One of the benefits of publishing in today’s milieu is that book length is no longer as rigid it was in the days of print-only, trad-only publishing. Especially in the case of ebooks, where length is measured in time needed to read a book, rather than its physical bulk. If a writer is inspired to […]
In honor of my ten thousandth view on my blog, I’m going to present a small excerpt from my upcoming book I’m writing. You see, I’m not really a writer or a blogger. I don’t know “the rules” or how to market it to make money. I write for sanity. For peace. For understanding. The fact that so many (or even one!) people and persons came along and read it, is amazing to me. I started writing because I read this book called “Unhooked” by Annie Highwater and was so intrigued at the book writing process from just a normal mother, that I contacted her. She encouraged me to write some “articles”. I thought, “articles?”What about? What are my qualifications? Who will read them? So I got to work on learning and revamping this blog which I originally started in 2012 when blogging was prime.
It was difficult to figure out, as this 54-year-old brain isn’t tech-nerdy at all, but I did it. (and I do it all pretty much on my phone, not a computer!) I still haven’t written true articles unless you count the Elephants Journal and Medium. Then again I’m not a photographer but I still photograph. I photograph for me. So I wrote for myself. Then I found that I loved to share what I learned so here we are.
Thank you. Thank you for reading and for giving me feedback and pointers too.
After a year, I still feel like I’m just getting started. I guess you could say I’m unfinished. Like the houses in my pictures below.
I spotted these houses when my husband and I were coming back from looking at the beautiful pink sand beaches near us, which I wrote about here. The houses on the left seem to be further along. They all have their siding on to cover up their bare wood. But they are just as empty inside as the ones on the right. It even looks there’s a jealous unfinished one in the back row looking obviously at the “finished” ones.
How often do we look at someone else on social media or in our families and think what wonderful lives they have. If we are going through a particularly rough patch, or one that goes on for years -such as a loved one’s drug addiction; we can start into a real pity party spin.
But we don’t have to. We can look at our journey like these houses, they are just in different stages of development and one isn’t “further along” than another if you look at the end goal – which is to have all of them refined, refreshed, cleaned, and new, ready to meet their new families. I guess you could say God is refining you, not by torture but by gently guiding you to your best life, to the best place you can be in, a place of Love, A place of peace, no matter what is going on outside.
Those of us who have lived with addiction before covid, know what fear and chaos is. We know what's it's like to not know what tomorrow will bring. We know how to investigate and make decisions that will benefit our day-to-day survival. So maybe our "training" was good for something even though we would rather not have had it.
Last year in my quest for understanding about my son’s addiction, I came across this video from The Piano Guys. It shook me up inside for reasons I explain in the book I’m writing. As I was being blown away by this beautiful sonata and what the words to the song meant to me; I read this comment by one of the members of the Piano Guys, Steven Sharp Nelson.
"OK. Vulnerable time. I had a very emotional experience atop the half-built building you see near the end. It was so beautiful to play cello there. As we were playing this song over and over again while we filmed, I thought about its meaning. I thought about where I was in my life emotionally. I expect a lot from myself. I always have. Often I expect too much. I admit it. And when I don’t reach the zenith of those expectations I can be pretty hard on myself. If ever there was incarceration for self-abuse perpetrators, I’d be prisoner of the month. As I was thinking about how much I still need to build in my life, a very strong impression came to me. Has that ever happened to you? When you feel an impulse that prompts thoughts that don’t feel like “normal thoughts.” They feel weightier, with more perspective or profundity than the average passing notion -- the same way a good bridge elevates a song by throwing you from a repetitive verse and chorus regimen. These are thoughts that teach you rather than learn from you.
I had such a moment. They don’t come that often, but when they do I try my best to listen and learn. The impressions persuaded me to look at my life from the top of a half-built building. Figuratively and literally. I began to think that maybe I spend too much of my life in the bottom floors of my life’s construction project -- that I fuss over the mess of my jobsite, I fret over the lack of finishes -- the ugly marred subflooring or the exposed metal framing. I berate myself for being way behind in the building process. I was taught that I needed to ascend more often to the top floor. Where there’s a view of how far I’ve come, how high part of my building has reached. And most importantly, where there’s an incredible view of the sunset, reminding me that tomorrow is another day and that I should keep building one day at a time. I totally embarrassed myself as I shed tears, trying to describe these “elevated thoughts” to the site’s supervisor after we had finished filming and I was thanking him for the opportunity they had given us to give visual meaning to the music.
So I guess for me, and perhaps for anyone listening, that could be a takeaway. You don’t have to live your life on floor one. Or floor two or three. Or on any floor that isn’t yet completed. It will get there one day. And so will you. Don’t worry that the building next door is at floor 10. Just take a trip to your top however often you need and watch the sun set on all that you’ve strived to accomplish. Remember that there is Someone who built that sunset for you. And He doesn’t care how high your building is, just that you’re willing to keep building. And He says you’re plenty high enough for Him to see."- Steven Sharp Nelson
I’m being vulnerable here also and I understand if this doesn’t resonate with everyone or even anyone, but that day was a pivotal time in my journey through the pain of my son’s addiction. I was awestruck to realize that he was still precious and loved, in the eyes of God. It was such a good lesson because at that time I was about ready to kill him!
It also helped me see that I was unfinished also. That I was still learning and growing.
My message today is if this “non- writer”, grandma of 54 years young, mother of a very loved person with substance use disorder can hit 10 k views then what can YOU possibly do too? Anything.