and that as bb gets older we get more and more independence and time to ourselves, to do what we WANT to do, instead of 24/7 toddlermomma.
    Still sucks sometimes, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel for sure.
    And, it’s a fun train to ride on 90% of the time.

  3. The author of the Broughten Bear series is my bosses best friend’s mom. We have all of them in the store where I work. Small world.

  4. Yeah.

    I joined a new writer’s group in NW. 2 mtgs so far. It’s got my brain churning in good ways but still haven’t decided whether I’ll stay.

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