Over the last 12 months, I've tried to find creative ways to juggle a full time job, trans-continental parenting of grown humans, coaxing my introverted soul into a more social way of life, and oh, by the way promoting my first novel and building back a life coaching business that's fallen by the wayside. All the good intentions in the world, I've discovered, don't get anything done.
If you have a creative streak - whether it comes in spurts, or hums along inside your brain on a daily basis, then you know how challenging life can be when you get that magical inspiration for a painting, a poem or even that throw pillow you have suddenly designed in your head, and oh, wait, you have to go to work and earn your daily bread. Damn. The whole thing, I'll admit- was getting in the way. I had goals dammit! I'd made them public! I was taking a course to make me better at this and now I was failing wildly in front of people I'd come to admire, respect and yes, I'll admit it, ENVY for their seeming ability to always 'get er done'. Crap.
But slowly, I've realised through that group, and some wise words from a wise coach, that sometimes the end game isn't where we need to focus. That imaginary 'finish line' we set for ourselves, is often the biggest distraction we face. We focus on it like it's the only way we can succeed. But it's an illusion.
What We NEED to focus on, is the WORK. The work of creation, of ideation, of thinking through. And sometimes, to get it right, we need to do it over, and over, and even over again. The winning - the achieving of the elusive and much sought after goal - doesn't always arrive in one dazzling moment of 'Ta-Daaaaa'. More often, it comes in moments. Moments carved out of the madness that reveal a design solution, a phrase that sparkles, or an idea that sings out what you'd been searching for all along.
And what we learn along the way is so much more than what we get out of a quick sprint and a flashy finish. As we work, as we struggle, even as we FAIL- we go deep, and wide and our experience grows, our confidence builds, and we suddenly understand that there is no ' THERE'. There is just the work that we love, and the winning is in those we touch with it. So keep on ' keeping on' my loves, keep working, keep loving and you will always, always, be WINNING. <3
Publishing your first book is a pretty big milestone. Or at least it was for me. After more than 6 years of snatching moments here, there, and everywhere, and more than a year of editing the final manuscript, it suddenly happened. In fact, it happened at 7 am on a very cold but bright Saturday morning in February. Despite the fact that the publisher had said a few days before I would see it live online, perhaps even a week, I turned on the computer to check my diary and there it was. I was in my usual Saturday morning attire- yoga pants and a ginormous long sleeved t-shirt with a drawing of elephants and the words 'Tribe' on it. It's a favorite, super soft and worn, big enough to cuddle up in and not so precious I can't risk a drip of morning coffee. I hadn't even made the coffee, to be fair. I was barely awake. And for a moment, I thought I might be dreaming.
I cannot tell you how unprepared I was for the moment. I stood up from my chair at the desk and looked around. No one. I knew that, but still I looked. Isn't that what we do when the big moments come? We immediately want someone to share it with. But I live alone these days. No pup, not even a cat. There are of course, the three houseplants with whom I will admit to sharing several confessions and a few conversations a week. They don't answer of course, but they don't die and they bloom a lot which tells you something. At least I think so.
Anyway, back to my moment. My achievement. I thought after pacing kind of excitedly through the flat a few times, "Why, I'll call someone!" But most, if not nearly all of my someone's who would want to hear this news were asleep in the middle of the night in America. I considered the bottle of Prosecco waiting patiently in my tiny fridge. I did. I promise. But then I thought, wouldn't it be worse to get a little fizzy and then be alone with my big news? So I nixed that plan.
Instead I sat, snug in my tribe shirt, warm socks and huge smile that would turn out to stick to my face for days. Weeks. And I realized that when the big moments come, the dream come true moments, it doesn't matter one whit where you are. Or who you are with, or who you can call. It's all the same if you just settle in and let yourself feel the whole beautiful thing of doing something that is rather quite amazing. Even if the book is not everyone's everything, or anyone's anything. It's somewhere near 85 thousand words put together in chapters of laughter, tears, ache and survival. And it's a mountain you climbed all alone. And so when the moment comes and you have reached the top, wearing yoga pants and an elephant t-shirt, it's enough to just be there. Just as you are. Worthy. Enough. And happier than you knew you could be.