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Flashing Back on Flashback

Riva Pomerantz

After weeks of desperately praying, fruitlessly brainstorming, and shooting down dozens of potential plotlines before they could fully hatch, the story of Flashback came to me. Literally, in a flash of inspiration.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

I’ve always utilized fiction as a tool for exploring issues in our global community, but there was one frontier, I suddenly realized, that affected virtually every man, woman, and child among us, but I had not yet discussed: The Work-Life Balance. Work. Life. Balance. Ha! I find that the more enthusiastically a term is batted around, the less it actually means. In the case of those three pithy, gut-wrenching words, well, anyone out there trying to balance a semblance of work and life knows enough to greet them with a weary sigh, if not a lusty snort. Books and courses and entire bodies of research all stoutly tackle the topic, but I have yet to find one individual who has actually struck that elusive “balance.” Instead, we’re all racing after it, constantly craving the peace of mind it seems to offer. As a working mother, I know this struggle intimately. I live it every day. “Mommy, let’s go to the park! Forget about your deadline!” “You’re doing another interview? But I wanted to spend time with you tonight!” And I’m considered lucky. I work from home in a flexible job where I can stay up all night to get my projects done. I can stay home with a sick child and take a break to make dinner and play a game of Spot It. As I said, I’m lucky. No one can deny the facts on the ground. There’s a real need for women to work. In today’s society, it’s not just kollel wives who need to be out there bringing home the bread. With the demands of tuition, mortgage, and the cost of modern living, single incomes are just not enough. Some argue that we’ve created a monster, that what we deem today as “necessities” are actually luxuries. Others say that the realities of peer pressure make those so-called luxuries necessary or we risk raising disgruntled, misfit kids. We’re trapped within a system in which our lifestyles require us to work, yet we’re acutely aware that our work powerfully impacts our lifestyle — most importantly the way we raise our children. It is this theme that I wished to explore in Flashback. But although it’s timely, when I plotted it out, it lacked… spice.

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