I had a conversation with my son the other day. He was questioning his decisions made on his future path. He was feeling some self-doubt. Expressing a little fear and concern. Kinda having a little pity party on a blue day.
Now, I don’t recall ever talking to my own mom about such things. It’s not that there weren’t some benefits to those independent ‘80s (*she mulls, thinking about the Loverboy concert she’s attending that evening*) it was just different back then. Here was a Mom Moment for sure and I didn’t want to mess it up. After first basking in our moment of intimacy I gave him the best counsel I knew, albeit with simple words: small steps. One semester at a time. But, I appealed, with a serious commitment to being successful in those steps until you can course correct.
I reminded him that every action in life comes with a redo option. Not necessarily an eraser or backspace button but rather a recreate click. The key, I opined, is to try to succeed at whatever you’ve committed to and keep striving for excellence — even if you hate what you’re doing — until a next step becomes an opportunity. I advised him to stop looking at every choice made as the end-all and try looking at life in smaller chunks of time.
It seemed to soothe his uncertainties and our chat ended with a hug. Mom Moment Expert Level: Achieved.
I felt pretty good about appearing so wise and assured … until my inner cheerleader escaped from inside me and sat on my shoulder with her megaphone pointed at my ear tskking You are SO full of shit. Try practicing what you preach. Then she rolled her eyes because hello, she’s me after all.
Small steps? Little chunks? She was right. I am more than slightly full of shit.
I love to write and always want to keep creating but it’s not always easy. There’s the time factor and the TV-binge factor and the housework factor and the multitude–excuse factor and for the love of God, the stop-mocking-your-husband-and-kids factor and then boom, there’s the huge, obvious elephant in the room: I don’t write half as much as I used to. And that just sucks, for a number of reasons. The most important being, it’s my passion. Everyone knows when we don’t partake in our passions, we seem to wither on the vine.
I know I do. If I go for long periods of time without writing I sink deeper into a funk until the act, even the idea of putting thoughts into words becomes insurmountable.
This week just as my inner cheerleader was calling me out for being phony I received a short note from a columnist I’ve adored for decades. Out of the blue, she wrote to tell me she unearthed a piece I’d written forever ago and simply wanted to tell me how much she enjoyed it.
Naturally I yee-hawed all over social media about it (because GAWD, how freaking cool?) but it also sent me down the rabbit hole of clicking onto her website, rereading the treasure trove of articles I’ve loved throughout the years that made me want to be just like her.
I came across one where she talked about the struggle of writing and how sometimes you just have to start with one page at a time and call it a small victory.
Committing to succeed small steps at a time.
Well, whaddaya know. We are soul sisters after all. And I just made it to the end of one whole page.
Y’all check back again soon, ya hear?
I may not have many words of wisdom but I’ll certainly have words.
Do yourself a favor and check out the inimitable Beverly Beckham. I really, truly adore her and want to be just like her when I grow up. https://www.beverlybeckham.com/
Today I start by doing what she suggested.
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Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was featured in the 2014 Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements. (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore). A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. and@Eyerollingmom on Instagram.
Missed the start of A Momoir? Catch up here:
Chapter 2, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/08/13/chapter-2-sometimes-kids-suck-a-lot/
Chapter 3, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/09/22/chapter-3-sorry-were-tied-all-kids-are-filthy/
Chapter 5, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2018/04/20/a-momoir-chapter-5-the-magnitude-of-the-middle-aged-mom/