"Don't wish your life away".
This advice I give generously to my teenage children in those moments when certainly they are looking for is some deeper insight. For example, on long car rides. "I wish we were there already," they might ask; or the frequent I wish it was Summer or Friday or hockey season.
Without so much as a hesitation, I begin. Up beat, too enthusiastic, I know. "Look around you. Let's see what we can find exciting in this day."
My daughter might role her eyes at me or fold her arms in frustration, depending on her mood. It almost never cheers her up. "Mom, just let us complain for once," she groans.
I'm insistent. Life is about finding joy in the journey, and taking the time to celebrate along the way. The destination is not the only reason to head out. Always take time to pause, reflect, regroup, celebrate, get supplies, and keep going.
One whole year until my book will be published, I'm feeling like an impatient teenager.
And then I realize this means people will actually be reading the book I've been working on in my closet over the last five years. Regardless of how supportive or critical my future readers will be, reflecting on the level of vulnerability within this book causes me to take a deep breath. I know well how cruel humans can be, and I know it is the underside of taking any kind of step publicly. To borrow the wisdom of Taylor Swift right here, "haters are gonna hate."
I double check. I've given myself the permission to change my mind at anytime. I read somewhere that 90% of what you will write is just for yourself. There were many times I've wondered if the mountain of words I had created was just a dedicated journey into my own healing. Yet, as the pages filled and the chapters took shape, I began to hear the voice and story of a passionate and courageous young woman. I feel resolute for her need for justice, compassion for her struggles, and curious about her sense of wonder and adventure.
Similarly to when I went skydiving Utah or bungee jumping in New Zealand, I get a delicious belly full of butterflies. I imagine I'm holding the crisp, glossy cover of my book and smelling the fresh ink. Finally!
A year of anticipation, editing, and deadlines. The impatient teenager inside wants the book to be here all ready. Just as quickly as the thoughts come, the chipper voice driving the car reminds me, "You've never published a book, have you? Why not look out the window and enjoy the ride."
It is good advice.