Day 1 | Hallelujah anyway!

 
“If you used to love writing, painting, dancing, singing, whatever, but you stopped doing it when you had kids or began a strenuous career, then you have to ask yourself if you are okay about not doing it anymore.”
The above admonition came from one of my writing teachers, Anne Lamott.  It’s a tough one.  Especially for moms like us who feel the strong push and pull almost daily.
Like today.
So I’m all poised to begin.  To restart the blogging/creative practice.  I’m calling today Day One.  My writing buddy – my Wruddy, for short – reminded me about the SMART thing.  You know what, this whole inspiring Wruddy Story deserves a whole other blog post.  I’ll write about that  next. soon.

Sing.  Write.  Share.  DAILY.  For 30.  As good or bad or shitty as can be.  I’ve already failed.  100 songs in 100 days, fail.  365 selfies (doodles, photos, etc.etc.) in 365 days, fail.  I didn’t die.  On the contrary.  I got stronger and feel more alive than ever.  Fail is just another word for Prep.  Prepping for the next step.  And there is always a next step.  More importantly, I have already given myself permission to create the worst junk in Canada.  I have the antidote message intact: I am NOT my work.  So there.  Ready, get set…
*Riiiiiiiing*.  It’s my iPhone.  Right in the middle of my 11AM writing practice.  I hear my daughter’s weak “Hello…” O is calling me from school.  “I’m not feeling well, Mom.  Can you pick me up now, please?”  Without missing a beat, I’m up and running.  Hair, check.  Sunblock, check.  Gratitude prayer for the car being here, check.  I am at the school within ten minutes.  She had a low-grade fever from the beginnings of a sore throat this morning yet she still chose to go to the first few sessions because “We’re doing fractions, Mom.  I need to be there for fractions.”  Math isn’t her strongest subject.  My little fighter.  I admire her so much for that can-do spirit.  She did say she may choose to miss the other half of school.  Sounds like a good compromise to me.
I settle her, with lunch and bonding over Babies, a documentary movie, for half an hour.  When I see she’s happy and comfortable, I get back to my desk.
So I’m all set.  I’m poised at the keyboard and start writing again.  Tap-tap-tapping on the keys and just as I hit my stride…tap-tap-tap.  But this tapping isn’t coming from my keyboard.  It’s knocking on my office door.  Vida, our housekeeper tells me “The Bunsoy is calling for you.  My youngest son arrived from school already complaining about his (flat) feet hurting.  “It hurts a lot, Mom.”  They just had a field trip today and they were made to walk/stand around for three hours.  He isn’t hungry so I tucked him on the living room couch, did the alternating hot-cold compress for about thirty minutes and then a foot massage.  He is knocked out in minutes.  This peace only lasts about twenty minutes because he is crying, mid-write, about his foot hurting even more now.
It’s time to grab the meds and do the whole hot-cold alternating compress all over again.  After twenty minutes and a spoonful of WowButter (soy as we have a severe peanut allergy in the home with little Ms. O) the Bunsoy is smiling again.  He’s playing with Kuya in their room now.  Peace once more.
And I am back to the page.  Hoping against hope that there are no more interruptions this time.  As if on cue, the girl excitedly comes in to show a photo of one of her list of back-to-school items.  It’s only April.  BTS is not until September.  Glad to know I’m raising at least one long-term planner.
Then it dawns on me: this is the rhythm of my day.  No need to fight it any longer.  The perfect moment, time, day will never come.  It never has in all these years of my waiting for it.  In all the times I’ve jumped in and out of the creative process, it was always…messy.
As Ms. Lamott puts it in her Facebook post:
“Back in the days when I had writing students, they used to spend half their time explaining to me why it was too hard to get around to writing every day, but how once this or that happens–they retired, or their last kid moved out–they could get to work.  I use to say very nicely, “That’s very nice; but it’s a total crock. There will never be a good time to write. It will never be easier. If you won’t find an hour a day now, you won’t find it then.”
So I find it.  Midday or late at night.  While in the loo or in the car while the husband drives.  I find it.  In a friend’s favourite song, poem, quote or new artist/talent shared.  I sing with that as my inspiration.  But only when I feel like it.Uh-oh.
Steven Pressfield says it best: A professional will do the work whether he feels it or not.  An amateur…”  Well, see Exhibit A.
This isn’t enough nor comfortable anymore.  I have chosen to be a professional again.  Suzanne Evans says “Ho or Bo, your choice.”  Ho = Hobbyist Owner.  Bo = Business Owner.  In all the years that I was a professional singer, I performed whether I felt like it or not.  That’s what a pro does.  I get it.  When the kids came, I retired.  They were young.  I was tired.  You get the picture.
I’m still tired.  Yet the pull to come back to contributing to a bigger circle is strong.  Very strong.  Enter The Admonition.  It is the Voice from heaven.  Ms. Lamott continues ~
“The answer is simple: you decide to. Then you push back your sleeves and start writing (or singing or dancing, painting or baking…) scribbling words down on paper, or typing at a computer. And it will be completely awful. It will be unreadable shit! You won’t have a clue how it account to anything, ever. And to that, I say, Welcome. That’s what it’s like to be a writer. But you just do it anyway. At my church, we sing a gospel song called, “Hallelujah anyway.” Everything’s a mess, and you’re going down the tubes financially, and gaining weight? Well, Hallelujah anyway.
Today marks the beginning of my (re)committing to this daily practice.  I have my angels with me, and my earth-angel and Wruddy, Charotski.  I know I can’t do it alone.  Not even a buddy will guarantee success.Grace.  That’s the ultimate key in all this business of creativity.  When I accept that Grace comes from Above, when I understand that it is granted and not pushed or muscled out of me, then there’s more chances for real success.
When one…or two! finally agree to “Stop hitting the snooze button.” and get to the “Hallelujah anyway.” that’s when the magic happens.
No matter the weather, I remember to say:
Hallelujah, hallelujah, anyway, EVERYDAY!

Courage in creativity,
Chiqui*Kat







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