When do you find time to be yourself? The self you are outside of medicine and parenthood? (Maybe the glimpse of a self you were before medicine and parenthood?) Outside of being a pathologist and parent I also derive joy from making art. Well, maybe not immediate joy, but it is a sort of deep satisfaction. I see making art like I see working out: Sometimes it sucks when I'm doing it, but afterwards I always feel better that I did it. When I finish a painting and I’m happy with it, I feel the same deep satisfaction and pride that I do when I look at my beautiful little boy.
But when I say “time” I’m not talking about the hours and minutes. I have hours and minutes. My toddler goes to bed at 8 pm every night. My husband splits the housework and childcare with me. I go to bed at 11. That’s almost 3 hours each night that I should technically have to myself. But I find myself too tired to use it effectively. I have the time but not the energy to be creative. I feel like it’s all drained from me by the time our baby is in bed. And maybe that’s to be expected. I work full time. We have an 18 month old. To be creative you have to have a certain amount of energy. Those three hours are also the only time I have to get my ADLs done...shopping, taxes, doing the dishes. Even as I sit here writing this at 9 pm, I’m so so tired. My eyes hurt. I’m tempted to throw up my hands, give up. Make my tea and read a book (sadly sometimes merely Facebook). I even have a studio and a painting I’m currently working on (sporadically). But the time I’m in there is often so infrequent that I can’t remember what colors I was using each time I return. I have completed precisely one piece of art since our son was born. When we bought our house I picked out the room I would use as a studio. My husband is proud of me that I do this other thing outside of medicine. But sometimes I tell him that it’s silly that I have this whole room to myself when I barely use it. I have had other dry spells in my life that were not related to having a baby. So maybe having a baby is just an excuse? Or maybe there is something to this feeling of being spent, dissipated at the end of the day that leaves no room for creativity?
I haven't written on MiM as much as I planned to either....Sometimes a blank word document is just as terrifying as a blank canvas. What do other MiMs do to keep themselves creative? How do you find the energy?