Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Falling off my Bicycle

Has it happened to you?

You've been enjoying a bike ride for quite awhile and you're in the groove. You hit a bump in the road, maybe get distracted by something along the way, you swerve, and - Bam! You're wiping the gravel with your body.

Trying to get upright as quickly as you can, you raise your woozy head, start brushing the grit away, and start to think about whether you'd like to give that 'ol bicycle another try.

The object and activity now seem perilous.

And then you hear your mother's voice, " You get right back up on that bicycle, honey.  Everybody falls, but not everybody learns to get back on the saddle and ride again.  Take courage dear one - you'll be okay!"

If writing is like bike riding, I'm trying to get back at it.

Metaphorically, I've fallen off my bike in a myriad of ways this summer.  I've already alluded to the necessity of attending to family life and relationships, and that takes an astonishing amount of extra energy and time.

But, there's been other things- not bad things- that have made the ride adventuresome and found me wiping dirt out of my knees more than once.

Double the size of your garden, praise the Lord for plenteous rain, plant row upon row, and Voila! you've tripled your work in the sun and soil, but also in the kitchen.

Partner with your Weekend Farmer Hubby in installing a new range, car repairs, emergency electric fence interventions, chasing cows back home,  a professional day job, raising and processing hundreds of chickens, fundamentally preparing to change how you've home educated, and by the time an amber sunset spills itself over the pastures, you're beyond tired and can think only of bed and the restoration of sleep. I couldn't write a sentence if I tried.

Fun things like mini weekend vacations, a standing Thursday playday at the lake, 's'mores night on Wednesday, campouts in the yard that turn into extended sleepovers, outdoor swimming lessons - you know, the things that can only happen in summer - have been filling our days.

Add in driver's training, full time work for the oldest farm boys, races to spectate, mission trips to pray for, "mom, I hope it's ok, but I've made a plan for..." somewhat regularly from the teens/young adult offspring.  Gah!

And, this one's "my fault" - I'm enjoying the creativity, community, and inspiration from Instagram. It's easy to spend five minutes here, two minutes adds up.

In the end, my brain is spinning, not my wheels.
And I can't keep upright.

So, what do I say to all this, dear friends?  What is your counsel to me as a writer? As a friend on this same journey?

I think I know.
Whenever I can, and for however long I can, dust this keyboard off, and ride. Uhm. Write.
It's not just for writers, correct?  It's for all of us who endeavor to do the next thing, try something big, cultivate new skills, or seize opportunities.

Just like those of you who've ever enjoyed a bike ride, when the time is right, you'll pick up where you left off, it'll all come back, and although the risk of falling is always present, you'll spend more time on the road than in the gravel.

Me too.

Ride on.