[Notes from a Creative/Mother of three on the surprise gift of time: Squeezing creative space out of scraps of the day.]
As I sit, surrounded by biege walls, shoulder to shoulder with other mothers-to-be, bellies swollen and rings tight on fingers, I hear the sighs. The huffs and puffs. The groans of people wanting to get away. The hate of the wait. The appointment delayed signifies failure, disruption, frustration. Places to be, things to get on with. But for me, the opposite.
Beige walls are my friend. My moment of calm. The equivalent of the spa. These walls are friendly to me. The wait I will to be longer. Waiting Area 2 incubates me. I am cocooned for a period of time. Away from the madness of little children: teething, grumpy complaining, and the constant push to reach bedtime.
On my own.
Pen in hand.
These moments will not be wasted by me. They are treasure.
I do not understand the annoyed and strained faces around me. Can they not relish the moment to think, process, write? It is forced upon me and I embrace it willingly. I don’t have to bargain or scrape together this time. It has been given to me on a plate and I shall get out my knife and fork and devour it. Eat it and produce something. So I am not just a ‘reproducer’ but a ‘producer’ of things that I control.
I used to think that my environment had to be perfect in order to write, like some kind of Zen-like greenhouse. Temperature controlled. Peaceful. Optimum pH of the soil. I tended my creative garden. But was I really fruitful?
Though I battle to regain this, I know it is no more. I create in snatched moments – the only environment that matters is the state of my mind. And although that mind currently often exists in a crazy, over-tired, over-hormonal state, it still has something to give of this moment.
The Waiting Area 2 sign stares at me from behind its glossy laminate. And as the inane chatter drones on, and pear-shaped bottoms shuffle on their plastic seats, I smile and breathe out. Time is my luxury product. I have just been given some for free.