I’m having one of those moments.
One of those "this is crap, who are you trying to kid?!" moments.
One of those "what made you think you could pull this off?" moments.
One of those "this isn’t even close to working so you might as well
go fill out an application at Taco Smell" moments.
I hate these moments.
But I know they always pass.
Especially when I read those vile criticisms aloud in R’s voice.
Okay, now I’m smiling again.
Thanks for listening.
I gotta get back to it.
I’m making progress on a couple fronts:
Number one, thanks to the revolutionaries who responded to yesterday’s post regarding LJ Overwhelm, I’m determined to wash that angst right out of my hair. Thank you, friends!
Number Two, thanks to Wildebeest and Zebu being at camp for ten days I’m getting serious about my revisions. So serious, in fact, that for the last two days (um, that’s counting today) I haven’t turned on my desktop until late afternoon when my writing work was done. What a concept! No internet play until the work is done! Revolutionary!
I can’t read any journals now, though, because I’m off to visit R, but you know what? Even though I’m doing a drive-by post, I don’t feel any guilt at all! Now that’s progress!
And here’s hoping you’re all making headway in your lives and work, too!
Today at the spaghetti dinner I had a conversation with a friend whom I admire in many ways. Big heart. Lots of energy. A recognition that BushCo is a trainwreck of an administration. Well, I made the mistake of letting my curiosity get the best of me and so finally asked what it was she liked about the candidacy of Hillary Clinton that motivated her to place three Clinton signs in her yard.
"I don’t like him," she said. "Because he didn’t put his hand on the bible and he doesn’t put his hand over his heart."
It was as if I was in a haunted house and some creepy, crawly creature jumped out at me; I had no control. I screamed. Because I was horrified to meet someone up close and in person who couldn’t tell me anything positive about her chosen candidate yet was casting a vote against the opposition candidate based on media manipulation and lies. I know plenty of people have done just that in the past seven years or so (for dawg’s sake, 27% still think Bush is doing a heckuva job), but I’ve resigned myself to them being so adamantly ignorant that nothing could blast them into reality. My solace was that the majority of the population would use its brainpower regarding the upcoming election. Wrong.
The whole scene got ugly. Friend got upset. I was embarrassed to have reacted so vocally and apologized profusely. But then it got quieter and the conversation continued. I pointed out Clinton’s vote on the Kyl/Lieberman Amendment which basically lays the groundwork for invading Iran in a repeat of Iraq, and someone else responded with "The U.S. is already the world’s police, so what’s another country?"
I kid you not.
What is there left to say when people put more energy into their ignorance than their awareness?
After the fact I wondered if maybe I could’ve changed their perspectives if I’d mentioned Clinton’s vote against banning land mines.
I’ve mentioned the running group I joined in order to train for the Bolder Boulder 10k on Memorial Day. What I haven’t mentioned is that I’m the oldest in my group. And the slowest.
We’re grouped according to our race day goals and so even though we all hope to run the 6.2 miles in less than 50 minutes, some of us in the Sub 50 group are more sub than others, if you know what I mean.
We do speed workouts on Tuesday evenings and over the past several weeks I began to lose focus of my personal goals because I was too busy comparing myself to the other runners. Instead of listening to my body, I was watching everyone else. In my defense, it’s pretty easy to fall into the comparison trap when you’re continually running behind people.
Epiphany! I realized just thinking about the Tuesday night training was making me anxious and that I could do some of those speed workouts on my own. For instance, last week I ran the tempo workout (intervals) on my treadmill at home and was pleased with my performance.
Tonight’s workout is a three-mile time trial in which we’re supposed to go all out.
Ever since I learned about that time trial, I’ve been a nervous wreck. Each time I thought of it my heart would race and I’d feel awful. There was absolutely no way in hell I was going to do that run with the group. Not only that, I also gave myself permission to skip the run if it was going to cause me too much stress.
But just in case, I had Zippy use this handy tool to map out a three-mile course on the only two (mostly) flat streets in my neighborhood.
This morning I gave myself a talking-to complete with the declaration that all I really needed to do was run three miles and that it would just be a bonus if I ran them speedy-quick. No pressures.
Guess what? I ran three miles! Speedy-quick!
Three miles in my time. Who cares how fast all those young things run tonight? Not me.
I’ve set a running goal for myself to place in the top fifteen in my age group this Memorial Day in the Bolder Boulder 10k. I’m dedicated to making that happen; I participated in a winter training group and am now in a 10k spring training program. I’m following the weekly workouts. I have a coach available to answer questions and boost my morale when necessary. I’m confident I’m going to reach my goal.
And now I’m trying to figure out how this whole confidence thing works. The good thing about running is the results are objective; the clock doesn’t lie. So when I’m running intervals until my lungs burn I try to remember that the pain is an investment in my 10k performance, and I push on through. But it’s more difficult pushing myself in the writing life. Lately as I work on revisions, it’s easy to falter and second-guess. I know my writing has improved in the ten-plus years since I began my first novel but instead of measuring up against a stop watch, my performance is evaluated by editors. So far I haven’t placed, much less in the top fifteen.
My hope is that as I continue to train, getting stronger and faster, my runner’s confidence will overflow into my writing life.
- “If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Thanks for your kind words and empathy in reply to my post about losing hours of revision work. I’m happy to say I got that work done (again) yesterday and while it was AWFUL at the start, I pushed on through to the other side. Several friends commented that the revisions would be better this time around, and it’s really true. My brain remembered much of what I’d done PLUS it saw ways to add layers of complexity to the story. Which might explain why these revisions took several hours longer than the original. I got done just in time for dinner last night (compliments of Zippy Ramone).
That’s not to say I wasn’t on the verge of tears several times or that I didn’t contemplate throwing myself on the floor for a full-blown temper tantrum or that I didn’t make sure Zippy understood exactly how difficult it was redoing the work.
Notice I said “Revisions Accomplished” not “Revisions Accomplished Gracefully.”
Now I can move ahead!