This is what I know: every day we begin again. In October 2015 my mother died after a short, intense illness. Some days are a giant struggle, others less so.
But every morning brings a painful reminder that Mum’s not here.
Yet this daily fresh start allows me to try again to live with meaning and creativity. It doesn’t matter that the day before I failed to get dressed, switched off my smartphone and ignored the doorbell.
Because every day we begin again. And so I did throughout January 2016. I hadn’t written or worked for months. I needed some kind of framework to support me in returning to my words and my business. Sarah Kathleen Peck’s Writing Every Day: A 30-Day Project was just the ticket.
My goal (note, not resolution) was modest: to write and publish a blog post every weekday for the whole of January 2016. I wrote about Idris Elba and diversity of thought; our desire to ‘consume’ and share our food online here and here; and about the importance of failure, ritual and rhythm for writers and creative entrepreneurs.
Crucially, I did not post every weekday as I’d intended and neither did Sarah Peck. It’s interesting how she viewed her entirely reasonable reasons for missing her self-imposed deadlines 14-days in and later, the discomfort she felt on missing a post entirely:
The challenge for me, and I don’t know how many other people feel this way as well, is not letting one lapse cloud and cluster my judgment. Would missing a day throw me off kilter? Would I backslide and decide that not writing was easier, and I’d just skip a few days, who cared?
On the days when grief was all-consuming and/or the ‘death admin’ I am dealing with ate up my limited attention and energy, I cut myself some slack on not posting on my blog. I didn’t (haven’t yet) even update the Sarah’s communal accountability spreadsheet, nor did I share my words on social media.
The posts from January 2016 were for me as much as they were for you my reader. And if I go gently on myself during this time, I hope you will too, and on yourself.
Sarah allowed herself to acknowledge that it’s okay to be imperfect and that there was no need to ‘catch up’ with old prompts or writing past essays despite the desire to do so. It’s good to be reminded of this.
Start today, with one essay, with one post. Every day is a new day. Here we are. We begin, again.
– Sarah Kathleen Peck
It’s February 2016. The light lingers longer each evening and the buds on the magnolia trees outside Barrytowers prepare to bloom. I wonder how my life will look in another four months’ time and how I’ll endure the days until then.
This I know: I will endure the moments of pain and sadness, and I will delight in the brighter times. Because every day, we begin again. Isn’t that glorious?
[Thank you to Sarah for creating this project and sharing such compassionate, considered words and thoughts as ever]
Image credit: Marta Pawlik | Unsplash