Friday, November 20, 2015

"Adulting" Can Be Overhwelming

     It has  been a while. It isn't that I have nothing to say, more along the lines of it seemed pointless. It was a tenuous dream at best, that of being a "legit" writer. But to feel it slipping away was a real, heavy loss. Especially when it seemed that for all the progress I thought I made, it might really be only a fantasy in my own imagination.
     In June, I was rolling along, much as usual. I had a small speaking engagement for a local theater class. The students were very receptive to my chat about one of my storybooks. Happily, that was the case, since the main class project was a play version of "Emily Cat's Tale." I do wish I could have seen it, but my day job schedule does not currently allow for such luxuries since the bulk of my hours are worked on the weekend, and the show was a Sunday afternoon, which works well for the majority of the population in our area, just not me.
     Then we had the joy, after a suspenseful month of working out details, of having our student return from Ukraine. The month of July flew by. There was so much we wanted to be to do with him, to have him experience, since we knew this would be the last time he could come stay with us as he was ageing out of the system for orphan care.
     We were able to take him to the beach, he jumped off the pier into the big lake, and that memory is on video for him. We took him riding the dunes at Silver Lake, something I had never done before either. We had a graduation party for him and brought all our family and friends together at our house. It was an amazing outpouring of love and generosity. Friends I worked with years ago came bearing gifts and words of encouragement for our young man.
     And then he was gone, and the house seemed smaller, quieter, diminished. And in that silence, another blow was dealt.An email arrived that I almost deleted. I didn't recognize the sender, you see. My publisher for my three storybooks was sold. The status of their digital content is still in question. I am not sure of my storybooks platform, how long they may be available, or if they will cease to exist, much like a dream after waking.
     Four years ago, I was given an amazing opportunity when my first storybook, "Green Goo" was published. It seemed that after decades of work, doors were being opened and everything was falling in place that  I secretly hoped for over the years. And by the end of July, it seemed as if the doors of opportunity were slamming shut in my face.
     And I have to say, it was all too much. Close friends had been struggling with health issues. It is hard too watch friends suffer through death and loss, feeling that there is nothing that you can do to ease their pain in any real way. And then there were the every day disappointments in life like feeling inadequate at my day job and also loosing the narrative thread of current writing projects took me right off track. So I stopped writing anything at all. It seemed like maybe the time had finally come to admit that my time and energy might be better served by letting go of my dreams and waiting to see what might come to fill that space.
     And then the opportunity came to again sponsor a children's gift prize at a world renowned cake competition. I presented the opportunity to my new publisher. And they denied it. With a heavy heart I went to the cake competition program director and explained my situation. And-she helped me come up with a work around. I created coloring packets and a certificate of recognition instead of a gift certificate. She allowed me to promote my books in that coloring packet. I was still able to participate!
     And then she said the best thing she could have said, that next year we will work on this earlier in the season. Such a small thing, and yet it spoke of another year, new possibilities, and not giving up. She mentioned I could use images from her own cake creations in a storybook. If I self publish, then I could do a give away of my own storybook by this time next year.
     The fog began to clear, ideas started to churn through my mind again, much as they used to do, and I wanted to hurry to write them all down. I don't know what will happen, if this can happen, but I do know that I am going to go for it.
     As my overall emotional status has improved, it again allows me to think that anything is possible, that even whatever small gestures we make in gratitude will make a difference. This has allowed me to again embrace all the many things I have to be grateful for such as family, friends, a place to live, work to do, and people to share it with.
     I may not be able to help sponsor a refugee family or take in a foreign orphan this Thanksgiving, but we were able to put together a household care box for our local rescue mission and we will be donating food for their Thanksgiving feast. Small gestures to be sure, but I am again embracing my firm belief that those small gestures can all come together and lead to bigger change for the better. "Adulting" was feeling overwhelming for a while, but I think I am willing to give it another go.