This is a quote from a daily “inspiring” email I get.
I can’t handle that much pressure. In fact, it would paralyze me. I can’t give each small act in my disjointed day so much import!
I’ve created a life in which I never feel “done.” Choosing to write means there’s always a story to outline, write, edit, or market. My part-time day job could be expanded — the responsible thing to do — except I already don’t have enough time for my writing. Of course my top priority, my family, requires expected and unexpected inputs that make me feel like I’m failing everyone. Never being done and feelings of failure lead to awakening in a minor panic every single day.
Eldest Son ends his high school junior year today. College search time. He’s been so busy with an exciting track season we’ve been unable to engage him in the discussion. What are you looking for? What do you want to avoid? Size? Major? Urban or rural? How far from home?
The answer to all of those questions as recently as 36 hours ago: I don’t know.
Two days at my 25th college reunion only added to my unease about where we are. Friends said, “Oh, Jill, you are way behind at getting him in front of people.” So, I spent Monday filling out athlete questionnaires for schools that may be a stretch athletically and cover the gamut academically. Progress made, and I’m proud Eldest Son has a special talent to (hopefully) attract the interest of a wonderful university. Yet college forms hadn’t been on my list of things to do on Monday. At all. Our family future stumbled forward while I fell farther behind on my other responsibilities. (Why isn’t Eldest Son filling out these forms? Fair question. Anyone who has parented an average seventeen-year-old boy can answer it.)
Interestingly, my latest writing project is New Adult, a genre defined by the college age/recent graduate dilemmas of personal responsibility, change, maturity. I love remembering those days, even the mistakes I made, and, in a sense, reliving them through my character, Violet. All motion was forward back then. All possibilities stood open, and it is an exciting period to capture in a character’s life.
I need to remember as long as the general trend is positive and not 180 degrees opposite of my long-term aim, things aren’t so bad. Recall, when I worry about launching this website and whether the book cover is right and WHEN!?!? will I finish editing, a year ago, the book wasn’t written, so even when I’m falling behind, I’m falling forward. Just because I now have these other human beings to launch, and many small acts to perform on their behalves, I shouldn’t feel more behind. I try to savor these days because soon my sons’ day-to-day lives will be off my radar, and I’ll be sitting here with only my hubbie, my blog and my characters for company.
So, today is the day that I fell farther behind while trusting my path continues forward. Plus, I’m dragging Younger Son, pictured above, to all of Eldest Son’s college visits so two years from now he will know exactly where he wants to go and save me this agony!