Archive | July, 2013

My Personal Marathon

15 Jul

My Personal Marathon.

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My Personal Marathon

15 Jul

I think there comes a time in everyone’s life when they question why they are here and what they are meant to accomplish. Some call it a mid life crisis, and it can feel like a crisis if you have been coasting through life without a plan and without giving back. We’ve all seen in movies and maybe in real life the man who reaches fifty, buys a new sports car and ditches the wife of twenty or more years for a woman young enough to be his daughter. It’s drastic and almost comical, but it’s the result of looking at life and realizing you want something different than what you have and you do something about it. I know several women who, upon turning 50, decided to train for a marathon. Many of them have never run or even exercised much, but the idea of completing a marathon takes hold and changes their life. I applaud them because I have never liked running. In fact, one of my favorite sayings is that if you see me running by you, you better run too because something awful must be chasing me.

In the months leading up to my 50th birthday, I began to understand why people run marathons. I longed for that sense of accomplishment in my life, but I knew running a marathon was not for me. I am definitely a person who would rather exercise with others, so hours of running solo would be torturous for me. Add to that my lifelong aversion to running, and you have a definite failure in the making. For me, there is something more personal that would make my mark on the world, take me out of my comfort zone and require a new level of dedication and discipline. I want to write a book and become a published author. Only a few people knew about that until this very moment and many would tell me to keep that quiet just in case I fail, but I’ve found, for me, that putting something out in public, where I feel some accountability, creates a positive pressure that motivates me to get things done. I’ve done that with projects around my home in social media groups, and the results have been amazing.

The thing is, I think we all have amazing contributions to make to this world, but fear holds us back. It makes me so sad to see truly talented people who will not see how talented they are, even when others tell them. Even worse is the person who knows they have talent but doesn’t think that talent is worth anything, and I’m not just talking about artists, writers and musicians. Any talent used well is creative and important. At a party at one of my children’s schools, I was helping the kids with a craft. It was a craft that I had found on the internet and modified to fit the theme of the party. One of the moms commented that she wasn’t creative at all. This mom was a registered CPA before she had children and still worked part time during tax season to help prepare tax returns. I asked her if she was able to find ways to help people save money on their taxes they may not have known about. Of course her answer was yes. I told her that talent was incredibly creative in my book because I could barely fill out a tax form and would not know what to do without my husband’s help. She was surprised, but I think she had a new awareness of her own talent.

So what are my fears? Like so many other writers, I’m afraid that after I write a book that no one will want to read it. I’m afraid that my talent won’t be good enough, that my words and efforts will be wasted. There’s also a part of me that is afraid that the book will be wildly successful. That one is a little more difficult to explain. I love my life, in most ways, exactly as it is. A successful book could change that in a big way. I know, crazy, right? I worry about the time I will have to invest that will keep me from my children. I worry about my home falling into chaos and a hundred other things that paralyze me and make it easy for me to procrastinate. Then, to complete the crazy, I worry that if I don’t write, I’ll be committing the sin of burying my talent and not fulfilling one of my true purposes in life. Some days it’s a wonder my head doesn’t explode from all of the over thinking.

So what’s a fifty year old, mid life crisis mom to do? Compromise, of course, because motherhood has made me an expert at it. I’ve decided for the next six weeks, which is the rest of summer break for my younger kids; I will either spend two hours on my book five to six days per week or write 1,000 words. I know some days the words will come easier so I will give myself the gift of stopping early. The rest of the time, I will do my very best to balance taking care of our home and having summer fun with my family. For this adhd brain, that is a lot of concentration hopefully balanced with a lot of fun. It reminds me, too, of the old joke, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” So, I’m off to eat my elephant. I don’t know if I’ll finish it in the next six weeks, but for my sake, for my family’s sake and because I believe I need to share my talent, I am going to give it my very best shot.

If you have an elephant you’d like to tackle and are ready to give up excuses and procrastination, at least for a little while, I would love for you to join me. Maybe you need to declutter your home. Maybe you want to get in better physical shape. Maybe you have something creative to birth, or maybe you have a book to write too. Whatever the project, take the first step and we can walk the path together. Who knows what we can accomplish and who we might become in the process. Thanks for being you and have a great day.

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