You’re a dadapreneur, juggling the crazy world of creative storytelling with a camera and a keyboard and two daughters to boo; a 3 year old and a 5 month old.
[Mine are Harper Thomas and Emma Elizabeth respectfully. If you have boys or a mix or hermaphroditic (probably way out of PC vogue) the story will still work.]
Your wife’s been back to her gig for a couple months now.
That well oiled machine that took so long to grease up, once had its fair share of sand thrown into it when that first baby came along a few years prior. After surgical removal of each grain and a new lube, the machine begins to smoothly churn away, once again. And just before you realize it, BAM, the stork drops another basket at your front doorstep.
It’s a beautiful spring day, Friday, to be specific. The clock nears quitting time for most of the East coast. Your checklist of your day’s professional agenda is bare. The real struggles of parenting this week have overtaken all of your personal liberties.
One kid cries—and cries. A pot of something is boiling over. The dog shit on the floor. You forgot to buy milk. Somehow you’re wearing one flipflop while bouncing the other kid in your left arm while trying to rescue the doomed meals with the right.
You’ve heard people talk about nervous breakdowns and always thought that was metaphorical—until this day. On this day you truly think your synapses are going to spontaneously combust.
There comes a brief moment of serenity and you realize there’s nothing else in the world that you’d rather be doing…
…Your wife walks through the door. She immediately sees the stress seeping from your pores. She knows it was your week from hell.
And then you aren’t sure if you’re hallucinating or not but you think you hear…
“Hey love, I’m going to take the children to the shore house for the weekend so that you can get some work done.”
The sounds of pitter patter coming down the hall is your toddler running to awake all on this fine Saturday morning. She knows there’s a trip to the beach in the very very near future.
Painful, but the sun’s barely peeked her crown over the horizon and the entire house is hustling and bustling to package the new Volkswagen Tiguan with textile and human cargo.
By 8:00 AM sharp, you're kissing the family goodbye and wishing them a safe journey as per usual.
By 8:03 AM, in your moccasins, pajama pants and retro-because-it’s-actually-really-old t-shirt.
[So it’s the longest pop quiz question in history but it’s coming. I Swear.]
WHAT DO YOU DO?
It’s not really a trick question. Or is it? Seriously. What do YOU do?
The —you’re the hardest working, most successful, most famous, and best livin’ social media facade— need not engage.
No. How about the real you?
WHAT DO YOU DO?
a.] Dig in. Get your gear out. Shoot and Edit. And write. And paint. And email. Work. Grow that creativity. Hone that talent. Work.
b.] Take a hike. For real. It is after all a great way to meditate and exercise all in one.
d.] a. and b.
e.] a. and c.
f.] b. and c.
g.] Sometimes a. if b. is c. (kidding)
h.] All of the above.
Remember exams with multiple choices like these? When you were clueless you tried to psychoanalyze if the test creator’s methods had patterns behind the designing of the test’s answers?
Thing is, you’re tired, in a parenting first induced creative rut, behind on deadlines, slacking in the taking care of self department, whatever the case may be.
And your husband or wife handed you the keys to the castle for 48 hours.
Do it all!
What? You’ll feel guilty if you take nap or watch a movie? Lemme tell you. The king of #hustle, Gary Vaynerchuk, whom I big fan and touts to his followers of his 20 hour work days. I call #bullshit.
I mean I could start some social media jive about my 21 hour work days and no one would be the wiser.
Not the point but just saying.
The fact of the matter is we all burn out. Some faster than others depending on how much actual “work” they perform in a given time period. Burn out will yield diminishing returns.
My way given that 48 hour castle key?
What works for me may not for you but here’s what a day like that would look like for me ::
8:30-9:00 :: Start coffee, walk dog and
9:00-10:00 :: Exercise and meditate. A hike if able. Doing this first gets the blood flowing nicely so that I’m able to “crush it” for the work periods. A shower after the physical exercise. I sometimes even meditate in shower to save time. Yes you can. TM doesn’t require ballerina flexibility to sit in awkward positions to do the daily mental exercises.
10:30-11:00 :: Begin crushing it. Get email out of the way and don’t go back to it again until next day. Very important practice. It’s proven big corporations lose billions with a B by employee time spend checking inboxes repetitively throughout the day.
11:00-1:00 :: Blogging is a nice way to get the day’s creative juices fired up—Along with a pot of black coffee and lunch.
1:00-4:00 :: Shoot or edit or both.
4:00-7:00 :: Write (it’s screenplays 2 and 3 if you’re curious).
7:00-7:30 :: Walk dog.
7:30-8:00 :: Figure out what I’ll want for dinner. Hey. It’s a tough decision. When you’re home alone and you go for Uber Eats and live in a big city, there are sooooo many choices.
8:00-12:00 :: Enjoy a great meal. Have a great beverage or two. Go for the weed if that’s your thing. Watch some great programming. RELAX.
12:00-12:15 :: Walk dog. Pre-bedtime prep and then bed.
This stuff can vary but at the moment that’s the essence of how I would attack in this given situation. I’m actually holding those castle keys right now while I’m typing and by the looks of the clock, I’m right on schedule.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
Until next time…