Yesterday was a great day, the kind that built up my confidence that I am on the right path for me, and encouraged me to stop looking to my left and to my right and comparing myself to others. The day began with our local mom's group, and I knew that an author who had written a book about managing money as a mom was coming to share. In typical fashion, I was instantly jealous, and told myself that she probably had kids that were older than mine, and therefore had more time to write and secure a publishing deal.
Wrong. Her kids are younger than mine, and this caused a mild panic attack. Why am I so slow? Look at how other people are accomplishing things and I'm being left behind! Jealousy is an insidious animal which can wreak havoc with our goals and confidence, if we will allow it to. I listened to her speak, and saw her book, and realized that we are on totally different roads, and I can't panic when someone else is ahead of me on the publishing journey.
I have plans, and steps outlined to accomplish those goals, and the very nature of slowly walking this road has many sweet rewards. It's not a fluke, or luck, but it's hard work, and the journey is long but filled with moments of pure joy and delight, and I'm trying to celebrate each milestone as it happens, on the way to my longest-held dreams coming true.
I left our mom's group and dropped by the studio of a local photographer who I respect and admire for his artistic abilities as well as his business acumen. He is a visionary in his field, and his willingness to take risks inspires me. We had a fun social media photo session, and when I went to pick up William from preschool my head was whirling with new business ideas. I love having more ideas than time to accomplish them because I will have more time in my future, and I'm slowly understanding that doing things later is okay too. It's not an urgent rush.
In the afternoon, I figured out the Paypal "Buy Now" buttons for my blog site, and being somewhat lame when it comes to html codes, I was impressed that I figured this out without any help. When the buttons were up, I sat back and realized the joy that having a book to sell brings. It is step one of the very long journey of building a career as a writer. I don't want to think book by book, or script by script, or story by story. I'm thinking about a career, and building that brick by brick is slow but satisfying, and each step is important.
I took the kids to swimming lessons right before dinner, and loved watching them bloom in the water like flowers, coming into their confidence in a way that was inspiring to watch. I felt settled and happy as I observed them in the water, recognizing that the elusive balance was at play on this day, and these moments, for I was giving my kids the best of me, and also pursuing my career dreams at the same time. That is the goal, and I often miss it by feeling resentful and knowing that I'm missing the mark, but when the gears are turning smoothly, and everyone is happy, it's certainly something to celebrate.
In the evening, I attended a meeting at our high school designed to solicit feedback from community members on how our schools can better integrate into the community, and vice versa. I get so much from these kinds of meetings. The ideas were flowing, and there was a lot of positive energy in the room. I love being part of a community which keeps the needs of our children at the forefront in planning for the future. When the meeting was over, I spoke to the principal about coming in and talking to the English classes about writing and trying to inspire kids that a career in the arts is possible. I'm looking forward to giving something back and investing in the future of our children.
I came home from the meeting, feeling inspired and happy, and received an e-mail saying that my first e-book of blog posts had been purchased. I will never forget how I felt at that moment. It was like standing on solid ground, and knowing that it's all going to work out the way it is meant to, and there are no rigid timelines that I must adhere to. I've spent so much time rushing around, trying to be first, that I missed the beauty of being the tortoise instead of the hare. I'm not competing with anyone, not even myself, and I will enjoy the sensation of walking this road, and enjoying the scenery, and not worrying about what everyone else is doing.