Monday, November 10, 2008

Fear of Mediocrity/Soak yourself in Honey

J skypes me at the end of his day in Buenos Aires. "I'm just going to bed," he says. "Oh great," I say "I get you tired and grumpy?" Maybe it's me that's tired and grumpy. I want him to post pictures or send pictures or write long missives about his exciting adventures on the streets of South America, but that's just not the way he rolls. Irritatingly, he's shooting with the Leica, not a digital camera, so no quick downloads & therefore no immediate gratification for moi.

Finally, it's Monday and I have a day to catch up on NaNoWriMo. I am woefully behind. I don't know what kind of idiot thinking led me to believe that if J was away I'd have more time on my hands. We've had an election this month, a five-day horse show for Minks, another one next week, the French tutor, the ISEE tutor, the writing group, the dogs that have to be walked twice a day (I failed to add them into the mix, but without my walks I'd been, frankly, a nutcase). "You can write after dinner, Mamma" say Minky helpfully. As if that's going to happen. Ten minutes after dinner I fall asleep and she usually falls asleep on me & then of course I wake up with the 3am guilt & loathing.

By the way, that list, described above. That's call procrastination. It is what it is, but let's call it what it really is. It's fear. All of it. Great gobs of fear. It is so much easier to live in mediocrity than to stick one's neck out. Each time I give my daughter advice about her schoolwork, it could just as easily apply to me: Just take ten more minutes each night for each assignment; Turn off the internet the minute you sit down to work; Read the instructions carefully; Double-check your work when you're done; Picture yourself the way you want to be.

And so it goes. I remain, still, a dilettante, but I won't, I promise give in to it. And, just for the record, I have to say, God's been very helpful and I am grateful.

p.s. Minks & I went to see The Secret Life of Bees yesterday afternoon. The reviewers hated it, referred to it as a big pile of buttermilk biscuits soaked in honey, "bathed in a honey-saccharine glow" and so on. But, gosh darn it, I loved it. Minks and I cried from beginning to end. But it did dawn on me half way through that my tears were probably more about post-election relief. I'm not sure, had Obama not won, that the movie would have been so poignant or I would have sobbed quite so embarrassingly long.

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