So, with Monday just gone past on my side of the world I’m pleased to announce that I have completed 31132 words for my NaNoWriMo project. That’s further than I managed on my very first attempt at Nano a few years past. I’m pretty confident (though aware that the world can blow up in your face sometimes) that I’ll reach the projected 50k for the end of the month. We are given a report at NaNo (let’s see if I can insert it at the bottom) as to how our progress is and mine’s very positive. According to it, I only have to write another 1300 words a day to reach my goal. Seeing as how I average at around 2000 I’m pretty sure I’ll make it. You see, writing to me is nothing new. This is not the first time I’ve written down a series of words and dare call it a novel, no – it’s merely the first (second) time that I do so with a bigger goal in mind.
What that goal is I’m still not sure and I’ve stopped worrying about it. I had a bit of a strange day today. Mondays are bad for me because I’m normally suffering from a kind of weekend hang-over of the non drinking kind. My weekends are very busy. They are my peak working times. I waiter Friday, Saturday and certain Sunday evenings as well as ride a proper distance with my horse and work on my second job as a horse safari guide. I worked yesterday (Sunday) at both the restaurant and the nature reserve and this morning I felt as if a truck hit me. I had to get up quite early to attend a horse riding lesson but somehow, I could not drag myself up. I lay there in bed, aware of every ache and pain in my body and wondered what holy cockroach I had stepped on to deserve my life (I’m pretty dark in the morning). Without feeling ungrateful, I found myself despairing about everything from my university degree to my work hours and my family. I found it unfair that I had studied five years and worked 2 years in my profession only to come to a country that refuses to hire me in my field because of the two words: Affirmative Action… (And B.E.E. for that matter). I was angry that I had to work 6 days out of a 7 day week, scrape time together to spend with my partner (who’s on the same continent as I am for the first time in 2 years) and just manage to get round to riding my horse. I found it unfair that I had to count every cent that I made and that I couldn’t sleep a proper amount of hours every night.
But then, of course, as it always happens, I started thinking about all the things that I do have, about the things that give me joy and the gestures that make me calm. So, I dragged myself up out of bed and went to ride my lesson. I allowed a friend to drag me to another’s birthday party and sat there, allowing myself to enjoy it (and the chocolate cake!). And then, when I came home, I allowed myself to go to bed for another hour which was the best thing that I could’ve done for myself.
I woke up feeling groggy and disorientated and all but dragged myself to work. When I reached the restaurant, I realized that I had to do something about my attitude otherwise I was going to have a very bad night. So, I went outside, got myself a Coke Zero and bundled myself into a corner amidst empty boxes of potato wedges and frozen vegetables. I drank my coke slowly, allowing myself to enjoy the sun beating down on my back. I told myself that I had to pull myself together and for once I listened. I found my calm, acknowledged my insecurities and unhappiness and moved on from there.
The thing is that, perhaps like Nano, the trick is not to focus on what you don’t have or what you should have, but what you can do at the given point in time. Life really isn’t fair, if it was – none of us would have anything interesting to do. But, life is also what we make of it. I can decide to sit and sulk about my unused qualifications; my crappy work hours, my unorganized room and my painful muscles or I can get up and say: So What? I do the best that I can do.
And, that is what I do. I might not be the best, but I do the best that I can do and that, as it has always been, is good enough for me.
View my progress report