You're not getting any younger!
As the sun poked through my bedroom this morning, I was reminded that today was the beginning of another year for me. Now, that has been true every other morning, as well, but since today is my birthday, I get my own personal ball-dropping dose of reality. I've been hanging around this planet for a whole 38 years, and I'm still not finished with my first novel! Or my second! And what about all of those magazine articles I was supposed to write?
I'm not going to beat myself up about it: It's my birthday, after all, and I have a strict no-self-flagellation policy on such occasions. I am, however, going to use the opportunity to reflect and celebrate. Would you like to come along?
"May the fourth be with you, too!"
Gifts: We know that each day is a gift. If we take a moment to open up our eyes at how quickly a life can end or take a disastrous turn, we'll see that we should treasure the present. So, how are we treating this gift? Are we pushing it off in a corner, wishing we could return it? If so, you are letting it collect dust. And if it's change you are looking for, it's not going to happen with such stagnation. The gift may not seem perfect, but it's yours to change. You are a creative person, use that creativity to fashion your gift into what suites you best.
Age: Like everybody else, in my mind I'm still 20-something. Thankfully, I'm not 20-something in my brain.
"In youth we learn; in age we understand." --Marie Von Ebner-Eshenbach
I'm pretty happy to be at my current maturity level. I'm at a place where I recognize that many of my insecurities are just a waste of time, so it's easier to let the nonsense go, once I realize I'm holding on to it.
A creative life is filled with days of inspiration, weeks of quiet reflection, hours of frustration. No good can be found from plugging those hours into some kind of productivity spreadsheet to determine if your creative life is up to par. What matters is if you are living your creative life in a way that raises your spirit and expresses your world. You may have a burst of bliss in your twenties, only to have your words and ideas simmer on the back burner for years while you shift your creative focus to other parts of your life-- job, family, health. If it finds you again at 60, don't waste time beating yourself up over wasted time. Just use the moments you find yourself inspired to create. Know that there is a reason your life took you away from the paved pathways of the Official Creative Life. The rocky, un-smooth paths we travel on generate a lot more material.
Count Blessings, Not Years: It's easier to count the "things" you have than the things you do not. And once you start adding them all up, you can see how full of abundance your life really is. As a writer, you may limit your creative blessings to published works, or good reviews-- but look at all of the other blessings in your creative life:
- You are able to create. Even if some days it feels like a struggle, you still have the ability.
- You are healthy enough to create. Even if life has handed you challenges, you work around them and do it any way.
- You have the drive to create. Even if you haven't finished (or started) a project, the drive is steering you toward your hopes and dreams. Without hopes and dreams you would be empty. You are not empty, you are, at this moment, full of life and the potential to write your own story.
In case I miss yours, Happy Birthday!
(Am I the only one that wants to respond to birthday wishes with, "You too"?
"Oh, thanks. You too.")