I’d Like to Write a Book but the Boss Wants to Watch Netflix

After listening to a particularly inspirational Lively Show podcast on Thursday, I got this image of a young and vital Tiny Tash who was all jazzed up about doing wonderful things (e.g., responding to a friend’s letter, doing my physical therapy exercises, etc.) as an alternative to sulking around like a couch potato with a Netflix IV drip.

Suddenly I saw Tiny Tash as this mistreated and neglected ghost child version of myself, locked in a closet, who wished that her body — Boss Tash — would come fetch her and let her do interesting and challenging and meaningful things… but, instead, Boss Tash is hooked to the TV and whispers shush to Tiny Tash whenever she suggests what we could be doing instead.

Boss Tash, bless her, is scared to be possessed by Tiny Tash — this young and hopeful and idealistic and unique thing. Boss would rather zone out, empty shell-like and safely rested.

This is what their dialogues sound like:

What if we went for a walk while it’s still sunny outside?

No, we should cook and eat something first. We might get hungry.

What if we wrote in our book about How to Be Tash?

No, we should watch TV to relax and release because our brain is sore from working all day.

What if we just responded to a letter?

No, there are too many letters to write. If we start we will never finish. Plus, we will be disappointed by the poor level of quality with each one — there is no way to win.

Ok. Well what would make us feel more abundant?

Probably writing more than anything… but I literally do not have the mental stamina / energy to compose a well-thought-out essay right now about How Now Shall We Live. And I don’t seem to have the poetry gene anymore. That’s gone. And remember the last time we wrote fiction? That kitchen scene with the naughty children where the dish smashed? That was dumb. If only we had the time and seclusion to flesh out the mermaid book(s)… that will never happen now though because of the little one. She will steal all of our attention.

So could we just try a small writing activity? What did Anne Lamott say? Bird by bird? Feathers a bird do make? Brick by brick? (Remember all those sayings we wrote on our journals?)

Sure, we can. Later.

Ok.

What else makes us feel abundant? Let’s see… making art, cooking a new recipe, having a phone conversation with a friend, reading a short story.

Yeah, but tidying up, folding laundry, emptying the dishwasher, reading about breastfeeding, checking the news/newsfeed/email/instagram, making a to do list, showering, grocery shopping… these things are more imminently important. We can do something to make us feel abundant after we do all the things that need doing.

But how will we get to those things when all you want to do is watch TV?

Well, I’m pregnant… I need rest. Maybe I’ll just take a nap instead. That’s probably more valuable than watching Madam Secretary I guess.

Ok.

Don’t worry. We’ll get around to doing the things you want to do. Just be patient. We are a grown up now, and we have responsibilities.

Ok.

Playing will be easier when we don’t have a full-time job anymore — when we are on maternity leave. Your attitude and assets will be much more valuable then — your imagination and creativity. Just trust me.

Ok. I’m just… bored.

That’s ok. There are worse things to be.

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