Same Song, Different Dance

As we celebrate my oldest child’s eighth birthday, I take stock in all I’ve done. In our nine years of marriage, we’ve had three children, bought and returned a house (pesky financial crisis!) and my hubby has changed careers a thousand times. I’m barely exaggerating. With those mile markers behind me, those dreams fulfilled,  I face my dream and scariest challenge yet.

I’m in full swing editing of my first novel, it is quite the undertaking and one I’m not sure I’ll survive. I feel the same way with approaching potty training with my toddler, however, I’ve won that battle two other times. I’ve trained horses, taught kids to read, write and solve problems and yet, this editing seems far harder than anything I’ve ever attempted.

Editing is like working out. Sure, exercise is awesome -insert eye roll- and the results are amazing. Overnight, I can shed thirty pounds and drop dress sizes. Yeah … right. I haven’t found the magical workout that firms and tones everything and instantly slims me or the magical solution to hours of editing. This world is full of gimmicks, everyone has a get rich quick scheme, a pill to melt pounds, a ‘free’ publishing service, but at the end of the day, it’s good old fashioned elbow grease that gets the job done. Sit-up by sit-up, word by word, we change our future. Painstakingly, we shape up that bod, our families, and novel until they reach their potential.

My previous accomplishments that I can now be proud of weren’t easily accomplished. There were blunders, bloodshed, sweat and probably some swearing, but looking back, it seems simple. In the moment, these mountains seem unmoving. What will they look like in a month, though? Will they fade in the distance as we give up and forget? Or will they vanish in the rearview as climb over and keep on driving?

Being a mom, writer and pianist were my lifetime goals. All three of them have been started, but having a child doesn’t make you a mother any more than having a piano makes you a pianist. I’ve worked harder than I ever thought I could to raise my children and learn to play that instrument. I’ve got the book, now it needs editing. It’s blood, sweat, and tears, but then it’s sweet victory when you cross the finish line.

Take small victories. It’s first steps, recitals, and pats on the back. With parenting, writing … anything, it’s never over. There’s always another phase and that’s what makes life worth living. Go on and fulfill that dream. Take small steps, make attainable goals and climb that mountain!