A few weeks ago I was with a group of friends at a race track, and we were getting to watch the simulcast of the Kentucky Derby when tragedy struck. An elderly woman at the table next to ours was chatting with one lady in our group when she dropped dead. Literally.
Our waitress told us the woman had been battling cancer and this was her first outing in a while. The family were regulars and she loved coming to the track. I took comfort from that information. The woman was enjoying a relaxing afternoon with her family and friends, doing what she loved to do. Later we learned she suffered a brain aneurism.
But the incident’s been sticking with me. This year I haven’t been writing for all sorts of reasons and excuses. Then Mother’s Day arrived, and I spent the day with other friends who have also lost their mothers. We recounted favorite tales about our moms, and I was reminded how much my mother believed in my writing. She was my biggest fan, and I knew she would grieve that I wasn’t writing.
On the heels of Mother’s Day is my birthday this weekend and later this year I’ll be celebrating my 25th anniversary with the company I work for. Hmm. I think life’s trying to tell me something and the lines are converging.
My takeaways? Life is short; I’ve forgotten to write for the sheer joy of writing; I’m at a turning point.
So this week I’ve been cleaning and organizing the house, trying to bring order to my personal space. I’ve placed a photo of Mom on the table where I usually write. Come tomorrow my birthday gift to myself will be to put my butt in the chair and my hands on the keyboard with no plan or forethought. What comes out may be garbage, but I decided I’m not going to care so long as there are words on the pages. We’ll see how it goes.
I’ve always said I’ve never wanted to live life with regrets. It’s just too damn short. When you hit a dry or uncertain spell, what do you draw on for motivation?
Carol StephensonJustice At All Costs
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