It seems that my life has taken a turn ever since we moved to New Mexico. I have been grappling with this change for the last 5 plus months now, and to be completely honest, it has had me going bananas, yoyo, up the wall and back down in a crazed manner.
Some people, especially women, claim that,
I can’t just stay at home. I need to go out and do stuff! I can’t stay home and do nothing!
I agree. You can’t stay home and do nothing. You stay home and you have more on your hands than if you are outside the home. Now, that, is referring to housework, assuming you don’t have domestic help that is. Domestic help to me, all these years, is a foreign concept, though I grew up with it. I personally loath it, though I won’t mind having it during my stress times. In this world of cyberspace, staying home gives us a lot of new possibilities. I know, I know. Some may say,
“Get a life!”
But seriously, when you do dawah work, you can do a lot on the internet. And I mean a lot. Especially when you have children, and are also homeschooling.
You see, my life prior to New Mexico was steeped in solitary confinement by complete choice. I love staying home. Some days, you really have to come and drag me by the tails of my hijab to attend social functions. It’s not that I abhor social functions, I just need that push. When I attend them, I enjoy them, but to take that initiative is like scrubbing a year old grease from your abandoned broiler pan.
I dabbled in writing, blogging, participated in community projects via online contribution, and of course homeschooled my three children, while managing to have babies later on. My life never required me to be esponsible for other people’s children before.
Now, I find myself mired in this very responsibility, all because I feel it is a sense of responsibility I should embrace wholeheartedly. Why? Because of this:
The best of you is he who learns the Quran and teaches it. (Bukhari, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Nasa’i, Ibn Maajah)
I am teaching individual lessons, Sunday school and group sessions, especially this summer. With everything I am already doing from before, I had somewhat planned for my life here in New Mexico. Since we knew that there is a dearth of Islamic classes in town, I decided to enroll in Taleem Quran (which subhanallah, came at an amazingly perfect time) which will e my occupation for the next three and more years, inshaallah. I have to say that that in itself i truly an occupation. Assuming that my life is the same as before, my time would be duly filled already. Add the teaching that I’m doing to that, my plate, which has always been greedily filled, is overflowing. And that, is the reason why I am now considering taking a hiatus in freelancing. Technically, I will probably still be ‘writing’ or rather, blogging, because that has become somewhat second nature. I am the kind of person who needs an outlet in the form of writing.
I have loved freelancing with SISTERS. I still do. I still want to. But realistically, I don’t know if it’s good for myself and my family to continue doing so. This is not an easy decision to make, and as of yet, I have not yet made istikharah about it, so it’s not finalized. Hubs recently told me I can just let him know if I want to start freelancing for another magazine I tried to write for years ago, because he has the contact info. But I found that my heart is not so inclined right now, because of all this teaching I’m doing. My ultimate goal in writing is not freelancing, but I have loved it, and I feel that it has given me great benefits in my writing. I didn’t do it for money, which probably makes it even harder to give up. Hubs, the closest to me, who could see the stress I am and was under, continues to encourage me to freelance. He suggests that I tweak my method of teaching so that the burden is not all on me. And I did think to myself, when mulling over all this,
Maybe I just need to manage my time better.
Then again, there is that concept of stretching oneself too thin (Oh, I wish! (literally)), and I think I have done exactly so. Burn out. Another concept. I truly honestly am obviously still grappling with this.
So, a hiatus or no hiatus?