Doubts, Faith And The Neglected Things
Its quiet and I'm alone in the house for a few hours. The holidays are upon me, and nothing is getting done. I'm a little tired today.
Boxes of ornaments sit waiting next to a nude Christmas tree. My manuscript hasn't moved forward in over a month. My camera is patiently waiting in its bag. My life is overwhelmed with everything else. I both love and loathe the holidays. Things at my day job accelerate, as deadlines fall like snowflakes. The beloved extroverts in my life have gone nuts and planned event after event. Introverts like me grow exhausted.
Yes, I am blessed, but I'm tired.
Downtimes from writing and photography are probably a good thing. I tend to neglect other important things when I fall into my creative rabbit holes. My health is one of those neglected things. Several check-engine lights are now blinking on my health dashboard, and I had better get a handle on it now. I've been to the gym quite a lot, and I'm down over 15 pounds since November began. That's no small feat during the holidays. I've even resumed jogging, at least as much as my neck and back will permit. I'm also back lifting weights. I love lifting weights, and I can't understand why I abandoned it for so long. I was hoping the improved fitness would increase my energy levels, but I still can't seem to shake the ever-present exhaustion.
Along with my health, I'm also trying extra hard not to neglect the important people in my life. Lately, a good deal of my free time is spent with family, especially my daughter. She has been cooking healthy meals every night to help me. At only 14, she is an amazing cook and baker. Oh, and she is a straight-A student who takes the tough math and science classes. She's simply amazing, and I don't think she realizes how much her old man loves and thinks the world of her. I'm proud of the young woman she is becoming.
I also think the world of my wife. With a demanding career, her world is currently more hectic than mine. The other day we decided to take a day off our respective jobs and just get away. It was nothing more than a day trip to the beach, but it was pleasant. I wish I could do more of this kind of thing during the holidays, just stop and spend time with the people I love with no agenda or schedule.
I don't see much of my two oldest children these days. My oldest son is out on his own as a successful video game designer. My middle child will soon be a college senior, and has a busy life of school, friends, and work. The day is coming soon where they will not be able to come home every Christmas. I realize I have to make every moment of the time left before they have their own families and responsibilities. I don't think either of my sons realizes how much their old man loves them, and thinks the world of them. I'm proud of the young men they have become.
In addition to family time, I've trying to get home renovation projects completed. Right now, the big project is the garage. Its freshly painted, and I'm waiting for my new shelves and cabinets to arrive. After the garage, fence repair, pool repair and yard rehabilitation. Somewhere in all of this, I will resume writing. I am still highly motivated to write, but why is beyond me.
My fiction books are not selling, and that's a bit disappointing. As an indie author, this is normal and makes me just one of the pack. Regardless, it always sows doubts about the quality of my writing. Doubts, always doubts. If I haven't found my audience by now, perhaps I never will. This situation should make it difficult to get motivated. Yet, I will continue to write, perhaps just out of stubbornness. My oldest boy has picked up "Black Sea Gods" and is slowly reading it. Occasionally, he calls me to talk about a plot point or ask a question. He never really considered reading my work until he listened to the audiobook version of The Golden Princess. It's weird to talk to him about something I started writing when he was nine, and now he is a man. I'm not sure if he's reading the book to be kind, or if he is genuinely enjoying it, but I am thankful either way. It's just my doubts creeping up on me. Doubts, always doubts.
When I was young, I had so few doubts and so many dreams. Now, I cling to just a few remaining dreams, and oh so many doubts. If we grow wiser with age, shouldn't we grow more sure of ourselves?
But behind the doubts there is always a faith I never knew (or needed) in my youth - faith that I'm doing the right thing. Faith I'm showing the people most important to me the time and attention they need. Faith I'm not neglecting the things that need taking care of. Faith that in between all of this and that I will eventually get these ideas and stories out of head and onto paper.
Faith that maybe they will be worth a damn.
Yes, feeling blessed, but tired.
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