Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Best-Laid Plans

"The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, Gang aft agley," wrote Robert Burns, in his impeccably Scottish dialect. In other words, have an idea, start to follow through, and something will inevitably waylay you.

In this case, I made a New Year's resolution to be more healthy...and promptly came down with the flu.

So in addition to adding "GET A FLU SHOT!" to this year's list of resolutions, I want to talk about the push and pull of struggle versus the writer.

I've been reading a lot lately about how to become a published author, and much of the advice boils down to "Write. Publish. Repeat." (Incidentally, this is the title of a book I'm currently reading, by the charmingly funny Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt)

This advice dovetails with advice I've been hearing from friends and reading in other books about how to live your life - "Think Positive. Act Confident and You Will Become Confident."

Well, that's just the problem.

I wonder, how does one take the first step? Is it a memorable Moment that demarcates one side of your life from the other - Before and After? Or is it a series of quiet steps, unremembered but vitally important, all stacked together to form a jagged, dragging line into the person you want to become?

I never know if I'm moving forward on days like these, or backwards, or not moving at all. Looking at it objectively, I know that I'm not the same person I was a year ago - married, living on my own. And yet, in terms of my dreams, I'm not necessarily sure I've taken a step forward. Yes, I finished NaNoWriMo, but I didn't actually complete my novel yet. Yes, I'm learning more about self-publishing, but I'm still not published.

When I'm ill, as I have been for the last several days, it brings me back to my childhood, when I was often ill - usually with no idea what I'd done to cause it. I've managed to iron out most of my health problems over the years, but there are still days when I believe I'll always be the sickly little girl who's missing out on something important.

I think what I'm trying to say is that being sick has given me one more resolution to add to the list:

Be well not just physically. Be well mentally, spiritually. Don't be the girl looking out the window, waiting for life to happen to her, waiting to be strong enough to go outside and brave the world. Don't miss out on the important things in life.

That said, the view out my window isn't terrible, considering it's the dead of winter.
Resolution: take picture again in spring, with me sitting outside.

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