I don’t wake up at 6:00 a.m. in the morning, shower, and put on my business suit. There are no more conference calls or long discussions about legal statutes with my clients. My footsteps don’t click-clack through the metal detector at the courthouse and I am not perusing through my client files right before the Judge comes to sit on the bench. I am not collecting a paycheck, at least not the monetary kind.
My morning routine is completely different these days. I wake up in the morning and the precise moment, my foot touches the carpet, I hear “Momma, Momma, Is it time to wake up now?” My daughter doesn’t wait for my answer and runs toward my bed. The morning begins at 6:30, no matter what time she slept the night before. I assist her, my primary client, in her morning routine, helping her brush her teeth, bathing her, and putting on her dress or pants, depending on what she wants to wear. We comb her hair together and bolt down the stairs. She is ready to eat breakfast while I am making her lunch for school. After the spoon hits the cereal bowl, we climb into the car, and I drop her off at school.
When I return, the house is empty. But this is the time when my work begins. Most days I look at a computer screen, blank, untouched, waiting for me to type words, something that lends meaning to myself and others. I write, not as a hobby, but as a profession. But to others, this is not work. It is a hobby, because I don’t collect a paycheck for my words. I am not driving to an office or making conference calls or sitting in traffic for the long commute home.
Sometimes people say to me, “You don’t work”. I was bothered by this statement initially, but I have accepted that people will always perceive that I really don’t work. I can’t change that perception. In response, I nod my head in agreement, knowing that, yes, I don’t derive a paycheck, but I am privileged to be able to pursue what I define as my work, my family and my writing.