Anne has her nose to the grindstone – something her editor is probably happy to hear.
But other times I, at least, have a regrettable propensity for just wallowing right where I am. And often the weather has little to do with it. I’m stuck, and that’s all there is to it.
At least that’s the way I’ve interpreted it.
But a couple of winters ago, when a new lack-of-drainage system caused our street to flood regularly, then freeze over and, in so doing, freeze the cars right where they were parked (no, we don’t have garages. This is a pre-garage neighborhood. When these houses were built streetcars were the favored mode of transportation.) It wasn’t a matter of metaphorically being stuck. It was for real!
And we groused about it. A lot. And then we went to the city hall, bearing pictures of the new ice floes on our street, requesting that they take action against the cause of the ice floe. And I felt indignant and virtuous – and, mind you, still stuck at the same time. I also griped about it a lot. I was, I admit, relishing my ‘stuck-ness’ to a certain degree. Here was something that was wrong and that I had done everything I could do about, and it still wasn’t budging (ice in January and February where we live, generally doesn’t).
And I was re-hashing it all for the umpteenth time, and one of my sons (to whom I was doing the rehashing) said, “Can you do anything else to change it?”
And I said, “No.”
And he said, “Well, then, you should probably just move on.”
Out of the mouths of sons . . .
He was right then. I gave it about two minutes though, decided there was no point in the rehashing, that if something came along that I could actually do, I would do it – and then I moved on. I stopped fretting about it. I stopped talking about it. And in spring, the city came and did something about it. And that was that.
It was a salutary reminder of the things we can change, how much we can change them, and how little value there actually is in feeling indignant and put-upon. I’m keeping that as my motto these days. I am trying to do what I can to ameliorate things. And then I’m moving on. I’m not wallowing in the feeling of helplessness. I’m picking myself up, dusting myself off, and moving on.
When my current book threatens to derail – which it has done more than once – I’m doing what I can day-after-day. And I’m not wallowing where we’re stuck. Every morning, I get up and write. I move on. And if it turns out not to be the right words, I throw them out and write new ones the next day. I do what I can do. But I’m not saying, “This isn’t working!” and banging my head against the computer. I’m just trying different stuff. Someday something will work. And moving on will have helped.
That’s my new year’s resolution, I guess. Do you have any good ones for this year? Please share.