Thursday, December 01, 2005

I was gonna apologize but...

then I thought about it for a while, and I realized I didn't have anything to apologize for.

Three months ago I began a writing game with a wonderful woman named Maureen Ryan Griffin. I met her last year around this time at a winter solstice writing retreat. Excellent day. Excellent woman. Check out her website at Anyway, one of the commitments I made for this writing game we played was that I would blog at least twice per week. That was hardly a difficult assignment for me as I love to write, and I think I like blogging more than any other form of writing - except for journaling.

Over these past three months, I have been pretty faithful to my biweekly blogging schedule, but I have noticed during the past few weeks that I have tended to wait and write towards the end of the week. Here I sit on Thursday night to write my first blog of the week. It's not that I am without ideas or without incidents worth sharing; it's just that the weeks are flying by so fast that I haven't made time to sit and write until the week is nearly gone.

Tonight on my way back from seeing my awesome therapist I spent a few minutes thinking about what I'd write tonight. The first thing that came to mind was an apology. "I'm sorry that I have been waiting so late in the week to write. I'm sorry that friends come to the blog only to find that I haven't written anything new in four or five days." I made a mental review of my week, where I've been, what I've done, and I realized something else: The busyness of my life, the fullness of my schedule is not something I need to defend or apologize for. I love my life. I love the fullness of it. When I'm tired, when I'd rather be writing than driving the children from one activity to another, even though I'd rather write than cook, clean, do laundry, or just about anything else, life happens. And the writing has to wait.

Julia Cameron wrote a book entitled, "The Vein of Gold" in which she encourages and guides her readers through a process of discovering the vein of gold that is embedded within each of us, the vein that oozes with the golden ore of our lives. But in order to find that vein, we must live our lives. It's not enough to write; I must live. It is the living that fills the vein with richness, beauty, and depth.

This week, I have lived fully, passionately, and gracefully (I hope). On Monday afternoon, I took Kristiana to her horseback riding class and sat in the minivan watching Steve Martin's "Father of the Bride" with Daniel. What great laughter and discussions we shared about the antics of a goofy father and the love that drove him to do all those crazy things. Then after dinner, I took off for the final session of a writing class called "Getting Your Work Out There." I do all this writing, so why not submit a piece or two for publication or for contest consideration? I've submitted three pieces to a writing contest so far. I know that one of them didn't make the cut, but the other two are still out there.

On Tuesday afternoon, I met with Maureen and spent an hour retelling the tales of the past three months, the ways in which I have been winning this writing game, and the goals I want to reach in the future. She makes me laugh. She makes me cry. And above all, she makes me want to be a better writer. On Tuesday evening, I took Daniel to his basketball practice at 6, then drove with Kristiana to one of my favorite stores in the world: Staples. I picked up DVDs so that I can download this enormous blog onto my laptop computer, edit some of them, and launch them out into the world for wider consideration. I found some fine paper on which to print them, bought my daughter some special pens for her own writing, and enjoyed her company thoroughly as we strolled through that wonderland of writing.

Yesterday, the kids and I went uptown for the wonderful Wednesday worship service we all enjoy. Katie has begun a series of devotionals on the various characters involved in the advent, the arrival of the Christ child. Yesterday she talked about the genealogy of Christ as listed in the first chapter of Matthew. From there we were off to Sushi 101 for a lovely lunch then returned home for basketball on the driveway, walking and playing with Maya, a brief visit to the library, and dinner before heading out for more evening activities. We kept the kids up until 10 PM, irresponsible parents that we are, talking, laughing, and sharing our adventures from the day. By then, I needed to spend a few moments alone with my dear hubby, and so it was time to shuffle the little people off the bed.

Today, we left the house early to take Maya to the vet. Poor thing has been harboring a slight infection at the wound site after her spaying. Something just didn't seem right, so we drove her over. I will spare the most gruesome details, but let me say this: Maya is prone to carsickness. By the time we arrived at the vet's office, therefore, we had some clean up to do before we could hand her over to the vet's nurse. The problem? A dissolving stitch that never dissolved. Now she takes oral antibiotics twice per day as administered by my very responsible twelve year old daughter. We settled down for homeschooling at 11:30, and still managed to get most of our work done by 1 PM. After all, we had discussed the formula for the five paragraph essay on our way to the vet, so most of English was already done.

As I mentioned earlier, I had a 7 PM appointment with my therapist tonight. One of my dearest friends asked why I see a therapist. There are many answers to that question, but I will give only one: he listens to me tell the story of my life and asks great questions that help me see myself, my birth family, my immediate family, and the world in which I live more clearly, more compassionately, and with a deeper sense of clarity. Jim has helped me recognize faulty patterns in my life and in my relationships that have stunted my emotional, mental, and spiritual growth, and assists me as I either fix the patterns that are salvageable or abandon the untenable ones altogether.

This has been a full week. This has been a well-lived week. There have been tough moments, moments of frustration, dashed expectations, and lost opportunities. There have also been moments of singing, hugging, laughing, talking about antibiotics, Christmas decorations, Grammy, football, and the dangers of spraying the "Nature's Miracle" No Chewing Bitter Spray on Maya's fur.

I was gonna apologize, but then I realized that my excuse would be the fullness of my life. And I will never apologize for life.


Giovanna said...

thank you Gail! yes, please don't apologize. I've been learning to apologize when appropriate, but also to _not_ apologize as often as I feel I should. One day, I realized the phrase I say most was, "I'm sorry" and I began to wonder if that was really necessary... and I'm with you with the therapist. I so appreciate mine, and am appreciating the person I am becoming with God's help and others... life has been busy, and I don't get to do as much as I want (such as keeping in touch!) but I am living, and for that I am grateful. Hope you are well--as usual, thankful for your words.

GailNHB said...

Thank, JRah, for your kind words. I cannot imagine how busy life must be for you these days there in Boston. I'd love to figure out a way to come see you. Here's to life, to good therapy, and to becoming stronger, less apologetic women! Grace and peace, Gail