Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Are we there yet?

          Do you have days you look forward to...more than others, I mean?
          My husband, the roommate, sits in wait from the day after Christmas until February 1st. Because then the longest, darkest month with the shortest, coldest days is over. Theoretically. According to his theory, that is. Because I know, of course, that Punxsutawney Phil is going to stick
his head out the next day and haul it back inside rather than freeze to death in the darkness of his shadow.
          When I was a kid, I looked forward to Valentine’s Day because everybody in the class gave nearly everyone else a valentine. And we got candy. Then I looked forward to Easter because there was often a new dress in it for me, not to mention we wore new white shoes to church instead of the black patent ones that hadn’t survived the ravages of winter all that well. We had ham for Sunday dinner, the grandparents came to visit. And we got candy.
          There were other days of excitement. I loved the 4th of July, complete with fireworks. The first day of school was a biggie all the way from the first year to the last. Thanksgiving and Christmas were my favorites.
          I’m not sure when it all changed. When I stopped saying, “Oh, I can’t wait...” about times, events, things. When my emotional February 1st became unimportant because all the days before it were so much fun and so full of life going on.
          At some point—somewhere between my first book in 1998 and my 10th sometime this year or next—it all became about the journey. I still love holidays, but the getting ready for them is more exciting than the actual days. I love having a new book, but the anticipation is more fun to me than Release Day, when my stomach hurts and I’m afraid no one will read it.
          So, as the roommate makes cross-offs on his mental calendar, I just look out the window at the snow. I think about spring, but winter works for me while we get there. I think about my next book and wonder when its release date will be, but in the end it’s the writing, the revising, the anticipating what the cover will look like that make it so much fun. It’s the journey.

Liz Flaherty

27 comments:

  1. Terrific post, Liz!

    My husband and I resolved not to wish our life away. For example, we may not be big fans of winter, but no matter how miserable the weather is outside, we want to enjoy each day to the fullest and not simply wish it away to see the spring bulbs bloom again.

    We do like being on the other side of the shortest day of the year, though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh gosh, me too! (Evidence I'm a writer: I just spent more time trying to figure out how to punctuate that response than I did actually responding. I think I still have it wrong!)

      Delete
  2. One of my favorite phrases, which I first saw at the NCAA Champions Museum in Indianapolis, is "It's the journey." I think that applies to so much in life, like sports, and writing. This year I also am appreciating the people who are on the journey with me. I enjoyed reading your thoughts today, Liz!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cathy. I wish I'd always realized it--I think I'd have enjoyed more things more often--but everything in its own time. Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  3. It is the journey, Liz, you are so right! I never realized how often we watch the calendar for special events and then miss the anticipation, which is always better...or worse, depending on the event. Great post and yeah, we're ready for the longer days, too!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, on the "worse" part--I don't think I've ever looked forward to a medical visit with joy, but usually they haven't been as bad as the anticipation!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love the post. Time sails past so quickly it seems. I still look forward to spring and summer. I am not a cold-weather person. Sometimes I think it paralyzes my brain and body. I really dislike that silly groundhog who almost always since I can remember sees his shadow. I love our author pick-me-up posts. They make me try to be more positive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like spring and summer better, too, but I'm not going to let myself be miserable because it's cold (which I used to do rather frequently.) I love our posts, too--yours the other day was wonderful!

      Delete
  6. I still look forward to the actual days because nothing is better than bebe's face on Christmas morning or her birthday...but the lead-up is almost as sweet. Making the lists, figuring out the meals, baking the good stuff...those days are just as sweet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, absolutely. And all of the "firsts" are so exciting, too.

      Delete
  7. Love this post. And so agree it's all about the journey...but I'm also marking off the days until I can sit on my deck again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I know. Our patio furniture is all snow-covered out there and I'll be glad to see it in summer--but for now, the snow looks lacy on the wrought iron---it's pretty!

      Delete
  8. Liz, I so agree, it is the journey--especially (for me) when it comes to your thoughts on writing all the way down to the achy tummy... I will admit to looking forward to spring, but as a snow skier winter kind of gives me a special joy as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I'll bet! We went to the top of the mountain our 6-year-old grandson skied down a few years back and I about hyperventilated, but he loved it.

      Delete
  9. I must be feeling whiny today, because I'm stuck on a middle section of a book and all I want to shout is: Why does it have to be such a hard journey! There. Whine over. Please return to enjoying your journey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And thank you for sharing yours! As you know, we all go there with every book--it's good to have sister-writers to vent with.

      Delete
  10. Liz, you're such a sage! I can relate to you and the roommate - and Mel. I don't like the dark - come cellular memory, or something - so I love it when daylight arrives before 7:30 a.m. I think we looked forward as children, because there was so much less on our responsibility plates. In middle years, there's so much to do that there's hardly time to look forward or back. But 'maturity' gives us time. to consider, to notice, to just feel the sights and sounds of the journey - and help our children and the other young people in our lives to know what we've learned. Mel - remember that you're smart and funny and that middle is all going to come together - trust yourself. And have some chocolate! Going back to my lofty mountaintop now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is my favorite part of retirement, Muriel. The time. Not that it's not busy now--it is--but almost every little bit of it (other than doctor's appointments) is spent doing what I want to do and even the responsibility of it doesn't seem as overwhelming.

      Delete
  11. Thoughtful post, and so true. We need to enjoy the journey even as we anticipate what's coming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes being able to do both can be a slippery slope. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  12. The journey is definitely the best part, and February, the shortest month is one of my favorites. The holidays are over, Valentine's Day is here and spring vacation is just around the corner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do like the "spring just around the corner" thing. However, I have two grandsons graduating from high school this spring, both of whom are going into the military. I can hardly bear the idea of them being grown up, much less leaving--so spring's looking bittersweet from this angle.

      Delete
  13. Well said, Liz. I'm to the point where I don't wish the days would fly. *g* Trying to enjoy each day--even winter which I detest--more fully.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely something we pick up on, isn't it? :-)

      Delete
  14. Yes! The journey is what everything is about :).

    ReplyDelete