So Facebook reminded me yesterday that it’s been 28 days since I posted something on my writer’s page.
Here’s the even bleaker news: it’s been that long since I’ve written anything.
How does a person go from getting up at 4:30 every morning for seven months and writing for 30 minutes a day, to going a month without even writing a sentence?
I’ve been running away from depression most of the month. This first month of summer.
I’m a teacher. I look forward to summer when I get enough sleep and stop walking around semi-comatose. I’ll have so much time to focus on my writing. I envision hours upon hours of digging deep into my ideas, revising and polishing the novel I wrote during the school year. Beginning another one.
But none of that has happened. This is the first day I’ve sat at my computer and actually tried to write anything. 28 days. That’s more than the 21 days to form a new habit. So, I’ve formed a new habit of not writing. Kind of feels like I’m starting over.
But I’m not starting over. My road to success isn’t a straight shot. It’s filled with detours, hills and valleys, construction. But I’m still moving. If I look backwards, I see I’m not at the starting line. I may not be where I want to be, but I’m not where I’ve been.
So, today I’m going to stop beating up on myself. I’m going to stop looking back at yesterday, last week, last month. I’m going to stop living with regret.
I can’t change the past. It does no good to beat myself up over whatever I did or did not do.
I only have today. More specifically, right now.
And this month has not been wasted. I’ve learned and I’ve lived.
Every moment has a lesson. Every season has a purpose.
I’m so thankful for those of you who ask me about my writing. Those of you who cheer me on and want to see me succeed. You truly are throwing coals on my small, smoldering fire.
My fire hasn’t went out. It is still burning low; it’s keeping on.
Even though I didn’t dedicate time to writing, I lived. And I learned. This past month I was reminded of what a miracle new life is as I held my newborn niece. This past month I’ve learned I need to hang on to my oldest even looser than I already was. My husband and I are learning how to handle this whole child-is-now-a-young-adult thing.
I’ve been able to tend to my house, which I’ve neglected for the past 9 months. Deep cleaning was in order. Even though, when you’re at home every day, it’s never completely clean. There’s always something more to do. That can be exhausting. And mentally defeating. I’ve learned to do what I can and let the rest go.
I’ve spent several days in the sweltering heat, watching my boy try to prove himself to various colleges. I’ve watched him go after his dream. I’ve sat on the sidelines, with beads of sweat running down my face and back and marveled at how he is in the same heat, running at his best speed. Taking on offensive linemen over and over and over again. On the trips there I’ve got to spend time with this boy who throws everything he’s got into following his dream. I’ve watched as his face lit up when he received his first college offer.
I’ve sat and laughed with him and his girlfriend. I’ve sat up and waited for him to return home from work.
And my youngest. I’ve learned she’s not so young anymore. She’s turned into a young lady it seems overnight. I realized I’ve been babying her. Not realizing that she can take on more responsibility.
And my marriage. I’ve been reminded it’s the foundation, the rock, that all the running after, worrying, praying for kids is built on. It has to be cared for.
All the while enduring an air compressor that was out in the house for 3 days.
Dodging trips to several mechanics to get two cars fixed.
And don’t forget a washing machine that flooded the laundry room and hallway, hence the need for a new washer.
Now our lawn has become overgrown as we wait for our lawnmower to be fixed.
I want to scream – please not one more thing.
But I’ve learned if it wasn’t this, it would be something else.
I’ve learned that in this world, bad, horrific, unexplainable things are going to happen.
I’ve learned that we can do everything to protect our children, but sometimes bad things still happen.
Love is the common denominator. If love is present, somehow things become possible. Shootings cannot destroy love. Death cannot destroy love. Tragedy cannot destroy love. Fear cannot destroy love. Love can and will conquer all. With love, we overcome.