Back in the Saddle

“I’m taking the summer off from the blog,” I said, with excitement and pride at my ability to take control of life. In my mind, a summer open before me, combined with a break from the blog, meant diligently working on other writing projects. In theory, less time at The Tall Mom, less time at work, and more time at home…all translated into more time working on the three manuscripts (in various stages) patiently waiting on my hard drive.

Unfortunately, my writing habits, much like everything else in my life, rarely follow theory.

With three active kids and a summer season full of impromptu gatherings, days at the lake or in the mountains, vacations, pool visits, and pajama days…writing found a seat in the way way way back of the stands and settled in for the long, hot wait.

Here I sit, staring at the calendar on my desk, asking, “How the F is it almost Labor Day weekend? And how is it I ‘took off the summer’ and only managed to work on a single manuscript, one time?”

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Photo evidence of the one and only writing session of the summer.

I am dejected. The picture in my head of the elation I’d experience at this juncture in time—the sense of accomplishment, the word count I was going to report…it was going to be mind blowing. I was to be triumphant, achieved, the master of my writing fate.

Alas, I feel more like summer was some kind of beautiful beast that lured me in, appealed to my sense of wonder and imagination, only to take me for a dusty, rough ride and throw me in the deep borrow ditch of reality.

Don’t get me wrong. The scenery, at times, was breathtaking, and the memories will certainly be cherished. But I was so focused on holding on, anticipating the next turn…I forgot about the projects waiting for me back in the nosebleed stands where the ride began.

I know there is no use in looking back with shame and disappointment. The time has passed. *Poof* Like a plate-full of homemade cookies or the novelty of being home everyday, all day, with my kids. It was here…now it’s gone.

God willing, there are many more days to come.

Time will continue to pass…at a drudgingly tedious pace when I’m mediating an argument between tween sisters, or at lightening speed when I’m frantically trying to get myself and all three kids to work/school on time. But it will pass.

I’ve come to the conclusion: I am a writer only if I write. If enough time passes and I’m not writing…I will lose my identity as a writer. Which, in a nutshell, breaks this Tall Mom’s heart to consider.

Much like when I was young and found myself face-down in the dirt, my horse leering over my disheveled body with smug equine triumph, I must take a deep breath and pull myself up by the bootstraps. Pun intended. Though bruised and a little worse for the wear, the only thing left to do is simply lift my foot into the stirrup and swing on up.

I can hear the conversation with my mother, repeated throughout my past, echo in the recesses of my mind…

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-“You got bucked off.”

Nod

-“It happens to every cowgirl more than once. You alright?”

Nod

-“You still want to be a rider?”

Nod

-“Well, then, you better get back on and ride.”

I’m spitting out the metaphorical dirt in my teeth, giving a terse nod, and sitting my ass back in the saddle.

It’s time to be a writer.