Lately, it seems, many people I care about are falling apart. I had dinner with a group of colleagues (well, ex-colleagues, but I just can’t think of them as ex-anything). Their workplace is filled with strife, further stressed by the political climate surrounding their jobs. They are trying hard to stay afloat but are feeling thoroughly discouraged.
My writer peeps are struggling. Rejections from agents are piling up and they are fighting defeat. Many are getting form letters and the impersonal response makes them feel like their writing is not even worthy of comment. When an agent kindly provides feedback, they revise, they cut and they work to implement all suggestions. And, they are getting dizzy from it, worried about losing their stories, worried about losing their voices, worried that they will never find an agent, never be published.
My writing is simmering on a backburner. Maybe tomorrow I will take it off and continue to stir and add ingredients. It is what I say at the end of each day when I find that, yet again, I failed to add a single word. I stress about it for a few minutes, and then forgive myself. We are in the middle of packing up 30+ years of living and getting ready to move across the country. Loved pieces have been sold and other treasures are going into boxes and into storage, to be shipped out to us who knows when. We don’t have a home to go to yet.
Yes, life is filled with highs and lows. We cannot change that. The only thing we can do is choose how we react to it. As my world here slowly disappears into cardboard boxes, I choose to embrace the rush of excitement rather than dwell on the overwhelming feeling of getting it done on time, saying goodbye and wondering what the future holds. I haven’t flown by the seat of my pants like this since I was a teen. What a thrill to be young and courageous once again.
In my career, I had the luxury of regularly addressing around two hundred people, young and old. I always encouraged them to be proactive rather than reactive and reminded them that they held the power of choice. Each and every day I had the opportunity to reinforce that with a simple message. I give it to you now my colleagues, my writer peeps and my dear readers near and far: Make it a good day!