I decided to start this series on my longest lived goal – finishing a draft of my first novel. Why does that burning desire remain ever elusive in fulfillment? How am I going to get there especially at this stage in my life? I want to figure these out in the way that I do best which is, laughably enough, to write about them.
A friend posted the summary of a pep talk her husband gave her recently about getting her business back moving forward and progressing. She had been in a slump, and they were discussing why. The specifics didn’t necessarily apply to me, but the gist of what her husband said hit home. It was essentially (very extrapolated and summarized), “Unlike in most jobs, you are the only one standing in your way. Accomplishing your goals is a direct reflection of how hard you work and what you make time for. You are in control of how soon you get there. Push the irrelevant opinions aside and just do it.”
We aren’t remotely in the same field, but this is true of what I do and what I want as well. Big goal #1 of finishing a rough draft of my novel is up to no one but me. There is no one to stop me if I decide to do it. I don’t have to wait for interviews, approval, permission, grants, pay raises, promotion, etc. There is plenty of life to get in the way. However, it is true that nothing except my choices stop me. Babies and life circumstances can make it harder, but I still get to choose.
It has been a season of choosing not to write. Some of this became necessary for daily survival during the toughest portion of my pregnancy. At some point though, it morphed into taking the path of least resistance and some not so valid excuses. It’s important to learn the difference – to know when to let yourself off the hook for your own good and when to realize that you are standing in your own way. I am a pro at letting myself off the hook with conditional guilt (so not totally off the hook).
With the arrival of a new baby fast approaching, there will be another season of survival. Right now, I’m not there yet. And there will be a time coming after where the fog will clear a little and my brain can string words together again and slowly things will shift from “I can’t do this” to “I’m choosing not to.” I want to stop that then by stopping that now. Here’s to learning grace and dedication in equal measures.