Wednesday, January 27, 2010

If It Was Easy, or Going on a Roadtrip

Today I wish things were easier. I've got a couple of things I'm trying to do and all of them are hard and take a lot of work and effort. For instance, on Monday, the CWC gave me a full manuscript critique. They all had good, solid comments that will help me make the Cass book better. But, it's going to take work. There's a lot to do.

Between that and other things, there's a part inside of me that's starting to whine. It's crossed its arms, plopped down in the corner, and is scowling out at me saying "It's hard! I don't wanna do this any more." That's the little kid in me who's overwhelmed and impatient. That's the part of me that sits in the back seat and keeps saying, "Are we there yet? Why aren't we there yet? Are we ever gonna get there?" even though we've just pulled out of the driveway.

Some days, my inner impatient kid has a really loud voice and today is one of them. That makes today a mediation on being a grown up. In my kindest, gentlest tone, I have to remind the kid that we'll get there when we get there. Maybe there are detours, and yes, it was really frustrating when the tire blew out and stranded us on the side of the road for hours during a July heatwave, but tires can be mended and sometimes detours turn into the highlights of the trip. We'd never have had lunch at that wonderful cafe if we had stayed on the planned route.

My inner kid is still feeling cranky and wishes we were there NOW. But, it's the grown up who's driving, and it's the grown up who knows how good it's going to feel to finally get to our destination. That first step out of the car once you're there, that's what it's all about. You finally get to relax because you've arrived. Now it's time to stretch your legs, see the sights, and take photos. Years later, it's the photos that stay with us, not the hours in the car.

The thing is, there have been things that have come easily to me. Not many, mind you, but a few here and there. The thing is, it's just like the psychologists say, when it's easy, we have a hard time appreciating it as much. Note all the lotto winners who are bankrupt two years later.

I have to remind my inner little kid that the important things are supposed to be hard. The difficulty is what makes us treasure them all the more.

Even so, there's nothing wrong with making an extra stop from time to time to bribe that kid with some ice cream.


Jenny said...

Ice cream is definitely needed occasionally. Or more often. Once you've done something hard, you do need a break, otherwise it feels too, way too, overwhelming. That's why taking a break between finishing a novel and then revising it, and then revising it again, is the most quoted advice. You just need to break--at least from that. Go do something small.

Debbie said...

Ice cream? We get ice cream?

Jenny's right--isn't she always? Breaks are good. I think the short story contest you were talking about is perfect. Maybe do a couple more of those. A few poems. Character sketches that may or may not lead somewhere. Play with writing for a while.

Ali said...

I'm thinking tomorrow might be a good day for ice cream.

Lee Ee Leen said...

ice cream is good writers- you can't eat it quickly so it encourages thought and contemplation