I’m having that kind of week. Nothing of note really, just a whole lot of work and not a lot of glory. You know those whiney times that come when you feel like you’re busting your ass and everyone around you is having great things happen to them and you’re just toiling away unnoticed? Yeah, that. Again, not real problems, just some whoa- is- me days.
On Monday I lost my favorite pen. It’s a silly pen that I
stole accidentally brought home from the Four Seasons when I was out with Yahoo! in California years ago. I love it not just because of it’s uber-slimness but also because it symbolizes a time where I felt like I had the world by the tail and I don’t so much feel that way lately. It’s been a long year of “thanks buts” and my ego is pretty bruised. I write with that pen when I’m trying to remember that high.
The thing that really stinks about losing it is that I’m pretty sure I’ll never get another. No one is beating down my door to fly me anywhere for my blogging skills these days and let’s face it, The Four Seasons isn’t really in the King Family Budget. So I was bummed and of course that means I wrote it on Facebook. Because when it’s just bummed and not real problems I always throw it out to the FB world as a reminder to myself that the problem isn’t really a problem, just an absurd thing to feel bad about.
I got a message from an old friend that she had an idea of a pen I could try. She asked for my address but I didn’t think much of it. Surely this woman wasn’t going to the trouble to track down and mail me a pen. We haven’t laid eyes on eachother in twenty years and we’ve only reconnected because of FB and maybe this blog. Clearly there are more important things in her life than me and my pen worries.
Here’s the thing, we weren’t even that close in high school, but what I’ve learned from social media and the few exchanges we’ve actually had, I wish I lived next door to this woman because I think we’d have a very good time. Add that to the whoa is me list: why do I have to have these great connections with women who live in California for damn sake?!? Maybe I should move to California. (See, how my crazy mind works? I told you these were made-up problems.)
Made up or not, that’s where my head is, right in the “nobody likes me, everybody hates me, why don’t I go eat worms” lane of life. I know it’s ridiculous, but it’s true.
Then today the mail came. And there was a package.
I didn’t recognize the company name. I was pretty sure I hadn’t promised anyone a product review recently so I wasn’t expecting anything. I opened the box and there was a label that said, “invoice open package first so you don’t ruin the surprise”. Surprise? Well that’s fun. So I did what I was told. I untied the lovely grosgrain ribbon and opened the box to find a slim box that said, “Stilleto, For Women by Women”.
It was a pen. A skinny, metal pen. My kids thought it was very special because it came in a plastic test-tube. They were sure it was a million dollar pen. It felt that way to me too.
The note said to consider it a thank you for writing things that reminded her she wasn’t alone in the “wild work” of balancing life. Also she said, “writers should have a pen to cherish.”
All the days of whoa-is-me faded when I doodled a heart with that pen.
Who cares if I’m not nominated for awards? Who cares if everything I try out for becomes nothing more than a learning experience? Who cares if the rejection has been so tough that I’m doubting I can even call myself a writer anymore.
I have always said that the reason I do this is because I want people to feel better about life. I’ve maintained from day one that if by writing my crazy tales I can help even one person out there feel less alone, then all the rejection is worth it.
Guess what? They do.
And it is.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.