By Robin Covington
I have a friend who is a clown.
She is a trained, birthday party entertaining clown who has the red rubber nose to prove it. She loves dressing up and hanging with the kids, loves bringing smiles, and she loves to juggle. I’ve even seen her do it in the office when she’s thinking through a problem. The balls – red, yellow and blue- rotate and sail through the air and never hit the ground. It’s mesmerizing.
I am no good at it. I can’t keep them all up in the air. I panic. I don’t know where to look. I grab when I should lift and they all fall to the ground at my feet.
Luckily, I’m a wee bit better at juggling all the roles and responsibilities in my life. Like so many of you, I am many different women: a wife, mom, daughter, sister, lawyer, and a romance novelist.
I love it all but it pulls me in crazy directions. My husband is the best thing that ever happened to me and he is one of the few people who can make laugh and make me want to kill him in the same day. My kids are my joy and I lie awake at night terrified at how quickly they are growing up. My work as an attorney for the United States Navy is alternately fulfilling and boring – it is a job after all. And my passion . . . writing . . . is the best thing in the world and also the most exhausting.
We do it every single day. Right?
All that is missing from my life is the big floppy shoes and the clown car (although my vehicle resembles one on car pool day).
I once saw Nora Roberts speak at a writers conference (I also got to talk to her and have my picture taken with her – total fan girl moment) and she spoke about the discipline to be an author and how to balance it with the life I have with people that exist in the real world and not just in my imagination. She acknowledged that we all juggle these things and noted that some of our balls are rubber and some are glass. So true.
The key is not to drop the ones that are glass.
Oh – but I do.
Not on purpose. But I can’t tell you how often I watch a glass ball sail through the air, the sunlight of my best intentions glinting off the surface for that split second before it crashes to the floor and shatters.
Cue the guilt. Signal the firing squad. I am the worst Mommy/Wife/Daughter/Author ever.
Oh no. Not anymore. I gave up guilt for Lent about five years ago. I also banished Wonder Woman back to the island of the Amazons (I did keep the truth lasso to use on my kids when they hit the teens years and I snagged her bra because her boobs were a-maz-ing). I’ve decided to embrace my lack of perfect coordination and forgive myself when I slip up on occasion.
I’m going to drop things every once in a while and I’ll do my damnedest to make sure they are the rubber balls. I’m going to over commit (sure I can help out with the PTA bake sale and make 500 crepe paper flowers for the dance!) and I’m going to miss something. My kids will not have homemade Halloween costumes and I’ll bake canned biscuits at Thanksgiving. And yes, when I’m on book deadline my house cleaning will disintegrate to the point where the neighbors think we’ve been robbed.
For me . . . these things are not glass.
Glass is the good stuff.
Glass is making sure that my kids and husband are loved. Glass is dropping everything when a loved one is in need. Glass is pursuing my passion to write novels and teaching my kids that hard work makes dreams come true.
And the biggest part is realizing that I am glass. I’m transparent, covered with smudges from sticky fingers and sweet kisses but still beautiful in my imperfection. I try to reflect the light that warms the people I love and chases chase away the dark parts. Glass is cultivating what makes me happy and nurtures my soul so that I can share that with the people in my life.
Glass gets broken from time to time.
And living is sweeping up the broken pieces, reaching for another and trying again tomorrow.
Robin Covington, who NYT Best Selling authors, Robyn Carr and Carly Phillips, said was their new “auto-buy author”, writes sizzling hot contemporary and paranormal romance. A Night of Southern Comfort, her best-selling debut was nominated by RT Book Reviews for the 2012 Best Contemporary Romance from an Indie Press for bringing a “fresh, modern feel to the genre while still sticking to the things that get our adrenaline pumping — sex and danger”. When she’s not exploring the theme of fooling around and falling in love, she’s collecting tasty man candy, indulging in a little comic book geek love, and stalking Joe Mangianello.