Featured | Writing

50 And Still Waiting To Do What I Want…

October 18, 2020
typewriter desk

I turned 50 this year and wow, what a year! It’s been crazy and fantastic at the same time for our family. So much has changed, yet so much hasn’t.

With all the drama of 2020, it’s been forever since I touched this site and tried to write something relevant on this digital page. The thing is, I think about it all the time. I love writing. I tell myself this is what I want to do – but I can never seem to make the time to do what I say I want.

If I say it’s what I really want to do, why don’t I do it?

Fear.

Fear of what?

I’d say rejection, etc, etc, but really, isn’t fear a cover for pride?

I supposed I’m afraid to be good – or bad.

I’ve spent the last 20 years of my life investing in busy work that really amounts to very little. But that’s because I always keep one foot out the door so I can pull back whenever I want. Or close the door if I see it’s not working out the way I think it should. I keep things just “good enough” to stay open but never really profitable enough to fully commit.

YIKES. (That’s a big self-realization moment)

Maybe I should have been a nomad – or a gypsy. Constantly moving and never staying anywhere long enough to put down roots. Roots feel suffocating. Change is, well, addicting, and invigorating.

I love the feeling of starting something new and giving wings to ideas – but then I want to walk away and let someone else grow it up.

Running From Commitment

And what does this have to do with my inability to commit to writing? (This is rhetorical because at this second I have no idea).

I suppose it’s because all the writing gurus tell you to be committed and to write religiously every week or every day.

I do that in my journal but I don’t know if I want to put myself out there that much and that consistently.

Writing is what I enjoy so much and want to do it everyday, but do I want to put it “out there”? (Not that anyone reads my stuff, but hey, it’s out there nonetheless).

50 And Still Waiting To Do What I Want

I’m in the middle of moving some websites to a new server for my businesses and in the process, I dug up this dinosaur website and am now trying to decide what to do with it. There really is so much I’m learning, doing, and thinking about – many of which I’d love to share.

The blog posts I write in my head are stellar! But when I put my fingers on the keyboard, I got nothing.

Here I am, 50 years old, and I still haven’t really pursued what I want to do deep down. I keep getting sucked into helping people with websites and social media.

I hate social media. I’m not even that good at it.

But, no joke, every time I try to get away from it I run smack dab into it again. Everyone needs help and no one has money.

Recently, I released myself from some social media clients to give myself more time to write. Instead I got busy with my typewriter business. (Which I enjoy – but it’s still not what I WANT to do).

However, I have made one small step in my writing journey: Even morning I deliberately sit down in my kitchen or on my deck overlooking the lake, with notebook and pen in hand, and write about anything that comes to my mind. I love it! I have been consistently writing about 500-1000 words every morning for a month. (Yea, me!)

Finding A New Path

On top of that, in an effort to get to know new people, I thought it would be nice to find a way to get involved in our little community. Our family moved here a year and a half ago. It’s a small lake town of about 2500 folks – most of whom are retired and elderly but it’s in the early stages I trying to grow into a thriving lake town for tourism.

I thought that maybe if I found a place to volunteer an hour a week I’d get connected and maybe new opportunities would arise. I want to make a difference in my community and try to open new types of doors.

As it would happen, my neighbor is the president of the local Senior Center. I mentioned that if she needed a volunteer I’d love to help. So the call came for me to help with a bake sale.

Great, I thought. I wouldn’t mind baking some cookies, pies and talking to the older community.

New Path, Same Destination

I arrive at the meeting to find out they want an online, ongoing bake sale to raise money for the center. The pandemic has completely erased their income, as with many other organizations that no longer can have public gatherings. Yet, they still have many expenses as they get out to make sure the elderly are taken care of.

Okay. Ongoing help marketing the pies. No problem. I asked about their website and Facebook page…

they have neither.

Oh my. So guess who’s building a website and doing social media as a volunteer? 🙄 (With time I don’t have.)

I’m torn.

I’m thrilled that I can help them. They desperately need it and my softy heart wants to do whatever I can to see them succeed. There is no way they could afford to hire someone to do it and I have the skills to do it all.

On the other hand, I really, really, really don’t like or want to do social media and a website (especially for free).

Give me an apron and I’ll bake a couple of dozen pumpkin pies or let me read books or flip through photo albums of days gone by with the senior community. I’ll drive to the house of a lonely lady and sit with her for an hour. But here, I get to stay home and do what I’ve always done – again. For free.

Yea. Again, I am glad I can help them in such a big way – it’s just not what I had in mind.

IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A NEW START

My move to Missouri was a new start as my son was just out of high school and I felt like I could finally begin seriously pursuing my love of writing. I’m not that great at it and it takes time to learn to do it well. I sucked at English classes when I was a kid. Big words are over my head.

But I feel alive when I write. Even if it is bad grammar and structure and there are no fancy words.

Yet, everyday it feels like one more delay to being able to write.

In front of me sits a yellow notebook full of pages to a half-written book that I’ve been working on for four years. I wonder if it will ever be completed.

I’m 50. 50!!

When will everything else in my life stop needing me long enough to let me breath?

Last week I had someone send me a message asking how business was going. I replied: “I’m so busy and I don’t like it. I long for the days when I can sit on my patio, staring at the lake, coffee in hand, and write. I long for days with no appointments, no client work, no need to take my son to work, or pick him up. I can just take my time, enjoying the view of the lake, sip my coffee, write, and not worry about what time it is.”

50 and still waiting - love of writing and reading
From a day when I took a moment to read for fun, sip coffee, and enjoy the lake view

I will find a way…