This little guy showed up outside my office window yesterday morning. Perfect timing for Mother Nature to remind me that persistence is the key to achieving your goals.
You see, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to having a somewhat hard to shake case of the blues, lately. Last week was spring break for my school district. A week I look forward to for the simple fact that eight hours of my day can be spent on writing. I look forward to days off for precisely this purpose. I had a list of accomplishments I’d hoped to achieve by the waning hours of Sunday evening. Unfortunately, life had other plans, and I have very few check marks on my To-Do list.
I’ve been fighting some weird illness for over a week now. Nothing major, mind you. Just cough, fatigue, random bouts of light-headedness… You get the picture. It started the Thursday before break and in spite of the antibiotic I’ve been on ever since, I’m still not my normal productive self. And the fact is, it’s wearing on me.
An entire week I could have spent polishing my manuscript, finalizing plot lines, and beefing up characters and conflict was instead spent in a ridiculous state of frustration because my body couldn’t keep up with the whims of my mind. It’s been a fruitless week.
But as I reflect on the past week, and watch my wood-pecking friend as he drills mercilessly through hardened bark to get whatever juicy morsel is hiding inside, I’m reminded of something important. Those extra blessed days of no school tossed in here and there are not what will make or break my future writing career. It is how I handle myself around that day job that makes the difference. My mystery illness will eventually dissipate and life will again revolve around school day schedules, homework, lesson planning, and trips to my daughter’s riding lesson barn. And I’ll find a way to make it work.
On Monday, I will trek back to school. I will do my best to leap feet first into my school time routine. My alarm will ring at 3:00 AM and I will slog downstairs to my coffee and computer. I will plunk out as much coherent text as I possible in those early morning hours of solitude. (I don’t even think my feathered friend gets a start that early.)
Perhaps that was what I was missing over the course of the past week. That element of satisfaction that comes from those early mornings spent at my computer. As I wipe the sleep from my eyes each morning, I know that what I’m doing is worth it. I know that someday not long from now I will be thankful for the ability to force my eyelids open at such an hour. I will be thankful for the persistence it takes to do that every morning. And I won’t beat myself up for those random days off that end fruitlessly.
I’ll just focus ahead and keep writing.
What do you do to shake off the blues?