Yes, I know. It’s been a while.
So, can I just say…adulting is hard and sometimes parenting sucks? Like stuffing your heart down a long neck bottle and then trying to coerce it back out again. There are certain things that happen in your life that you have zero control over and you are just along for the ride. I love roller coasters, but I also love that I am the one choosing to get on. Control freak, much? I know. It’s not the same when they are small. When our kids were little, we dictated when and where they went. We dictated their hairstyles, their food choices, and what clothes they wore. It was hard, but in a sleepless nights-they can’t tell me what’s wrong-why are they still crying-kind of hard. As they have all gotten older and we stand at the precipice to the twilight zone of parenting, aka, teenage years, we are sometimes at a loss as to what the heck we are doing. We cannot dictate their moods or make them snap out of it. Their tantrums are a whole lot more involved. Like, actual conversations have to happen. I can’t just walk away in the grocery store aisle and make them stop from sheer shock. I don’t always get my way with them. Dang it! They have valid, mini-adult needs and desires that don’t always fit into our schedule or life style. We navigate six peoples lives and all that encompasses. Something is bound to get lost in the fray. Sorry…in advance. Let me tell ya…I’m gettin’ real good at saying sorry. Not to mention, they are now creatures with sinful habits that mirror our own or completely throw us for a loop. We went from dictating, to constructing…and deconstructing. Sometimes, we think we got it all wrong from the beginning. But God, people. BUT. GOD.
As I say this, I hope it will be no huge surprise to you that in the midst of what felt like a gazillion doctors appointments between all six family members, end of the school year shenanigans, birthday parties, friends moving SO FAR AWAY, and scheduled commitments, I needed to step back and be present for our life, in every moment, as it was happening. Live in some moments, and pray through a whole bunch more. In doing so, writing took a back seat. The kind of back seat you crawl into from behind a folded over front seat. It is hot and musty from a car that has sat too long with its windows rolled up in this stupid valley heat that everyone keeps telling me I should be thankful for because it’s “dry.” Huh. Ok. I’ll think about it. NO. (I love swimming. I LOATHE summer.) That is to say, I hated to put it back there…knowing it was at risk of melting away completely.
But here I am, nonetheless, triumphant! Ok…maybe not triumphant. But I finally feel like I can get back into the swing of things. Like I rolled down the windows, screamed into the wind, turned up the radio full blast, and I freshened up that back seat. I prayed. I read. A lot. I also watched quite a few movies. Bought Beauty and the Beast the day it came out and after viewing number seven, finally had bored my kids with it until they groaned in protest. And two weeks later, if I manage to procure a television set at our house (no small feat, I assure you)…the faint sound of my thirteen year old singing Evermore comes to my ears (though he has made his boredom with the movie well known). Teenagers. They think they know everything. You give them an inch…they swim all over you.
So! I thought a good “back into the swing of things” post would be an update on where I am from my beginning of the year list of goals.
Prepare yourselves to be unimpressed.
As you recall (or don’t recall)…there were seven “goals.”
- Read more. Well. I have read. A lot! However, of the twelve prompts for what books to read on the list I was going off of…I have check-marked five. But one of those was reading the whole series of Harry Potter books and there are seven of those…so….I’m going to count this goal as right on track! Grade: A
- Eat Healthy. For a while there, I was doing really, really well. And then I wasn’t. And then I was. Let’s just say…my clothes are still giving me the stink eye, so I went to Old Navy and bought dresses for the summer. They are like a friendly hug. Take that, stupid jeans! Grade: C
- Write. Part of this was to not lose steam. Hmph. While I haven’t written on my story consistently (remember that whole back seat business earlier?), I have continued to journal privately and have added paragraphs or two and made notes on my story here and there. I’m going to grade on a curve here. Grade: B.
- Freelance articles. Yeah. Nope. Nothing happening here at all. Grade: F.
- Make more cookies. Oh, man. I have done that! Grade: A++
- Grow out my hair. I haven’t touched it. I mean, except the coloring of it. Red as red can be. Even resisted bangs. No cuts. No trims. It is completely style-less. And needs some serious help. Buns to the rescue! I want it just a little longer before cutting it into a style. I did get hair extensions from my mom for my birthday. Dyed them to match my hair…and wah-la! First world problems. Grade: A
- Devotional time. I would love to say I am the most proud of this. But inscribing the word finished for me around mid-March? Then, I started a book on devotional parenting…and Power of a Praying Parent. And it’s hit and miss. I kind of bounce between the three. Journaling and praying has been more my style right now. A lot of praying happens when I make cookies. Compared to my old habit of doing Precept studies almost every day, I would have to grade myself hard on this. Grade: C.
The unfortunate side affect from not writing consistently is ending up with a whole lot of blank spaces when I sit to write. In the moments when I want to despair that nothing is coming to me, I try to remember writing something is better than nothing, even if it has nothing to do with the ongoing story.
Another unfortunate pitfall of writing a story chapter by chapter people are reading as you write, is the inability to edit chapters when you realize that may have not been the best course of action. It’s too late for some of the details I would wish to change or add. A few minor details tweaked and certain actions moved to later. But editing (brutal as it may be) is the loving hindsight of finished novels and my story will have to remain as is, for a time. Adding in things now would really confuse the lot of you. As if one chapter at a time wasn’t hard enough, right?! Anyway…walls. Mack trucks. This is what I am trying to bulldoze through in the story. It feels as though I need one little thing to make sense and the rest would fall into place. In the meantime, I have writing prompts to help get my juices flowing…and maybe I’ll post a few of those here while you wait.
If you are reading this, thanks for sticking around! I’ll try not to leave you hanging for too much longer!