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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A Damn Poem

Every year, writers from around the world attempt to complete the 30/30 challenge during the month of April, which is National Poetry Month. This means they attempt to write 30 poems in 30 days. They don't have to be complete poems. Most poets joke that May is "National Editing Month" because usually you only end up with a few poems that you would consider up to your own standards.

I have completed this challenge quite a few times, most of them relatively successful. This, however, was when I was reading poetry at events regularly. I could crank out a poem a day easily and while they weren't all masterpieces, I always ended with at least 5 or so that I felt confident sharing with others. So naturally, I decided that this year, in the midst of working full time and finishing my Masters, I would try the 30/30 challenge again. To sum up how things went, here is one of the poems I wrote:

A Damn Poem 

I can't even find five
minutes to write a damn word
let alone a poem. 

And after this poem, which was written on April 11th, I only attempted to write one more. Based on the above poem, you can probably guess that this was not my year to complete the 30/30 challenge successfully. In fact, I'm not even sure I got 5 or so quality poems out of it.

While reflecting on my failure at the 30/30 challenge, I realized that poetry is not the only thing I feel disconnected to this time of year. The end of the school year tends to cause everything else to fall by the wayside. I feel over joyed when I have time to work in my yard, spend time with my cats and my husband, even read a book, things that weekends are for, but the extra time seems to be so hard to come by.

I recently agreed to participate in a teacher book club at my school. When I found the book sitting on my desk, I wanted to tuck it into my desk drawer and forget about it. That sounds horrible because I know it will make me a better teacher, but if I can't find the time to read for fun, how will I ever find time to read for work? It's just another thing to add to the list.

Hell, I couldn't even take 5 minutes to write more angsty haikus to complete my 30/30 challenge. And maybe that is the downside of being an adult. There are always a million things to do and something like poetry never falls at the top of this list. It's too bad because when I wrote the first 10 poems, I felt amazing! 10 minutes to write about something that matters to me was a great stress reliever just as yard work, kitty cuddles, and reading can do.

But how can we find time for ourselves in the hectic day to day tasks? How can we find time to write about what's going on, read to become a better person, and do things that help us to relax? Maybe there isn't a solution, but my goal from now to the end of the school year is to try and write some damn poems, finish my book club book, and get some cuddles in because I know there's time, I just have to find it.