I wonder most days about the next task on my to-do list. If a Facebook page for this anxiety (never-ending concern), existed, it would have at least a zillion and one likes, and indubitably be the most talked about page on Facebook. The members of the community would chatter endlessly and long into the night about their infinite list of chores. On the page, you’d see things like…
“Oh man, I don’t know if I’ll get to that today, in this month, or next year.”
“I can’t keep up with the list. It’s never ending.”
“I had a list, but stopped adding things. It depressed me.”
“I only add to the list. I can’t seem to take anything off.”
“It stresses me out when I think about all the things I’m not doing.
“I used to dream of writing a novel, but I can’t find the time with all I have to do…”
If I had liked the page, my comment would be, “I’m behind on my life.”
I see my life free floating off in the distance, as a cluster of spring clouds drifting over the San Francisco Bay in the late afternoon, does. It’s close but out of reach. I can only sigh. I console myself with the knowledge it’s at least close by, and within viewing distance. It’s strangely comforting.
Like most, I have one of those lists that multiples. It’s kind of like the dust bunnies that reproduce exponentially if left to their own devices. I do wonder about the next task on my list, but these days if it involves rushing somewhere or vacuuming, I leave it for another day. What matters to me are those clouds floating overhead and the blank page I fill with my words.
I am behind on my life, and there’s not a damn thing I’m going to do about it. What matters to me now is that I carry on chasing my dream of living the passionate life of being a writer. I am many things to many people. To some, I am a wife, a mom, a Chef, a CFO, a Princess Warrior, Drama Queem, a Domestic Goddess, a sister and in the day job, a consummate professional. But, in my heart and when asked, “What do you do?” I say I am a writer. I wear the label as if it were a badge of honor. I’ve earned both a Silver Medal of Honor for bravery (standing up against doubt), and a Purple Heart, for being wounded in the line of duty—the submission and rejection process. I’ve even won Gloria Gaynor’s, ‘I Will Survive’ honorary Grammy. All awarded for sticking it out through the highs and lows.
There’s no point in lingering at the deep end of the teaspoon. The lows were and are horrible. The doubt that accompanies a writer throughout her days can make or break her. Is mine gone forever? No, but I’m cool with that. Being humble and a little doubtful makes me work harder. Am I famous yet? And has Julia Roberts opted to my book. No, and no. Have agents said no thank you, Dear Writer? And, did I cry myself a river when they did. Yes, and yes. Have I given up? Hell no. Do you want to know why? I’ll tell you, but only because we’re BFFs. It’s because I am committed to living a passionate writer’s life.
Over the course of the next six weeks, I have five short stories hitting the press. Yikes! That’s something to shout out. On top of that, one Editor is reading a novella I wrote earlier in the year, and another is reading my first novel. The odds of both or even one being opted are not on my side, but getting this far tells me I’m doing something right.
I’m struggling to keep up with the little things like dusting, cleaning the shower grout, and social media, but when it comes to writing, I’m exercising my right to write.
Life, I know I’m behind, but damn, girl, I think it’s your turn to catch up with me.