Nicole did a great job yesterday writing about overcoming the big stuff, facing the page, and choosing hope. In everyone's life, from a national scale to a family scale, there will be unexpected, heart-wrenching, seemingly insurmountable events to overcome. And in everyone's life, there will be the same old day-to-day to overcome.
Nicole thinks globally; I'm the local same old same old girl.
My life is not unlike the life of the woman sitting in the next office.
Both of us rise in the morning, feed and walk the dogs, wake the kids, pack their lunches, give them the ninety-second lecture on resisting peer pressure and maybe, just maybe -- if the gods of the red lights are with us -- stop at 7-Eleven for a cup of coffee before we get to the office. (Well, I'll stop at the 7-Eleven. My office neighbor keeps kosher; I'm not sure 7-Eleven is on her hit parade.) We spend the next eight, nine, ten hours focused on our jobs, and then we do the morning in reverse: stop at the market to pick up dinner, pick up the kids from football practice or the babysitter's, feed and walk the dogs, make the dinner....
Any of this look familiar to you? Maybe it feels familiar -- the burned out, brain dead, no strength to laugh at the end of the day feeling? BE honest. Sometimes an average day will suck the life out of you.
So here’s my survival mechanism, the thing the woman in the next office doesn’t do: at some point during the day -- be it a stolen moment at lunch or be it waking up an hour (or two) early -- at some point, I face the page. (And sometimes I have to play Aerosmith really loud but that’s just a bonus quirk.)
To sit and write is easily one of the most selfish endeavors I engage in. But I can’t stomach the thought of giving it up. The joy, the exhilaration, the sheer FUN of writing is MINE, mine to savor and cherish and revel in. I’m greedy for the sense of accomplishment I get from simply putting words on the page every day. They don’t have to be plentiful, they don’t have to be gems, but they have to be there. If they’re not there, I’m not a writer.
So in the midst of all the day to day, same old same old, I make the time to do myself the kindness of facing the page and keeping “I am a writer” a true statement.