These days my body may be present, but my mind is most often found dreaming amongst old black and white photographs, my eyes squinting over the tiny print of weathered newspapers from the 1800’s, my fingers galloping over computer keys as I transcribe story after story in preparation for the first draft of my history book.
Life thought it would be hilarious to choose this time for me to receive word that I need to gather documents, paperwork, and police checks for round two of my Australian Visa, file taxes in both America and Australia, and get a stack of new (and very welcome!) writing assignments. It’s pure craziness around here, but I’m so thankful for the work and such a peaceful place to get it all done in.
With everything piling up at once, I’ve been struggling with fear. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of my body giving out before I’ve done everything I need to. So I loved reading this passage by Neil Gaiman today:
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
Especially this line: “Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is.”
Such words take all the stress out of me and help me breathe again, help me focus and just do the next thing the best way I know how.
So I get up early and make time to write and think and read just for me.
I go for a walk every day.
I make food that is both delicious and nourishing: roasted carrots, pulled pork, fresh strawberries, homemade bread.
I yank myself out of writer mode to give Bear hugs and share cuppas and go see the projects he’s been working on.
I connect with people I love, even if it’s just a one sentence email or a quick phone call.
It makes me smile.