It is Book Release Week at our house. In my make-believe-world, that means I float about town in gracious author-mode doing only book-related things all day. In reality, I still have to do the laundry.
I sat down with my long-suffering husband a few days ago and drew his attention to the coming change in my schedule. “I’m about to publish another book,” I said. He nodded. “That means I might be distracted for several weeks and not that available for things like cooking supper and cleaning the house and stuff.” He nodded again.
That’s when I realized I wasn’t describing anything new. I’m like that when I write books, too. Or when I think about writing books. Or when I procrastinate about writing books. Or when I finish writing books. In other words, my husband knew Book Launch Week wouldn’t be any different than our normal life.
And, I made a decision that it would be, because I remembered Margaret Thatcher. Years ago, I read a story about the prime minister attending an important meeting with several people. I’m paraphrasing now:
Suddenly, Mrs. Thatcher stood up. “I”m sorry,” she said, “but look at the time. I must get to the market and buy some rashers for my husband’s breakfast.” And she left.
I remember being proud that I knew rashers were bacon, thanks to Father Mike and his Irish housekeeper. And, I remember vowing that my husband’s breakfast would always take priority over world peace or anything else in my life. Metaphorically speaking. I wanted to remember forever that no matter how important other things felt, the people closest to me would always be what really mattered most.
My point isn’t that women should stay home and cook breakfast. My husband makes a better omelet than I do, anyway. But I never want the stuff I do to become more important than the people I love.
I’m not sure what the equivalent of Book Launch Week is for you today, Dear Reader, but please don’t let it crowd out the people who share your table. While you are doing all the Big Important Stuff in life, please remember to buy the rashers.