Be Careful What You Ask For

Kim Fielding
Kim Fielding

For years I’ve been saying that the one thing I desperately needed in my life was more time. Well, be careful what you ask for.

Yes, I’m still doing my day job (I’m a university professor), and I’m still doing all the work that comes with being an author. But I’m not going into the office or traveling all over the place or schlepping my kid to orthodontist appointments and play rehearsals. In other words, I’ve suddenly been gifted with time. 

That doesn’t mean I’ve sat down and penned a thousand-page epic. In fact, household routine disruptions (there are now five of us working and studying here) and general existential angst have made it hard for me to get into the right headspace to write. I’ve managed edits, however, and a few short things, so I guess that’s good.

And I’m spending my gift in new ways. I’m taking more walks than I used to (I live at the edge of my small town, where social distancing is fairly easy). I’m watching TV, which I rarely used to do. Yes, I binged Tiger King. And I’m spending some quality time with my kids.

The older one usually attends college out of state, so I haven’t seen her often for the past few years. The younger one is a high school junior, usually busy with her own things. But we’ve been watching Disney movies and Broadway shows, we’ve been baking and gardening, we’ve been having genuine family dinners.

We’ve been discussing politics and school work and family history. As disruptive and scary as the pandemic is, and as much as I worry about the future, I also feel enormously grateful for what I’ve been given.

As for the writing, it’ll come along eventually. But I won’t be writing about pandemics anytime soon.

Leave a Comment