I ended up in a place I never expected to be this summer. Last year I had the brilliant idea that I should chuck it all and write. I’d raised my kids, worked my twenty years and then some, so this seemed like my time. No worries, no demands, no problem. I did forget one thing. Writers often don’t live in the real world.
That dilemma wouldn’t be a problem except for the fact that the real world has little respect or tolerance for dreamy writers. And the fact that I’m too old to live out of my car. Call me spoiled. I would need a limo to be comfortable, not an economical Ford Focus.
So in keeping with my journey of change and renewal and for the benefit of my checking account, I took a job working with school-age kids in a daycare. It’s been a while since I’ve worked in a childcare environment so I had forgotten how much wisdom you can glean from a large group of younger people. And they are a never-ending source of writing material.
Children, I found, are much like some older folks. There is often little evidence of any sort of filter on what they say. They look around at the world and make their observations known, whether they are “polite” ones or not. It’s one of the jobs of adults to teach them how to censor themselves so they can survive in the world but I wonder if perhaps we should leave some of that uninhibited dialogue alone. Through it I found out a number of things about myself and the world that I believe were great reminders of the possibilities still out there for me.
The best one came from the young man who asked me how old I was. After I told him, he looked at me in amazement and said, “Why, you’re nowhere near a hundred.” Even though I had the sneaking suspicion his surprise came from the fact one of the other kids told him I was probably a hundred years old, his comment made some of the disillusionment I’d been feeling about my journey go away. I am nowhere near a hundred. There’s plenty of time for me to accomplish my goals. I have no reason to feel negative about where I’m at. I could’ve hugged him.
The other important fact I learned was if you’re going to play in the water you need to get wet. You can’t worry about your shoes, your clothes or anything else that might get wet. They will all dry and you’ll be better off for the fun you had. Play requires absolute attention and absorbs your whole being. If you’re worrying or holding back, then you’re missing out on the fun. And the fun makes a whole lot of other things tolerable. There’s a world of small miracles out there and the person who plays stands a greater chance of finding them (because they more often recognize them) and a greater chance of enjoying them.
So summer has prepared me to face the fall and winter, a time that I sometimes dread. My summer wisdom tells me that I have a lot still waiting for me and there’s hope for even this writer. After all, I’m nowhere near a hundred yet.
About the Author: I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Being a writer is more than something I do. It is the way I see the world, the way I process it. I believe in the power of stories. They make us smile, make us think and give us untold moments of enjoyment. My stories come from the landscape around me and the worlds I build in my head. I am proud to be a storyteller, and I hope my work leaves you both satisfied and entertained.