I’ll start by divulging a little secret about being a dad for those of you out there who haven’t yet had the pleasure of becoming a parent: You’re continuously exhausted. Imagine waking up tired, and then staying tired all day, while knowing that sitting down for more than two or three minutes at a time is nearly impossible. That’s pretty tiring.
Rest assured, it is 100% worth it though. I wouldn’t trade in fatherhood for anything. The kids do so many cute things that you just can’t imagine living without ’em. And it’s so crazy to see that even at such young ages, all three have very distinct personalities.
But like I said, regardless of how great it is, it is still exhausting, and sometimes a little (or a lot) stressful as well. And when it seems like all we do is go to work, come home, clean, eat, give the kids a bath, get them ready for bed and start over again…that’s when it’s tempting to get discouraged about everything else and just give up and simply survive life instead of living it.
For example, we’re putting new floors in our duplex. It’s not really that hard of work, but it’s so time consuming. And no matter how satisfying it is to see progress as the boards come down, it just keeps reminding me that every hour spent on the house (the floors are just the beginning of projects we need to complete) I get slightly discouraged thinking that it’s another hour spent not writing.
And that’s when I really feel like saying, “eh, screw it” and wondering if all the time I do spend trying to build my writing career is actually worth it.
But that’s when it’s most vital to not give up and merely survive. Think about every success story in your field of interest. Stephen King, for example, didn’t just wake up one day as a multi-million dollar writer. He worked full time and spent countless late nights and early mornings putting in the necessary hours writing until he did hit big with Carrie.
I’m not saying we can all be Stephen King, but we need to look at people like him–people who achieved the highest level of success in their field–and emulate their work ethic.
Professional athletes don’t stop training during the off season. Professional musicians don’t stop creating because they’re in-between tours. Professional writers don’t stop writing because they’re in-between books.
So those of us who aren’t yet at the professional level shouldn’t be taking breaks either, especially now, regardless of how tired we may be, how many kids we may have, or how many home improvement projects we end up taking on.