I Have Become A Tortoise by Maureen Eich VanWalleghan
So it’s official. I have been rejected from nine film festivals. I am getting tougher. To be fair my film as been slightly in flux. The final cut of the film happened for me in January. All the submissions were in a couple different versions in connection to music and one key editing change. Now I feel ready to get this film out in the world. Also I would like to update my packaging and complete all of my marketing pieces.
I bring all this up because the “mommy factor” has been in play while I have worked on this film. What is the “mommy factor” one might ask? Mom’s everywhere know that what one wants to do and what one can do don’t often match, particularly in the area of time. I know there are the supermoms who appear to do everything and manage the whole “kid, husband, work, fun, passion” well. I am not one of those...
Before I was married with a kid I met intense deadlines. I pushed myself hard. I meet deadlines now, but I am still trying to create manageable deadlines in the areas where I have control of the project, like my film. The problem is that my internal clock for desired completion of projects does not match my life clock. What I want to do does not match with what I can do. My film is a case in point.
I have the film I want right now. It is up on my Vimeo profile, (Maureen Eich VanWalleghan) but it has taken eight months to get to this point—well beyond what my classmates managed to do. I have laid the ground work for the marketing component. I have learned a ridiculous amount about process. I can say I am a filmmaker as I start my second short film project.
With this new project I decided that I am going to cut myself a break about how quick I need to turn things around. I have a happy daughter. I don’t feel guilty about how much time I spend with her; she is at the top of the list. What I am learning is that my driven deadline mania from my previous life doesn’t have to rule me. I can slow down. I am nibbling my way through my passions. Really, at this point in life what do I need to prove? When I was in my 20’s and 30’s I was trying to get somewhere. I have gotten there. My job is to shape my life. Finally, I am getting this. I am not the power babe I once was, but I’m working hard to have my work life function as I want. My persistence is paying off. But beyond the persistence, I have had a mind shift and this is really letting me move forward in everything as I want. Officially, I have transformed from the fast moving hare into the slow moving tortoise of the Aesop’s fable that I read to my daughter. Being a tortoise isn’t so bad...once one gets used to the idea.
I am getting it: success in life does not have to be measured in speed. Maybe the “mommy factor” is about having a more sane life. Balance is not possible, but enjoying the ride is.