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I should be bouncing for joy.

I should be performing cartwheels through the aisle of the study room.

I should be getting strange looks from people because my goofy grin falls to close to the line separating normal and abnormal.

Instead... I'm subdued on my first day with time to myself. From about 10AM to 2:30PM, I have no commitments on Tuesday and Friday. My emotions are cut short of full-blown joy as a mixture of guilt, anxiety, and stress coagulate my system.

The guilt comes from an awareness of the hundreds of other things that have piled up behind me. Right now, this to-do list is larger than Mt. Everest. Intellectually I know that I will never complete this novel or any of the other novels clawing to experience the light of day unless I actually sit down and write. My children are in school, my mother is at home with sole rights to the television, and my to-do list isn't going anywhere so I have to pretend I'm Tolstoy or Dostoevsky and give myself over to the writing, forgetting everything else.

The anxiety and the stress are related to the same issue-- money. Money is tight right now and it would be cheaper to remain at home instead of driving an hour to get here and paying for this day of school for my son. Yes, it would be cheaper but I wouldn't be writing, no matter how many times my boy tells me he's going to let me work. And the book has the potential to pay for these days (at least that's the hope).

I guess it will take me some time to work up to being at ease with taking time to follow my dream. For now I'm just taking a deep breath and rolling up my sleeves. 

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1. Katie Perera

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Scarborough, Canada

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