Friday, October 19, 2012

I suck

I don't really think I suck. Not now, anyway. I have a fairly healthy level of self-worth that outweighs my level of self-loathing by a pretty high margin. But I suck at following through on my promise to this blog. Last post I promised that I would be,"back in a sec" and I'm only just doing that now. Gonna claim Mom Time (that abstract and highly subjective measurement system) on this.

So, where have I been? What's up with this epiphany I had? Here it is:
I made these stones years ago for my garden. Then my whole self-worth was tied to being a good mom- which is not a bad thing, but being a good mom isn't the only thing.

At the beginning of this year I was poised for change. The year previously had been full of exciting changes as I morphed from full-time SAHM to some pretty exciting roles. It was fun and I wanted more!

That year I began to write a weekly newspaper column and- most importantly- began to be paid for my writing which did a hell of a lot in justifying the time and energy I put into it. It also gave me a sense of validity and purpose.

And mail.

Have you ever gotten, oh this sounds pretentious- fan mail? I never did, why would I? OK, the " Worlds Greatest Mom" notes my kids have given me through the years are pretty much the most fabulous fan mail ever and very, very valuable.

But from strangers?To know that someone who has no reason to read what you write, hear what you say... to listen, is listening? It's heady. And flattering. And humbling.  And I hope that I never get used to it and take it for granted, but I also hope that I never let it be the only voice that tells me I'm doing a good job. I need to know that internally. But not excessively. That's a pretty fancy dance and I hope that I learn it with the grace an important dance like this requires.

But that wasn't the only change that year- I also began to co-host the podcast at the same time. Also life altering for the amount of work that it requires, and the people that I have met because of it- but the most amazing part for me was being asked to participate. I was a SAHM, a blogger- not a historian. But the prospect of the challenges and personal growth was overwhelming. I had to do it. Had to. Just like I had to have kids, and I had to marry the man that I did- I can't really explain it more than that.

2011 was a crazy busy and changing year and I was ready for it to continue into 2012. I was excited to see where life would take me and what windows of opportunity would allow me to leap through them. I was open for change and convinced that change would happen.

So, what happened?

Nothing. Changed


Standing at the open door and screaming, "Come on change! Show me my destiny!" did nothing.

(That was figurative, by the way.)

I worked editing one of the novels I had written the year before; I started a new one. I studied and wrote and wrote some more- but nothing changed. A couple things did cross my desk- one I tried and failed, one I decided wasn't worth the time that I would have had to devote to it and never leaped at it.

I felt like I was working hard and had nothing new to show for it. It was wheel-spinning at it's worst. I was frustrated. And disappointed. And really did feel like I sucked. My marriage suffered, some other personal relationships suffered- I didn't even want to be around me.

But then I had an epiphany when I stepped outside and saw those stones in my garden:

Not all years are meant for big, visable change. Some years you plant, and some years you harvest and both are of equal importance. Both create change.The harvesting years are more exciting, more visably rewarding for sure. You have something to show for the work.

But the planting years? No appreciative mail for planting, no visable ( or financial) reward for it either. But without it, you have nothing to harvest.


So I am still happily planting. Change will come. It may not be loud and flashy- it may just sneak up on me like it had always been there. I don't know. But until it does, I'm focusing on planting.