Somewhere around my fiftieth birthday I started thinking seriously about what I could still achieve in the fifteen to twenty years I had left in the work force, and hoping I’ll have many healthy years after that to pursue leisure, creative and volunteer activities. I set goals, then made some tough decisions and changes to help me reach those goals. As of this writing, five years have passed since then. Sometimes I feel I am no closer than I was, that unforeseen challenges have blocked progress. Time to stop and take stock.
What was I thinking? In these five years I started and finished a master’s degree, started my own business while maintaining my annual income, kept up a large percentage of maintaining our home and daily life, helped my husband’s business through four months during shortages of office manager, front desk and phone system meltdowns, managed the stress of helping a teen stepdaughter through some serious challenges (that shall remain confidential unless she consents to my sharing them), and gave a large portion of my time to nurture and care for my live-in step-granddaughter! Whew, and, now that I think of it, all while battling fibromyalgia and menopause! Not too shabby after all.
This brings me to why I began this blog. About twenty years ago I felt a strong urge, “calling” if you will, to write a book. Not just any book, but a book forged of the tough realities I had faced and found a way through; a book designed to leave a trail others in my predicament might use to find their way out of the thicket. At the time this book began as a workbook: a self-help book emerging at the end of the 80’s and early 90’s craze for self-help. I began. I fleshed out the main points, the table of contents and the first three chapters. About that time all hell broke loose in my life. I’ll spare those details for now–suffice it to say I scrapped the book, but the concept has been brewing on the back burner for quite a long time now. Now it is about to be reborn. Not as a self-help workbook (although that may happen some day), but a work of fiction infused with deep truths readers can assimilate into their lives if they choose. This book has grown in my heart and mind to now bear the status of primary bucket list item. If I were to die without writing it, I would feel that quiet kind of failure, the kind that isn’t so much an error of sin or malice, but of letting life slip away in all its routine chores, sidetracked pleasures, and distractions, robbing the deeper joy of creating a lasting work of art with the power to transform others beyond my few years here.
So, as silly as this may sound to the lighthearted, this is serious stuff for me. I want to share my heart here, as I work on this bucket list book. I don’t know if it will ever come to be. I don’t know if I will be typing into a vast void of Internet space or if anyone out there will read my musings and relate. I hope to build relationships here, to network, to learn from others who are writing and living in dedication to leaving this world a better place than we found it, or at least to try.
I’m not planning on writing the book here. I will be doing that in private of course, but sharing snippets as it goes. What I plan to write here is the process of writing the book, the issues that challenge me as I go, thoughts that encourage me and things I’d like to share with the world.
One more thing I might mention: this heart to heart sharing doesn’t come easy for me. Although I am a warm and authentic type, an INFP for those of you who are familiar with the Myers-Briggs Types, I tend to keep my deepest thoughts and feelings reserved for only a special few. So I guess that makes you special and dear to my heart! There is something about depth that draws me. Chit-chat, gossip, and small talk leave me wanting something more. I sense God in the deep, and I think maybe most people do, but we don’t know how to say it or share it. Many people don’t know how to be comfortable in deep conversations or relationships, yet we need them. Don’t you think so?
Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. –Psalm 42:7
© Joan T Warren