Friday, July 25, 2008
Maya Angelou - "Nothing will work unless you do."
I've been revising a book that's been waiting in the hopper for about a year now. I had several thousand words on it and then discovered that I'd painted myself into a corner. Actually several corners.
And so I started over. Possibly I'll be able to use chunks of the original or just as probably not. Either way, its moving along now and that is progress. So I didn't precisely burn the bridge but it's under construction. I'm nearly four thousand words into the new beginning and I find that I like my characters better this time around. So we'll see.
I've been thinking a lot this afternoon about identity. I've discussed this with several different friends. Who am I? These days I'm mostly Anny Cook. That's not my legal name, but for the last year I haven't really been that old person. Nearly my entire life revolves around the joys and sorrows of being Anny Cook. When I tried to decide why it was so easy to slip into this new persona, I realized it was because I didn't really like my name. What a strange thing to discover when you're over fifty.
I was named for one of my grandmothers. Nice old-fashioned name. And I think I've probably hated it since I was old enough to understand that everyone had different names. Hmmm. So this new career late in life has offered me an opportunity to be someone else. Anny Cook, Zen Queen.
Speaking of Zen Queens... (don't you like that segue?) In the last few weeks numerous friends have, um, exploded over a variety of issues. I'm telling you it's been like a month of full moons. Anyway, one friend (and no--none of you know her!!!) commented on the fact that I don't seem to get too worked up about things. "How do you stay so calm?" she demanded.
Well. I know the physical price I will pay for getting worked up. And for me, it's too high. In my dark murky past, I learned that there are things in life that we must let go. There are things that we cannot change. There are things that we cannot influence. So when I make a decision about whether or not to get upset about something, my formula is simple. In twenty years will I remember this event? Will it materially change my life or the lives of my family?
If the answer is no, then I close the door on it and walk away. Life is too short to hyperventilate over every thing that happens. I can say this because I know from first hand experience. My life would make excellent soap opera fodder. But for every screwball happening... it's in the past. And I have no influence over the future.
One year a friend kept track of all the disasters in my life. She called them Cook's Catastrophes. Half way through the year, we were up to four hundred and something. There were things as mundane as the propane tank behind the house blowing up... to the fire in our furnace on Christmas Day... to the day that half of our mobile home sank four inches lower than the other half... to the leaking roof...and the list goes on and on and on. Personal catastrophes and family catastrophes. Life is full of them. This, too, shall pass.
I've been ordered by the doctor to go off to a clinic where I'll learn how to use a glucometer and keep track of my blood sugar. So today I made an appointment. Of course, it's on a Monday. And what was the first thing that receptionist said? You'll need to keep a food diary for the three days prior to your first visit. Sigh.
You know what that means. I have to be good for those three days, right? Well actually, I've decided to just go with the flow and write down whatever I happen to eat. After all, if they don't really know what I'm eating, how can they advise me? However, I foresee some major changes and I have to tell you that it's going to tickle me no end when the househunk finds out what I'm doing with his diet. Heh. Who says there's no silver lining?
Blessings on your day.