Writing, Winn Dixie and Picasso

I missed all of May.

I just checked the date on my last post and realized I missed the entire month of May. Not one blog post. Sigh. Then grrrr.

I repent. Not to you, but to myself. Anyone whose ever made the jump from the casual “Sure, I like to write” to the declarative “I am a writer” knows that writing takes an enormous amount of discipline. (I crossed over in Starbucks one day when the man at the table next to me asked if I was a writer. I looked him square in the eyes and said yes. Then the entire time we chatted (until he walked out the door) I nervously waited for him to call my bluff and out my lying mouth to the entire store.) Not writing regularly — to a writer —  is equivalent to cheating during a Weight Watchers stint or hitting the snooze when you’re training for a marathon. (Except with writing, there is no finish line).  It just makes you feel, well, grrrr.

So grrry and self-loathing over my inability to keep up I am. . . but, I must say, it’s not without reason. Some of those reasons are legit–commitments that take time or life’s interruptions that can’t be controlled. Others have been intentional. Dare I even say sacrificial (although I won’t say it too loudly in fear that God or my husband hear). Forgive me for a moment of self-indulgence as I share them, but the therapeutic effect of writing them down is irresistible. Oh, and now that you know I’ve officially come out as a writer, please don’t search for grammatical consistency in this list (not that you would); it’s not there.

  • I’m learning a new job.
  • I’m working more hours.
  • I picked up a few writing gigs, one of which was accepted for publication, one of which is pending and one of which you can read here (scroll down). Or if you’re a writer you might want to read this one.
  • My kids have little league games four nights a week.
  • My kids actually need my attention.
  • My husband needs it more.
  • I did a race in the great city of Pittsburgh for which my sister-in-law and I actually got a medal (I dare you to ask me what color). It’s one of the funnest thing I’ve done, maybe ever.
  • Held down the fort while my husband took two graduate classes.
  • Started physical therapy. . . for my thumb.
  • Got stranded without a car three times.
  • Locked my keys in the car twice.
  • Hosted a friend I haven’t seen in two years.
  • Read “Because of Winn Dixie” with my nine-year-old.
  • Ran an obstacle course (that I created) for my eight-year-old’s birthday party (which I hosted).
  • Sculpted the Picasso Sculpture (don’t ask).
  • Prayed a lot.
  • Learned a lot.
  • Cried a lot.
  • Slept.

Sometimes responsibilities overwhelm us. Interruptions plague us. Being present with those we love pleads with us until we have no choice but to turn off the phone, close the computer, set down the broom or the fertilizer or the golf club or the running shoes and sigh because, more often than not, life just doesn’t allow us to do everything we want to do. So we give up some things and spend more time doing others. We swallow the lumps, accept the interruptions, learn from trying to do too much and ask for forgiveness when we can’t seem to get it right. And we savor the moments when we do.

But we never give up.

And in the process we learn to be wise.

After all, not posting a blog in May pales in comparison to crawling in bed with my daughter to read Winn Dixie and seeing my son pitch his first little league game. The Picasso Sculpture. . . that one I could have done without.

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