Anna Leary – Faith and Sweat. It’s stuck with me since I read it. It was on Glennon Doyle’s Facebook page the other day when she was talking about how a fan of hers wrote in and said she can’t wait to have more time in her day to spend on herself. Glennon had to break out some Truth on the sweet lady:
I got an email from an aspiring writer on Sunday about how hard it is to find time to write. She said that one day, when she had more space and time, she’d start writing. Whenever I read the ones “one day” from a woman, I get nervous.
Here’s the email I wrote back to her:
This is a picture of me right after I read your message. It’s 5:24 am. My family is asleep, but I’ve already been up for an hour. I’m on the floor in my laundry room because I’m loudly recording a speech I’m giving next week into my phone so I can listen to it four hundred times in the next few days in preparation. I’ve delivered a version of this speech fifty times – but I still wrote out every word – again. And I’ll spend hours of practicing – again. My butt hurts and the floor is cold so I piled up my kids’ dirty laundry and made a little nest for myself.
My work mantra is: Faith and Sweat. I’m sweating this morning – I’m showing up and doing my part – and when I get on stage next week I’ll have faith that God will show up and do Her part. This is our deal. We are co-creators. Faith and Sweat.
I just wanted to tell you this and show you this, because it struck me that you see the shiny stage part of my career (which is about 2% of my work life) – but you don’t often see the early morning laundry pile part of my career (which is 98% of my work life).
One Day is today, S. Don’t wait. A woman actually doesn’t need a room of her own but she does need an hour of her own. An hour during which she steps outside of her roles so she can remember her soul. An hour in which she’s serving nobody but her own potential. An hour during which she’s putting work boots on her dreams.
Doesn’t have to be fancy, S. Might be an hour on a cold dirty floor. But it’ll still feel good, S. I can promise you that.
The Truth is: we have all the time we’ll ever have, it’s just how we spend it.
I’mma sit back and let that sink in. Take as long as you need to let it soak into your very bones. I’ll go get another cup of coffee and I’ll meet you back here in a little bit.
(::slowly sips coffee::)
Don’t mind me. There’s no rush.
That’s a big-ole-slap-in-your-face-HOW!-WHAT!-WHY!-ARE!-YOU!-SERIOUS?!?! kind of REAL TALK.
I repeat: The Truth is: we have all the time we’ll ever have, it’s just how we spend it. It’s hard to hear, you know?
Like, it’s hard to hear because it makes us accountable all the damn time for all of our damn time.
All of our time spent on our phones or playing those addicting games ON our phones or social media or home makeover shows (GUILTY AS CHARGED, Your Honor)—we could be doing something else with that time and we’re accountable for that.
Whoa. That’s heavy. And serious.
Sure, we all need downtime. I have two toddlers that are seven months apart; one is 2.5 and the other is almost 2. That earns me a ton of downtime, OK?
If you’re not a parent, that’s cool. Just imagine having two small, loudly talking (sometimes nonsensically) tornadoes that don’t have control over bodily functions running underfoot 24/7. Your house is in a constant state of, “Why is the floor so sticky?!” and “Yeah, those blocks are just going to have to stay under the fridge because I just don’t have the energy to get them right now.”
Back to the topic, though: Faith and Sweat. I’m accountable for my time. I can’t just dream of being a writer but then never actually write. That’s crazy talk.
I have been overweight since I was 12 and yet I don’t DO anything about it. I just dream of the days of when I’ll be a healthier weight. But, one step at a time. We’re talking about writing right now which I am currently doing (and dreaming about my eventually cheesy egg breakfast, but I digress).
I have to have the Faith that God has put this dream in my heart for a reason and then put the Sweat into making it into a reality. I can’t have a dream of being a writer and then just not write. It just doesn’t work that way.
So I get up before the sun. I sit down to write. Sometimes a ton pours out. Sometimes it’s only a trickle. I’ve decided that it’s best for ME to actually get dressed each day.
If you’re not a stay-at-home parent, the struggle to stay in clothes that you know are just going to get destroyed with mystery liquids and sticky substances each day is strong. But I’ve recently become absolutely and completely obsessed with this line of clothing that lots of moms across the country are starting to sell, primarily on Facebook, from their basements or guest rooms. Now I don’t have any excuse to not get dressed. I have tons of buttery, stretchy, fun leggings and flowy dresses to wear that make me FEEL good about myself. When I feel good about myself, I act differently. Put a pin in that. I’ll be back.
But I put on some blue mascara today and rocked my new found power of ME.
I read an excerpt of Jen Hatmaker’s book “Of Mess and Moxie” the other day that was yet another kick in my pants and a reminder that my time is NOW and I am not getting any younger. My dream is real and I need to make the space for my art.
“Creators, do it: write, sculpt, paint, speak, dance, craft, film, design, photograph, draw, bring order, beautify, garden, innovate, produce, cook, invent, fashion, sing, compose, imagine. It looks like art, it looks like music, it looks like community, it looks like splendor. That thing in you that wants to make something beautiful? It is holy.”
Like, I liked it so much I took a screenshot from her Facebook. That’s serious, y’all.
Anna Leary is a cat wrangler who would love to take a nap most of the time.