“Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.”Hermann Hesse
I find meaning in the quote that pops up on my morning dashboard and symbolism and security in the hawk that flies low and right over me in the middle of a winter storm. These moments and observations can inspire me to write, cause me to pause, or simply say a pray for an intention or one of gratitude.
Nevertheless, sometimes I fail to see my own signs. Signs that shout “Karen, slow down” or “Stop obsessing”. When eyes start to twitch from too little sleep, legs start to ache from no yoga or running, and jaws and gums hurt from grinding teeth my body is signaling to me that something is off.
Most days when I look in the mirror I see someone different than what others see. People will tell me my hair looks nice when all I see is a frazzled woman with a frizzy head of hair in desperate need of a haircut and color. That was different last Saturday when I saw a frustrated reflection in the mirror in unison with friends. Meribeth told me to “stop obsessing”, Marc wrote just enjoy it, Dale said forgive yourself, and David Sedaris said write and fail and write again.
There’s liberation in failure and joy in its release. There’s also fear of the consequence of being truthful. What’s next? Not day 38 of 122 or whatever number is correct. Unlike 2017, when I pledged to write 90 days and did it, my December 1, 2018 goal of 120 days was unanchored. Like playing cards, I upped my game, just for the sake of upping it. And I’m writing tonight to state, I fold.
That goal, while it motivated me to re-commit to writing, it wasn’t enough. I don’t crave a medal for writing for 120 consecutive days. I crave a medal for writing from my heart, being truthful, and being authentic.
With failure there were accomplishments:
- I again created space for writing
- I had fun with prompts
- I let my fingers take random thoughts and build stories
- I reconnected with fellow bloggers and friends
- Thanks to Dale’s Advent challenge I met some new bloggers, too
- I affirmed my love of writing
- I renewed my confidence
- I used my voice
- I accepted that writing every day doesn’t have to mean right here on Table for One.
Two weeks ago, we went out to dinner for my mom’s birthday and her friend Meribeth joined us. Jennine was the only sibling missing. I sat across from my brother Brian and we recounted some childhood memories at Meribeth’s summer cottage, one of which included the poster on the side of the refrigerator; there was an illustration with a huge funnel of lemons and the words: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
My modern day take on that, “When life is a shit show, live in your truth, and you won’t get stinky.” And that is a fragrant lesson.