Thursday, October 6, 2011

I QUIT! again......

Courtesy S. Squires

Did you know 95% of Pastors resign between Sunday night and Monday morning? I have this knowledge because my family includes a goodly number of men of the cloth. I grew up surrounded by preachers and missionaries. Most of them just do it in their heads until the day the thought becomes action. So, the general public really doesn't know that the 'weekly resignation' is an inside joke between preachers.

Writers are, I think, a lot like preachers. I'm pretty convinced most of us quit every time we send off a query, post a blog entry, or submit an article for publication. Maybe we grow out of that sense of panic after enough experience. Maybe the ones who were not born fraidy cats never feel the agony and ecstasy of that kind of terror.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
I did it again last night. I re-read what I had posted. I immediately decided that this project was worse than that dream folks have where they find themselves in a public place without the benefit of clothes. So, I quit. Closed up my computer and swore not to pick it up again no matter how much cheap chocolate you offered me.

Thankfully (I think), I had a long overdue session with my counselor on retainer today. In a former career, she was an English teacher whose students won national awards. She was the one that set events in motion so that I ended up at the writer's conference this last May. Needless to say, she talked me down off the ledge I had perched on to commit literary suicide...for today. There's always tomorrow.

I told her that the last 24 hours have been like a 1-2 knockout punch. Every fraidy cat nerve I have has been on edge re Son #1's halfway 'round-the-world adventure. Things have gone exceedingly well till yesterday. In fact, I had actually settled down enough to begin enjoying the adventure. Ha! Just when you let your guard down, the fraidy cats launch a full tilt offensive attack! Between my anxiety about writing combined with my fears for him, I felt like Mohammed Ali had taken a go at me.

 Courtesy C. Hooker
The combined effects of communication logistics and a 2nd round of delayed jet lag affecting Son #1's mood were enough to send me over the friady cat edge never to return. 

My counselor has done a good job the last few months. I am sure because I was able to talk myself down out of a full blown panic panic attack. But, it was a close call involving tears on my pillow and the loving prayers, coo's, and clucks of half a dozen mother hen-like friends of mine. What? You don't think I ride this roller coaster alone, do you? No sir. I drag friends along with me! Not to mention as many blog readers as I can entrap as well!

Courtesy J. Paine
Once I calmed down enough not to need smelling salts, the counselor and I talked a bit about the masks we wear. We hopped from there to fact that every human on the planet has some sense of being an outsider....even the ones who seem to have it all.

I got home and found a note from a friend who thanked me for addressing the sense of being an outsider who can never get in step with those around me. Apparently, if I am to believe the counselor and this friend, I'm not as weird as I think I am. Furthermore, taking the risk of emotional 'nekkid-ity', as my toddlers used to call nakedness, reaped a few benefits for others.

So, for one more night, I'm going to keep on keeping on...and hope you will see it as a victory on behalf of those trying to evict inner fraidy cats everywhere. I did not die of fear today. Between my fear of writing failure and my fears for Son #1's great intercontinental adventure, I felt I might need a defibrillator most of the day. But, I'm still here. Weak, exhausted, worn out, cellulite infused. But, I'm here.

Courtesy Gotcha, Queensland, AU
Guess what happened? At the cusp of where our yesterday met tomorrow, the phone rang. It was Son #1 calling from his today to tell us the world was looking up and to give us a bit of info about his own perplexities. In a few seconds, we all realized that a communication snafu had caused most of his frustrations. While we were on the phone, the snafu was identified, and his frustration and loneliness turned to lighthearted laughter.

It has been the day that seemed it would never end. Literally, just as it ended, fear turned to laughter and relief. Growing up on the inside is not for fraidy cats. But, in the end, it is a beautiful thing. 

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
Isaiah 43:19 (Bible in Basic English)
See, I am doing a new thing; now it is starting; will you not take note of it? I will even make a way in the waste land, and rivers in the dry country.

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