Speed Bumps

InsecureWritersSupportGroup2Of course, this is the first Wednesday of the month and time for another edition of the Insecure Writers Support Group. Except I’ve hit a speed pump.

Writing has become harder than it was mostly due to the changes in my life.

I am still writing every day but it is mostly in journal form. My writing is, for the most part, an outpouring of emotions onto the page. Any type of writing that involves any higher level thinking is simply not possible right now.

I have several projects that I want to work on but I cannot even take them out. Ideas flow through my head, if I am proactive I write them down. Mostly I’m not and then the idea is gone.

And I have to tell myself everything will be okay. This slow time in my life is only a season and season’s change.

It’s a speed pump.

Life is bumpy. We never know what is lying ahead.

When encountering a speed pump, whether it is on the road or in life there are a couple of things that need to happen.

First, you have to see and accept that it is there. When you are driving this happens pretty automatically. In life, acceptance is often the first step in dealing with anything.

Next, you must slow down. There are consequences if you don’t. Scraping the bottom of your car as you cringe just knowing that you’ve damaged something when you go too fast over one. When a speed bump happens to you in life, slowing down is important too. If you go too fast, you can forget to feel which can lead to a damaging crash later.

Third, in slowing down for a speed pump, you must get your car all the way through before you can accelerate again. The same is true in real life. It takes time to deal with the event. Even though it can seem like you are on the road to recovery, derailment can still happen if you go too fast.

Finally, you are through and you begin to pick up speed. Life seems to happen a million miles an hour. Even though we would like it to slow down, as we settle into our new routine and life goes back to normal and the speed picks up.

We must make the conscious decision to take in the lessons learned in the speed bump. We must take the time to see and enjoy the life that we have before something happens and it changes.

I am still writing, slowly, painfully but I am still putting words down. For me, this is to keep my habit going when all I want to do is crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head.

I am learning to be okay with this. My goals and my stories will still be there when I can finally speed up again.

First Lesson: Enough

10348274_10152171226492406_4622664639535940015_nThe word I chose for the year is Enough.

Enough has a lot of meanings:

Do I have enough?

Am I enough?

Do I have enough time?

The answers to those questions are Yes, Yes and No. There is never enough time for the life that you want.

The long holiday weekend gave me a hard kick as a reminder of the different meanings of the word enough.

A week ago, my husband and I visited with my brother who was in the hospital, mostly due to complications from a long-term illness. He was in good spirits and nearly his usual self. He was, however, very blunt.

He wanted to let us know that he wasn’t going to be with us for much longer.

This is not a truth I wanted to face though I understand that all life comes to an end.

We visited for a little while before heading out for our other plans. My intention was to visit him on the weekend.

He got out of the hospital the next day and seemed to be feeling better. I guess he was for a couple of days at least.

On New Year’s Eve, we got a call around 9:00 that he was being taken to the hospital and that it didn’t look good.

Not news I wanted to hear.

My husband drove and, as usual, faster than he was supposed to but we didn’t make it. The hospital staff rushed us back to the room where what family was with him, stood around crying. My brother was gone.

I could barely believe it. He was gone most likely when we got the phone call. It didn’t matter how fast we got there.

I’ve been lucky in my life and have lost few people. This one is going to be hard though not completely unexpected. As I wrote his obituary tonight, I realize just how lucky I am that my family has experienced few losses like this.

In looking for the meaning and messages this event has presented in my life, I am thinking about the word I’ve chosen for the year and how the lessons have begun very early.

I think one of the lessons for me is that time is something that is fleeting, and there will never be enough. I’m reminded that tomorrow isn’t promised to us. I never expected to spend New Year’s Eve in a hospital emergency room, though I did. We never know what the next moment will bring.

All we have is now.

Use it wisely.

Just a Thought: Wendell Berry

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The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
And I wake in the night at the least sound
In fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the
great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things
Who do not tax their lives with forethought
Of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars
Waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world,
And am free.