Photo: I took my sister to the Discovery Museum on Wednesday because I’m so proud of it and I wanted her to see what all we’ve done. This little sweet display, with the perfect quote I need for my weeks ahead, is tucked away in a corner of the museum reserved for our youngest learners. I love the Museum so much and I’m so proud of the work they do there. First Teacher (which I also champion) was featured in the New York Times this week and the photos for the article were taken at the Discovery Museum! I’m so proud of both organizations! I also learned today that the Discovery Museum was also selected to receive a 2018 John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts LEAD Community Asset Award! I’m writing this all to say: you, too, can feel this pride. Choose to support community organizations that do real work on the ground. They won’t disappoint you.
It was quiet in my house today. Blissfully quiet. My sister hopped on her plane yesterday. The boys had one more day of Scout camp today. I had calls and meetings this morning, and one errand, but then I got back here and it was just… ahhhh. I had time to really sink into my own head. I feel like the house was waiting for this bit of time, too. It felt like it sighed and settled, muffled the sounds from outside. The two of us, we enjoyed the soft, cozy quiet. I broke out this computer and settled in for some thought and some writing.
I didn’t write as much as I wanted to while I was away. The writing that I did do was pretty good and very satisfying, but there isn’t a whole lot to show, and that’s… frustrating. They say to trust the muse, trust the process… well, my muse is kinda fickle right now and my process seems obnoxiously slow. I wrote an email this morning saying that I think I’m ready to give up on this. Time to get a real job and be a responsible adult again. But that didn’t sit right on my shoulders for the rest of the day. It doesn’t feel like the time to give up… not really. I have to recommit to some daily discipline. I have to choose my craft and guard it better.
Maybe that’s what the house knows. Maybe that’s why I was able to sink into the couch, relax into the pure quiet, and get something done. Old ideas whispered invitations for revisiting. New ideas started to bud in mental soil that’s ready to receive and nurture. I made a submission and prepared another submission that I’ll send in before Monday.
On Monday, I’m walking into a classroom again, this time with teens. I’m teaching writing and storytelling at a very posh summer camp for the next three weeks and I’ve got the same butterflies and feelings of impostor syndrome that I had before. I’ve got a lot of work to do to prepare, and I know that a lot of my prep will get thrown at the window once my students walk in. I have to breathe. There is a reason why I’m here. I’m a writer. I’m a teacher. I’m building something new here. It’s going to take time.
And that’s where my Quiet Thoughts are tonight. There is a reason why I’m here. There is a reason why the work is slow, but it’s still good and worth the care. This life is a long, slow build, with dividends paid to the patient and the studious. Success and failure are real, measurable things… but I get to decide what they look like and why. I had an afternoon and it’s like I could hear my muse say, “breathe. It’s worth it. We’re not done yet.”
And I’m going to say that to you, too, Dear Reader. If you’re feeling frustrated or dissatisfied with progress on your challenges and goals, breathe. The work is worth it. You’re not done yet.
I have no idea how my week is going to go next week. Hopefully I’ll have a few funny stories to tell. If posting is wonky, I’m sorry in advance: I suspect I’m going to be tired, at least for those first few days…. but who knows? We’ll see. I’ll keep you posted.
It’s a night for still, humid air. I’m sad we couldn’t see the lunar eclipse here. Ya’ll know how I feel about the moon. Instead, I’m enjoying a little bird song, and the sound of my boys playing (fighting? Wrestling? I’m ignoring the content of the banter). It’s a night for being under the ceiling fan, thanking God for the invention of air conditioning, and looking forward to a weekend of nothing to do but be together and be cool.
On this Friday, I have wishes for you, Dear Reader. I wish you a cool breeze. Seriously! I’ve been in want of one all week! I wish you a cold front that brings storms to listen to, water for your plants, and a whole bunch of cool, crisp air behind it. No more of the soupy humid stuff! I wish you a cold cocktail that’s awesome: like a mojito or something else that’s fun and refreshing. May it a sweet part of a pleasant evening, preferably enjoyed with good, fun company and particularly delicious gossip. I do wish you good gossip this weekend, Dear Reader because, well… it’s a guilty pleasure. Participate with the right sort of spirit: snarky, but not mean. 🙂 I wish you really good music this weekend, preferably performed outside. Classical or jazz or whatever your favorite stuff is. Bring a picnic basic and a blanket and some wine in an insulated cup (that’s a thing, ya’ll, and having used them at the beach, I can fully endorse them as awesome. That’s an affiliate link.) I wish you a great story, told by someone you love. I wish you time to sit with yourself, breathing, spending a moment reconnecting with yourself. It’s hard in a world like this, but such check-ins are important. I know you’re telling people you’re ok, Dear Reader, but really make sure that you know that for yourself. It doesn’t take long. Just a bit of time, a bit of quiet, and the bravery to look within.
I tell you every Friday that you are loved because it’s the truest statement I can possibly write all week. I also write it because this is a world that constantly tells you otherwise. When the world tries to convince you that you aren’t loved, don’t listen. It’s not fair and it’s not right and it’s for damn sure not true.
You, Dear Reader, are loved. What you do in this world matters. You bring to the world certain gifts that are necessary and needed and beloved by the people who know you. By having the courage to be yourself every day, to shine your bright light in the world, you make space for others to do the same. You provide the opportunity for people to be themselves, to shine their own light. You’re setting the example and leading the way, Dear Reader. Don’t forget that. You’re needed. So stay focused, and take care of yourself. Choose to rest when you need to. Choose to fight when you have to. Choose to be yourself all the time, every time.
Until Monday, Dear Reader, shine on and take care.
By the way, a big thank you to whoever has been purchasing my novellas lately. I got a little spike this month and I’m really grateful! If you’ve read my works of fiction and you’ve liked them, please be sure to share and/or leave a review so others can find them, too!