Three years ago I began fireflytrails when I entered into the 2012 March writing challenge at Two Writing Teachers. I am forever grateful for this opportunity to put my thoughts and dreams of writing into action. Nervous and unsure if I could really be that consistent with this task, somehow I have managed to complete the March SOLC for three years as well as offering many Tuesday postings in between. And I have “met” some fellow travelers in this writing journey whose words I crave because they resonate so fully in my own field of thinking. I have been looking forward to this fourth year and am so excited that it has begun.
I knew that the SOLC could offer what I needed to “get back in shape” with my writing routine, and I have been longing to do just that. I haven’t written as much during the past year. There have been reasons:
- sorting through files and memories of 34 years in preparation for last May’s retirement;
- enjoying the privilege of having our daughter Beth and son-in-law Jamie live with us for four months as they remodeled their newly purchased home;
- celebrating the engagement of our son Mark to his fiancé Landon;
- the birth of Beth and Jamie’s first child, our precious granddaughter Madison;
- “working” daily as babysitter and packager for Beth’s stationery and paper business during her busy fall and Christmas season;
- planning a wedding, easy from the groom’s side, and hosting an engagement party for almost one hundred friends to come and share our enthusiasm;
- being diagnosed with breast cancer and having surgery and follow-up radiation treatments;
- serving as the chair of the local Library Foundation board for this year;
- keeping up with the reading that comes with being a member of two book clubs and a weekly Bible study.
So yes, there have been other things going on in my life these last few months. Plenty of reasons why I had not been writing. But truly, they are only excuses. And more importantly, I realized that I had not processed these occasions and activities fully because I had not written about them. In a magical kind of way, writing about my experiences in the past three years has transformed my lists of life events and milestones into a weightier substance that has been absorbed into the fabric of what makes me, me.
But, I tried to rationalize (more excuses), I have been writing in a different kind of way since the beginning of this year. Writing by hand has always proven frustrating for me – instead, I relish being able to write, correct, and reformat my words on the computer. Yet since January 1, 2015, I have been using a journaling devotional book which provides a scripture, a word from the author, and a space for me to handwrite my response to what God is saying to me within that day’s meditations. And I have kept a journal of days, again by hand; brief thoughts on my insights into each day – not a recounting of events but more of a description of feelings and understandings that have manifested themselves along the way.
So I have been doing some writing. Maybe I haven’t done so badly after all, I tried to tell myself. Yet I have run from the accountability that this outlet provides. I have sorely missed the way that putting my ideas into words and then crafting those thoughts further has helped me discover the true essence of who I really am. Honesty has been draped with busy-ness and excuses along the way.
Yes, this is time-consuming, mind-straining, commitment-seeking work. But I feel better already.
And there are so many things waiting in line to be examined and woven more permanently into the tapestry of my life.