Twenty seven days into the New Year – what have I learned? Nearing the end of the first month of 2014, what have I accomplished? Did I make resolutions to be broken or did I promise to make good on dreams that can be fulfilled? These are questions I am willing to ask myself and I hope you will take them to heart and ask yourself, too.
I cannot separate out that I am a writer and expect the outcome to be different from my everyday life. My writing journey IS my life – it’s my writing life and the one I cater to because I have to, I need to, and above all, it’s a part of me that must exist for me to be whole. Writers will nod as they read this, knowing what I mean. Readers will respect there are writers out there to provide them with words to which they can connect. Others – please think of something that means so much to you, you’d be unwilling to give it up, no matter what. That is of what I speak. Passion. Your very soul. The reason for being.
True, there is a scale that tips its balance as life’s events happen, as people need you, and as there are things that have to be done. Most of the time we can ignore a slight imbalance when things aren’t really all that important, they’re not life threatening, or detrimental to our very survival. We can react when we are so inclined to respond. People should always come first, but in that same breath you should never let anyone take your passion from you. It’s up to you to protect that piece of you, as you would your health, your heart, your hope.
This past weekend I spent the day at a women’s conference with several good friends. The event was a charity fundraiser for the Edmonton Dream Centre – a place that helps women in transition through education, self-discovery, and realization. A place that offers hope to those who need help to rediscover their dreams. It was awe inspiring and educational, it was a way to connect and network with those around you, but more importantly, it was a way to reconnect with yourself. Many of us cannot feel from experience what some of the women have gone through, but we can all feel through compassion and empathy based on our own life’s references. I will repeat a post I made that evening after all was said and done – if you do not believe that helping someone achieve their dream is fulfilling – try it.
January has not been a slow month and I am thankful for the weather of late – it has been unseasonably warm, with lots of snow melt, and although icy conditions prevail, I have been able to get out to events and meetings without too much problem. Today is colder, but after all, it is still winter! Work is always busy as we plan for our February annual general meeting and conference – my position means I usually do most of the writing, the speeches, presentations and reports – I even present at breakout sessions. It keeps me busy in my day job capacity. My own company, Dream Write Publishing, is growing. The workload is phenomenal for this time of year – the launch of an important book and teacher’s guide addressing bullying, the completion of an amazing cookbook layout for a local restaurant which is now at print, signing an Australian author for the release of his historical novel in EBook and Print-on-Demand, tentative clients and meetings, scheduling illustrations for upcoming children’s books, preparing royalty summaries, reports, and tax receipts, compiling silent auction donations and door prizes, etc. etc. etc… Looking ahead, just one short month, February is shaping up to be just as busy.
My own fulfillment comes from contributing to others’ dreams. It also comes from my need to write and publish my own work. My involvement with the local writing group fuels my community connection, keeps me connected with my writing friends, and inspires me to do what I love – write. I am nearing completion of my nearest and dearest work – one that has become a part of me over the years. Writing a pivotal scene made me very emotional last night – I felt its end nearing as the characters lose their connection, one I was so involved in and a part of, one I could not bear to let go of…
My own fulfillment comes from making promises to myself that I am able to keep. When asked to make that big commitment for one thing I wanted to do for sure this year – it was to finish and publish that very novel mentioned above. I am planning a writer’s retreat for May. I also took steps toward bettering my health, at least in a small way, so I can continue to enjoy and do all I am involved in. Nothing will get done if I am not healthy. I stepped out of my fears and into the pool to aquasize once a week.
This year so far I find that my emotions are more intense, my dreams are more defined, and my commitment is better outlined. I feel the deep loss of my mother, I feel for friends who have experienced the same, I managed to tackle chores left undone yet I don’t fret about others and just do what I can. I want to love and feel strong. I realize who is important and deserving of my time, I promise to make time for those people always, and I am trying to remain positive and active. In all this consideration, however, I am not saying I won’t overload the system – sorry Mandy – but I will certainly take a second look, apply all that I have learned so far this year already, and still remember to … breathe.