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Losing My Mind in 5, 4, 3, 2...

It's been about two and a half months since I wrote anything other than lists, lunch box notes, absence excuses, a couple IG posts and some random scribbles in my bullet, list and gratitude journals. I scrapped the diet when my mom broke her hip and my aunt got pneumonia a month ago, and stress and lack of sleep got the best of me. Plus the whole gallon of water thing when you're using hospital restrooms all day? Nope.

Wanna know a secret?  Still the same weight. It's a mystery.

Onto today.......

Today, I have the enormous luxury of letting the stream of shit that's been clogging up my brain, heart and soul for these many weeks drain through my fingers.

A few months ago I entered my book into a memoir contest. Cheryl Strayed was the judge, and since Cheryl Strayed is my imaginary BFF, I was certain (like really C E R T A I N) that it would win. So certain that I stopped writing query letters, quit trying to build my platform, stopped editing and rewriting, and just waited for the book deal to arrive in my inbox.

Well, I didn't win. You're probably not surprised, but I'm embarrassed at how devastated I was. Sad, worthless, why-do-I-bother devastated.Sit-in-the-bathtub-and-sob devastated. Never-going-to-write-again devastated.

Most of us have felt that sort of disappointment a time or two. Also, full disclosure. if I wasn't already sad, exhausted and overwhelmed with life--a little hungry too--it probably wouldn't have been so devastating, but...I was. And it was. My daughter and spiritual master said, "Writing is hard when life is overwhelming you."

Writing helps me make sense of things, but I have an underlying expectation that my writing has to be more than just what it is. My inner critic tells me if I'm not published and getting paid regularly to write, then it's not enough. It's a waste. Because of that voice, I'm always trying to validate my writing. And if I'm being really honest, I guess validating my writing is an attempt to validate my existence.

Anyway, then I listened to a podcast in which my other spiritual master, Anne Lamott, said, "No one cares if you write."

True dat.

When I write and share things, it's usually so someone will say, "Me too," or "I get that," or "Here's how I dealt with that." But if I never wrote anything again, the world would keep turning, and the only person affected would be me because above anything else, I write to stay sane. To get all the crap out of my head so I can think clear...ish...ly.

So here's where I am with all of this bullshit--today, anyway:

I wrote a book. If only 5 people ever read it, I still wrote a book. I'm an introvert--INFJ to be precise--so I don't care much for being out in the world. I don't like small talk or crowds or strangers or loud--or repetitive--noises. I'm perfectly content staying in my house all day and not talking to anyone except my kids and dog and cats. I mean, I'll text all day, but a conversation with my voice--once a week? Or less. Please.

While I'm scheduling that conversation, I'm looking at the calendar and realizing my son graduates in just over a month. (If you give a moose a muffin...) I don't want to waste any time that I can be watching baseball or listening to him describe a video game or making him talk me down from a ledge about ALL THE SHIT HE HAS TO DO FOR COLLEGE THAT'S OVERWHELMING ME but doesn't overwhelm him at all.

Someone asked me the other day, "How are you doing with Peyton graduating?" Hmmmmmm, about as well as I did with him going to kindergarten. Except that he's not going to come home every afternoon. In other words: I'm a fucking mess.

All that said, for now, I'm done trying to publish a book or build a platform. The last month or so without Facebook has been really peaceful so...onward and upward. I'm not going to delete it, because there was that one day I had to ask about road conditions, and it will save me time inviting people to Peyton's graduation party.

And as for writing? Well, I'm just going to write. Sometimes getting paid, sometimes not. Sometimes getting validated, sometimes not. Maybe getting published someday and maybe not. Because no one cares if I write...except me.


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