A Post By JonathanDo you enjoy reveling in other people's failures? Does it make you feel better knowing that you're not the only one who can't deliver on a promised project or deadline? Well then, this post's for you! Grab some popcorn, take a seat and read away.
I would like to preface this by saying that things have been crazy nuts in my house lately. My wife, who makes a ton more money than I do, has been dealing with all sorts of nuttiness at work, including a new boss, mutinous employees, and a disgruntled-job-applicant-turned-stalker who got turned down for a job she was hiring for. Just before the shiest schlug den fan, as they say in Germany, she turned down a pretty good job in another state, which she has since begged to have back, which has resulted in even more instability in our lives and a preemptive For Sale sign in our front yard. Suffice it to say, its has basically fallen to me to hold the family together, which means lots of time spent with the toddler and even more time with a drink in my hand (sometimes two!) talking my wife off the ledge. And I've also been applying to tons of new jobs in said other state and even a PhD program as a backup.
#firstworldproblems, I know. But being the sympathetic creative that I am -and someone who relies on routine above all else to get things done- my writing has totally tanked. I signed up for NaNoWriMo, but I think I ended up with a whole 250 words written on my Alpha Smart before I stalled out. Falling 49,750 words short, I most decidedly did not win NaNoWriMo. I also failed to meet another writing commitment in the month of November, a short story I was supposed to write for that contest I won a couple months ago. I ended up just recycling an old story I wrote for the same contest, about eight years ago, and I've been basically hiding out afraid to check the site because I'm pretty sure someone will call me out on it. In fairness, since I wrote the parameters for the contest, I kind of left the door open for such a scenario, seeing as my previous story met the requirements and I never said you couldn't recycle old ones... But I had always planned to write a new story and keep some momentum going.
I guess sometimes life gets in the way. And you know what? That's okay. Nothing bad happened to me or is going to happen to me. Sure, some people may think a little less of me, but whatever. You know how many people there are in the world? A lot. I have my health, I have my family and I'll be back to fight again another day. It just sucks that I didn't meet the goals I set out for myself. But you know what else? I hit other goals. Goals I didn't even know I was going to have when I set the others. I wrote three or four cover letters for jobs I didn't really want to apply to and I wrote a five page statement of purpose and research proposal for a PhD application I may not even have an opportunity to pursue. I did write. Just not the stuff I love to write.
Sometimes things come up and you have to switch priorities midstream. What you don't want to do is put that negative crap in your backpack and carry it around with you for the rest of your life. Forgive yourself, move on and just try harder the next time. Because someday things will slowdown and you'll retire and you'll have more time to write or do whatever you want with your life and things will be great. Until then, Keep Calm and Carry On, as they say in the UK.
Whewww... I feel better. Thanks for reading, and I hope you feel better too!