ROW80

Check-in April 15 Being positive

Much as I hate to admit it, I fell off the wagon a bit since Wednesday. Because I know that self-flagellation is not part of the ROW80 spirit, I am looking at what I can learn from it. First, it wasn’t a total fail; I did ruminate and scribble every day, but calling it the test mile seems over-inflated.  However, I’m climbing back on the wagon, and following Kait’s advice in the check-in, going to make the test mile 300 words (“baby steps” is still one of my mantras).

Life interfered a lot, but not in completely bad ways.  I found a cousin of the LaBrea tarpit at the day job, which is bad, but I have some good ideas on how to fix it, so that’s a neutral. I found out that both of my boys (sorry, guys, young men), are coming to live with us for the summer and check out colleges in New York State. So we’ve been working like bees around the house, as the “guest” bedroom was full of boxes (blush) and the study was, well, the study, not another guest bedroom.  Although I selfishly mourn the loss of my study a tiny bit, it is a big positive to have them here and getting back into school.

What have I learned: beyond the universally true “life is what happens while you’re making other plans,” there is the lesson to be flexible, accepting, and positive. Comparing the work and stress of getting everything ready to having both sons here for the first time in more than two years, and knowing that they are going back to school, well, there it is no contest.

I also learned that my path isn’t my sons’ path and that is okay. They are good people, and they will find their way in their own time.

Finally, I learned that “should” is a word to be excised from 95% of my thoughts. I had a bit of a struggle on Friday. It happens most birthdays, to be honest, since I use that as a reckoning point—where am I, and where should I be. At first, I was depressed, since I wasn’t where I “should” be with the creative writing. After a pretty miserable hour, I realized that I am where I am, and that is okay. I take a long time to mull, create, tear apart and recreate, then at some point, it gels.  And that is really all right.

I hope everyone has a creative, productive week. As always, please go encourage the other ROWers here.

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16 thoughts on “Check-in April 15 Being positive”

  1. Fabulous positive attitude! And I love this line, “I also learned that my path isn’t my sons’ path and that is okay. They are good people, and they will find their way in their own time.” Sometimes it’s hard to remember that as parents. Wishing you all the best for the upcoming week, Elizabeth!

    1. Oh, boy, Raelyn, that was very hard for me to learn. When our eldest son decided to go to work rather than college, the two of us over-educated nerds looked at one another in shock. I felt like the floor dropped ten feet. But he and his brother are kind, thoughtful, just good kids, and they’ll be just fine. I can’t wait to see them though! I appreciate your dropping by, and hopw you have a great week!

  2. Flexibility is key. Life will always intervene.

    As for “should” — I like to use “should” the same way Douglas Adams used deadlines. He said: “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

    “Should” and “deadlines” can make a lot of noise at us, but we can just wave and smile and go on about our business….

    1. What a great quotation, Camille, and what an attitude! I can usually wave and smile, but I still fall into the trap when the next year of life arrives. “I was doing to have done this, I should have done this. . .” Thanks for the push to just wave and smile! Have a lovely week!

  3. very positive ruminations – if the input into children is sound they will do good in their own way – they sound nice boys. You have turned negative into positve – magic:)

    1. Thank you Alberta. Despite some family members saying that we were spoiling the children by paying too much attention to them (?!?!?!), we didn’t listen. I like to turn negative into positive–it makes me feel far better 🙂 Have a wonderful week, and thank you for stopping by.

  4. Thinking about where I “should” be is something that keeps me up at night from time to time, but it really is an exercise in futility, I think. I’ve been trying to keep this excerpt from Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata in mind: “You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”

    I know there must be lots of adjusting going on with your sons returning, but I am hoping that it works out for everyone! Speaking as a child who will soon be heading back home, I feel a little bad that I’m going back home and disrupting the little routine that my parents have set up for themselves (they tell me that they’re cool with it, though). But I am looking forward to going home. Sometimes it’s good to have a little stability and the comfort that family can give.

    Anyway, keep plugging away, my friend! Have a wonderful week. 😀

    1. Oh Lena, don’t feel bad for a millisecond about going back home. I know that your parents wouldn’t have it any other way; my griping about the study is so minimal compared to how overjoyed I am to have them back home for a time. I’m proud that they see our home as a safe place to regroup and a springboard for the next step. Also, the stability and comfort of family goes both ways; it’s very comforting to have one’s children under one’s roof again.

      I love the quote from Desiderata. I have looked back to see the universe unfolding in ways I had no way of understanding at the time. Thank you for sharing that, and have a great week, my friend!

  5. Yes! Get rid of “should”! It can cause lots of guilt.

    I know it will be great to have your boys home. And do what you can with the word count. Work at your own pace and take care of yourself. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Lauralynn. I’m looking forward to having the boys at home again; the oldest has been gone for over two years.

      And I appreciate your advice on pacing myself and taking care of myself. I sometimes forget how much I have going on in my life! Have a wonderful week. 🙂

  6. At times, the energy of disruption, though distracting, can be releasing. I hope you find that with you’re renewed “larger family”. Elizabeth. I do understand how the birthday thing can be overwhelming. It’s just a day, but it’s also a change, a point when we see the scales tipping visibly in our lives.

    And as my own mother likes to say “This too shall pass”… I think you’re wise to increase your test mile slowly. At the worst, it doesn’t work. At the best, you could add another fifty words to the count at the next check-in. Nor does stating you will do X mean you can’t continue on until Y.

    Much joy to you, and belated “Happy Birthday”.

    1. Thank you, Eden. It’s true that the larger family tends to foment more ideas about story lines, given the increase in life being lived in the house.

      And thank you for the birthday wishes; the discomfort of looking at another year gone by passes rather quickly, thank goodness. I ope you have a great week!

  7. So many wonderful epiphanies in this post – simply fantastic, Elizabeth. You are right on all counts and “should” is a dangerous word. In truth, there is only “where we are” and “where we are going” – there is not speed limit on the path between and no “qualifying time” to reach any given point. There is simply walking the path at the pace we choose with persistence.

    Have a great coming week 🙂

  8. Oh, I missed a birthday, so sorry! Hope it was wonderful, at least after you got past the “should” — whihc is an excellent way of putting it, my dear! Life happens sometimes (luckily, otherwise what would we have to write about! *g*) I’m glad you’ve gotten past the depression and wish you much success on your path. 🙂

    1. No apology necessary, Ruth! I’ve certainly had enough of them that letting one slip by somewhat quietly is just fine with me! Thank you for the good wishes and the encouragement. I’m glad that I’ve finally found my peace with my process and have thrown out the “should.” Have a wonderful rest of the week, Ruth!

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