August is a month for organizing. While my mind, body and wallet recover from our amazing trip East, I look ahead to September and all the busyness it brings. Sure, we have summer camps, splash parks and lots of sunny days ahead, but I still feel this immediate need to map our life from here to December.
My organizing began with back to school browsing on a few online clothing stores. List-making and calendar-filling, in-between Facebook creeping and Twitter feed refreshing. (Has there been an election call or something? Gee, I hadn’t noticed.) I happily paid our bus fees for the upcoming school year and not-so-happily paid my recent speeding ticket that I still protest was due to some faulty photo radar on Stony Trail.
When the pieces of our family life started to come together, I shifted focus to the state of my writing life. Which, at the moment, feels like a 1000+ piece jigsaw puzzle scattered on the floor, with missing pieces, chewed corners and no helpful diagram on the box. You see, until now I had blissfully forgotten about my manuscript rejection in June, and although I had some excellent feedback from a recent writing workshop, I’m reeling just a wee bit with where to go from here.
So, I reopened a working spreadsheet on some writing objectives that I set back in January, and reacquainted myself with my goals. There’s a big application due next month for what could be a very valuable experience for me, so I set my sights on that. This meant updating my resume and collecting information on all of my previous publishing credits, a task I’ve been meaning to tackle for a while now.
Because I was missing a few details on some of my past articles, I did the most dreadful thing a person can do: I Googled myself. Not my current name, but my maiden name. All of my writing credentials are under my maiden name, and most don’t even exist online (this makes me feel very, very old). In the process of gathering my old article titles and dates, I came across an abandoned blog. It wasn’t the first or even the only blog I’ve authored (as a journalism student in the early 2000s, blogs were often part of the curriculum) and it certainly wasn’t the best, but there it was in my search results for me and the world to see.
This blog was part of a graduate course I was taking (judging by the content, or lack thereof, I’m surprised I was given a degree at all) and I can easily remember sitting in the journalism school computer lab while writing it. Then it hit me that this memory was almost a decade old. And then it hit me that I’m still doing the exact same thing. Blogging. Drinking coffee. Wondering where my writing life will take me.
I guess a few things have happened in-between, most of them extraordinary. I married the man I always knew I’d marry. I had three children. And I eventually learned to love beets. The 20-something girl sitting in the computer lab back then would be very surprised by two of those three life events.*
But she wouldn’t be surprised that I’m still writing, and that I’m still just a teensy, tiny bit lazy when it comes to writing. And that our life is very, very good.
*Oh, and one more thing. Your perfect streak of no speeding tickets will last about nine more years. Sorry.