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One week ago, I started a 6-month coaching program with Mel Robbins. In order to have a place to plant the coaching, all participants are obliged to choose a 30-day project. Because I want and need to write again regularly (and because I need more fun in my life), the project I created is to write and publish a brand-new piece of writing every day for the next 30 days.

Last night, while on another marathon phone call with my friend, Susan, I started riffing on something that sounded like it would be a compelling opening volley. “I could write about that,” I said, all enthusiastic-like. “Yes, you definitely should, Sandra!” she enthused back.

At 8:00 tonight, I have no idea what “that” was. But I can assure you, it would’ve engaged you plenty. This morning, while swimming my daily mile, three or four more poppin’ ideas stepped forth, all of which have now become cumulus clouds.

But I made a promise to myself, didn’t I, and I intend to keep it.

Right now, it’s 8:30 p.m. I’m tired after a 12-hour day of doing whatever. Now is not writing time. Now is tv time. Now is SUCCESSION time or WARRIOR time. Now is couch time and the promise of visions of sugar plums dancing in my head.

I chose this project because it was time for me start writing regularly again. To start sharing my writing again. To start showing up again as a writer. Did I have writer’s block? Nope, no I didn’t, ’cause there’s no such thing. I always figure that in the periods when I’m not writing, I’m always preparing for the time when I’ll write again. Don’t get me wrong; I have been doing some writing, just not regularly. My passion and purpose had turned into a happenstance pastime.

Nope. Today was the day when I would start writing and publishing again.

I envisioned sitting down early in the day, cranking out a captivating piece from that forgotten list of forgotten topics, posting it, then getting on with my day.

Instead, dusk was rapidly walking up the driveway when I finally sat down to compose something. First though, I had to dust the cobwebs off my website which hasn’t seen hide nor hair of me for about four years. “You never call. You never write,” she complained once I was able to see the bloodshot whites of her eyes again.

Next, I was confronted by a foreign beast called a “block editor”. What? No, I can’t explain it. All I know is that the easy editor I cut my teeth on was gone until I googled, “where the hell is the old WordPress editor” and I was directed to just download the “classic” plugin. Otherwise, I might have needed the next 30 days to learn how to use something I didn’t want to learn how to use.

It’s now dark in my living room and I’m about to finish what I might discern a rather mundane piece of writing. Then I remember Mel Robbins’ sterling counsel to  high-five myself for every effort, large or small – a major feat for a “perfectionist” who expects everything to be great.

Current circumstances, timing, aging, death, growing up (finally) are teaching me how to take it easy on myself; to stop diminishing my efforts and instead, to simply show up and share myself and my gifts.

Probably 35 years ago, I was perusing a warmly-welcoming, tony clothing boutique in Virginia- Highlands. Not being able to afford anything in there didn’t stop me from enjoying touching the fabrics and marveling at the unique designs and workmanship.

On my way out, I was magnetized to the counter by the register where sat a box of the most charming and subtly-handcrafted pins I’d ever seen. Each one had only one word engraved upon it and I think they were about 40 bucks apiece. I stood there for awhile, keeping company with those pins, picking several of them up to enjoy their sweet workmanship, all the while engaged in conversation with the store clerk and a customer who was checking out.

All checked out and ready to go, that customer’s final act before leaving the store was to face me, and, with a beaming smile on her face, place in my hands one of those enchanting pins.

BEGIN, it said.

And now, here I am, sitting in the dark at 9:27 p.m., fully BEGUN – just when I thought I was going to abandon myself once again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penultimate

Earlier today, after sharing a lengthy conversation with a man and his wife at Alon’s,  swapping stories of caregiving, death,

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