Choosing wisely.

I want to post a big ol’ rant proclaiming my new and different direction. In fact, I started a writing a piece to that effect yesterday. The problem is, it’s full of what I’m GOING to do because THIS part of my life is shitty. Boring stuff, really – though there were some bits of writing in it that I pulled because I liked them:

“One should enjoy whine in moderation, and I’m already hung-over from excessive indulgence.”


“Which brings me to the writing.  I am keenly aware that I am coming up on 46 years old and I have not yet completed a novel, even though I’ve been self-identifying as a writer since I was 14. At this point there are only two options left for me: 1) Die a published novelist or 2) Die a failed novelist.

Cheery, no? No.

I stopped working on that post sometime around 3a. It was at 896 words and only half-done. I figured I’d finish it today. Or pretend I never wrote it.

I slept. I got up. I took my son to school. Then I headed over to White Bear Lake so I could drive along the lakeshore. A particular view struck me. I stopped in the middle of the (empty) road, jumped out and snapped the picture:

begin one way square

When I got home, instead of finishing my angsty rant, I wrote and posted the third installment of Keeping Score. Only then, did I read through the work from the night before. I decided to neither share it in it’s entirety, nor ignore it. Instead I’ll spare you by summing it up this way:

I had some ambitious plans, (because I’m suffering from my 3rd or 4th mid-life crisis,) which got screwed up, because now I have a job and sometimes the demands of that job are unreasonable, but I’m not going to quit, so I’ll have to get through it somehow, and my idea for doing that is to do what I have to do (for any number of reasons) without minimizing my (admittedly voracious) need for meaning and pleasure nor pushing it to the end of the list. 

Once that decision had been made, I found myself yearning for summer, so I could go to a patio, have a beer and write until – a couple of hours later – a friend would join me and we would talk and laugh into the evening. (I have many good memories of afternoons spent in just such a way.) Obviously, that wasn’t going to happen – what the sub-freezing temps and the 6 inches of snow on the ground – so I improvised. I opted for an early afternoon outing with my dog, because he is horribly bored.

It is ridiculously cold & slippery outside so I didn’t want to go with the first alternative that occurred to me, a long walk. I think I was driving to the coffee shop – where we could sit outside and watch people walk by – when I saw the sign for a local bar, which I suddenly remembered is dog-friendly. He was welcomed inside with treats. He had fun meeting folks, sniffing all the corners and laying on the wide ledge meant for my feet.

dog on bar rail

He enjoyed the fenced patio too.

dog with beer

So I didn’t get to write al fresco, and I didn’t get to visit with a human friend, but I did have a beer and a little fun.

Now I’m writing this. Which will neither be long, nor elegant. In a few minutes, I’ll leave for work. There’s still a big part of me that want to detail my complaints and make a dramatic proclamation about how everything is going to change right now. In truth, though, I can’t guarantee anyone – including myself – that it’s all going to be better, especially not just because I say so.

What I can do is concentrate on this day and this moment. Today I got some work done and I had some fun. And that’s good enough for now.


11 Comments on “Choosing wisely.”

  1. Accepting things that are possible in the moment can give you more strength to do what you want to accomplish later. You’ll get to the place you want to be if don’t give up.

  2. catherinelumb says:

    Excellent post. Life changes rarely happen in a moment, more likely they happen over time. Living for the moment, and ensuring that you are content for such moments is what we should strive for. Although, sometimes we all need a little rant to help us realise how to do this!
    Take Care, Cat x

  3. mistylayne says:

    “What I can do is concentrate on this day and this moment.” ~ I have to remind myself of that EVERY single day, sometimes every single second.

  4. I self-identified as a writer myself for years before I ever actually did something about it. It’s still a kick to me when people ask what I do and I respond, “I’m a writer.” Surreal and wonderful. 🙂

    • It’s getting better. Up until I started this blog, I thought of myself as an aspiring writing. Nope. I write. Period. Thus I am a writer. And I’ve achieved some milestones that make that feel real: 100,000 word manuscript, Nano, 100+ subscribers … now that I’ve actually gotten serious, the little “proofs” keep coming.

      I wonder, though, is it EVER done? Does finishing a novel do it? Getting an agent? Publishing a novel? With a major house? Getting paid? Winning contests? Best sellerdom?

      I envy you your new job … there is no ambivalence there! Real people, pay you real money, to write.

      Hey, our crow post deadline is coming up this Wed. Better get on that 🙂

  5. Hunter Shea says:

    Write when you can, and keep the passion fires burning. The moment you finish that book, you will always be a novelist. Plain and simple.

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