Dyane & Lucy after my first writing session (Are her puppy paws big or what?)
This past week has been more hectic than the previous 10+ weeks, and it has put me through the wringer. Those of you who are parents to young children will know why…
School has begun!
My two daughters started second and fourth grade, and after the first day of school, my oldest girl came home in tears. Something very upsetting had happened to her during her day. For the first time since she started elementary school, she said that she hated school and she never wanted to go back!
My heart sank to the tips of my toes.
I panicked and wondered if I would need to pull her out to homeschool her. We have a outstanding homeschooling program here, and I even minored in teacher education in college. I was a substitute junior high and high school teacher, an experience that soured me from attaining my full credential. If I had to homeschool her, I could do it, but I sure as hell didn’t want to do it!
I told her that everything would work out somehow, and I gave her a few concrete examples of how that might happen, but was I freaking out inside. At bedtime, I stayed up with her for over an hour as she sobbed.
I wanted to eradicate her her sadness, anger and anxiety. What sucked was that I knew couldn’t do that. As I knew all too well, she’d need to learn how to grapple with her feelings the rest of her life, and I needed to cut the cord as trying to “make it all better” when that might not be possible. I went to bed feeling angry at life, but at least I had an action plan for the following day.
The next day a total miracle happened. My daughter resolved the situation all on her own. It seemed too good to be true, but it was! I felt like I had been given a “free pass out of jail” of some kind. However, I knew that this incident was only the beginning of challenges she’ll face in school. From now on I’ll need to figure out how I can handle these types of situations in a healthier way for both of us.
Meanwhile, my other daughter turned seven on the first day of school. Being the far-from-perfect mom that I am, I spaced out at buying mini muffins to send along with her to celebrate her special day in class.
I had a poor night’s sleep the previous night, and I awoke at the grisly hour of 3:00 a.m. I was sorely tempted to take additional Seroquel, but I knew that if I did that, the medication might make me too groggy and out-of-it to take my kids safely to school on their first day. That was unacceptable – I wasn’t going to let that happen!
After dropping the kids off, I returned home. I felt drained to the core. My bed looked awfully inviting, and I almost flaked on my vow to write two pages. I was too awake to nap. After hemming and hawing for twenty tedious minutes, I sat down to write two pages just as I had planned.
At my desk with my canine assistant/muse Lucy near my feet, curled up in a sweet ball of fur, I stared off into space for a few more minutes. At last (and at least! 😉 I came back to the moment. It occurred to me that if I tossed my writing vow to the wayside, I’d feel much worse than simply exhausted, so I took a deep breath.
I started pecking on my laptop.
I completed one page, then two.
Ten pages later I felt done for the day and then some!
I felt proud of myself. They were not the greatest pages ever written. I may not win a National Book Award. I could live with that. What mattered was that I did it!
Since then I’ve written at least two pages each day except for the weekend.
Despite plunging back into the waters of writing my book, I’ve gotten the heebie jeebies, thinking negative thoughts such as, “You’re wasting your time. Why don’t you go clean that decrepit fridge?”, “Pick up all the nasty dog poop festering in the yard!” and last but not least, “There are many better writers than you struggling to get their work published and haven’t landed a deal. Why should you get published?” (I particularly detest that one!)
These persnickety thoughts come and go. But I’ll keep moving on with my writing, and I’ll keep reminding myself that if I can grow two human beings, I can certainly complete a first draft.
I’m not doing brain surgery or piloting a jumbo jet!
Thank God for that.