I like to stay alert to what is going on in the world directly around me, remaining on the lookout for messages I need to pay special attention to and heeding lessons I’m meant to learn.
I wrote a lot last year about all of the (mostly unpleasant) changes that kept being thrown my way. I won’t rehash them all again, because at this point I am just grateful that things are starting to calm down and 2014 is getting off to a much smoother start. Yes, I’ve faced difficulty and discouragement before, but never in such a relentless manner. Needless to say, I learned a lot of lessons I won’t soon forget.
On Facebook recently, two messages came through my feed that struck a chord with me. They weren’t directed at me specifically, but I took special note.
The first was from my friend, Katie, who posted a picture of a beach at sunset with the caption “Relax. Nothing is under control.”
The second was from my friend, Molly, who wrote “An amazing part of having faith in the Divine is the reassurance and peace that comes from knowing that everything will work out for good.”
As I move into this New Year, I am also forming my writing plan. Each year, I set publication goals, jot down essay ideas, and see what I can realistically accomplish as a busy seasonally-single stay-at-home-mother of three young children. I had a telephone conference with my writing mentor, Christina Katz, who has been indispensable to me these last many years as I have transitioned my writing career from that of a gal with nothing but time to travel and write, to that of a wife and mother.
We discussed many things over the hour, and I took five pages of notes. Christina helped me see that some of my goals were simply not realistic and would take me in too many new directions, which would only create more chaos. She showed me where I could simplify and streamline. We also talked about steering clear of toxic people and negative situations that would also pull me in directions away from what I want for my family, my writing, and me. Here is some of what she said:
“Draw a circle around your family and let the rest go. You are the orchestrator of your life and you decide where your energy goes. Don’t be thrown off track or taken out of your process. Don’t fall into all of the potholes you come across; run around them, jump over them, do any and everything to avoid them. Don’t let the world toss you around like a ship at sea.”
Thank you so much, Christina!
Yesterday, I got to read at our local bookstore from the most recent anthology in which I have an essay. The anthology is called “Journeys.” Although my essay was about an event from over a decade ago, in which I suddenly changed course and decided to go down a different road from the one I was on, I think the title “Journeys” is relevant to each year of our lives.
George is at sea, so he was unable to attend the reading. My parents came and I also brought my two oldest children with me. In fact, my eight-year-old, Eva, stood right next to me as I read into the microphone. I held her close as I read, hoping she would always remember her mommy this way.
Not her mommy who is so often torn in many different directions, but her mommy who likes to write stories. Her mommy who likes to read books. Who especially likes to read from her own stories in books, with family and good friends in the audience and her firstborn girl by her side.