Almost Done…

Prologue: I drafted this blog over a month ago but  never published it because of Reasons.

Okay guys, this next thing I’m going to write is too scary to say out loud so I’m going to whisper it here.

I’m almost done with my novel.

I’m afraid that by writing it down, it won’t come true. I’m afraid you all have big expectations of me now. I’m afraid next time I see you you’ll ask me if I finished it, and I won’t have finished it.

For the past six months, I’ve been close to the end, but the closer I got the farther away it went. Now I’m getting closer to the end…and closer…and…closer. I’m winning the race. Anytime I say this out loud to someone, I start listing off all the problems with it, the things that need fixing, the long long loooooooong way it has to go after this draft is finished.

I know all that.

But I also know, and let me whisper this again:

This draft of this book is almost finished!

I no longer wonder if I’ll finish it. It’s like when you’re working on a puzzle and you’ve gotten to where the undone part is just a little puddle and the only way you won’t finish it is if some natural disaster happens in the next 15 minutes. That’s where I’m at.*

Yes, it will need a lot of work. I’m still at the beginning of this journey. But I’m not at the very beginning. I keep thinking about what I’ll do when I make it to the end. Even though I have a long way to go, I keep reminding myself that this is a milestone. It’s one ending; it’s one success. It’s a reason to celebrate, to cheer, to run around the house yelling, I DID IT I DID IT!

I hope when I finish that last paragraph, I let myself do those things. I hope I take a week off, or even two. I hope I fill those weeks with scrapbooking, gardening, hiking, reading, running errands I don’t even need to run, playing pickleball with my dad, just being instead of doing.

But I also know myself. I was going to take a whole year off of everything when Leo went to kindergarten, and that lasted for exactly 48 hours before I started expecting things of myself.

In a few weeks I will print the draft out and rant and rail over it again, I will rip apart and piece back together, yell at it, apologize to it, and occasionally love it. The mean, nasty voices in my head will start up again and I’ll feel beat up at the end of every day.

So for now, I want it to be something I stick up on that mantel and tell everyone who comes over to look! Look what I made! I want to let myself feel all the way happy with myself and proud of what I did. I want to sit on the side of the road and watch everyone else rush past me while I take whole, complete breaths and think about how lovely the grass smells today.

And then I would like to saddle up my horse and keep on riding, not knowing exactly where I’m going. It will be hard, dirty work.

But at least now I have a horse to ride.

Almond chicken
Brown rice
Roasted cauliflower

*As we all know, it did happen. The natural disaster did happen. Did Mrs. Mouthy finish in time? Or is this The End of everything but her novel?

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