Sometimes mistakes can be a massive WAKE UP CALL. We writers suffer from them all the time. It could be as simple as having a train of thought be lost because we have no pen, batteries for our keyboards, cell phones away from us or what not. Sure, it sounds like an impossibility due to technology being so accessible – but the reality is IT’S NOT. Recently, I blogged about making a massive error and saving an unedited file as the final version. Then I uploaded it to Amazon before the BookBub Ad I was running. Well, as you can imagine, that did not go over well.
Although it might be an extreme example, it was a big wake up call for me. I needed to start scheduling myself better. I need to take a breather and not stress over deadlines. I will make them if it is humanly possible. If I don’t… it will suck, but I can adapt. Health and sanity will always come before the mighty dollar. It took this mishap to remind me of that. I was more worried about making it to the BookBub Ad, the time frame I gave myself to finish things before surgery… I put such an insane amount of pressure on my own shoulders – for what? In the end, more people hated the editing than the book. Forty thousand people have the wrong version unless they updated their files. Sure, Amazon pushed an update – but who is downloading it? Not a lot based on the reviews. It’s not their fault, they shouldn’t HAVE to update. This is all on me. It’s my cross to bear. My road to hoe. All because of a stupid invisible deadline I gave myself.
We, creative people, have a tendency to work when the inspiration hits us. We never know when we will see something or feel something that causes the desire to work. It just happens, but somehow we have to corral that into a paycheck. So, we have to schedule when we work. We write a few hours a day. We go to sets or locations during our call times. We work like it is a normal nine-to-five job – and it is hard. But we are blessed. We do what we love and how many of us can say that is the case during our lifetimes.
Yesterday my mother was telling me how she was towards the end of her life. Every day, she mumbled, was a blessing to be alive. I laughed and told her I could die tomorrow. I could get into a massive car accident and everything would just end. I could be buried before her. Time knows no boundaries. Death knows no constraints. It comes for all of us, regardless of any descriptors.
This morning (2/28), as I was driving to physical therapy for my shoulder, I was stopped at a light at a major intersection. I was listening to some 80’s song on the radio, mindlessly tapping my left toe to the footrest built into the floor. The radio suddenly shuts off and pops back on. I turned it off immediately and unplugged my Garmin DashCam. The ABS brake light came on. The light turned green. I managed to get moving to the next turn arrow right near my therapy place. Airbag light, turn left, steering not working. Fight the wheel using my knees and hands, turn right into a parking lot, left into an abandoned area and left again into a spot. Grab emergency brake and pull hard. Car stops.
The last time I looked at my speedometer, I was doing around 30 MPH. I don’t know how I stopped or managed to do what I did. I just did. I was calm, I acted on adrenaline. I got my car out of the road and parked perfectly between the white lines. Yesterday’s conversation running through my head – I could die before my mother. It scared the crap out of me. I got towed, dropped it off at Ford and got a loaner car. This wake-up call was as stealthy as a Firetruck on the way to a twelve-alarm fire. I’ve been stressing myself out a lot lately. I’ve got renovations going on in my basement due to the black mold holding firm like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. I’ve been concerned about money, deadlines for my fourth book, some minor health issues and a bunch of other crap that everyone goes through at one point in their life.
My faithful followers are probably asking me to get to the point… well – life is filled with mistakes and it is very short. We all live in the now, paycheck to paycheck. We never worry about ten years in the future let alone our retirement. We only want what makes us happy at this moment in time – instant gratification. The newest cell phone. The best keyboard, computer or television a credit card can buy. It all adds up. We will be buried under debt, stress, real deadlines and wake up calls will fly by unseen. We eventually will die having never truly lived.
So, go outside. Go hang out with your family. Silence your phone and go for a walk with the dog. Make an excel spreadsheet to plan that dream vacation. Do everything in moderation and don’t sacrifice your life for an object. Live as if you were in an RV. You have limited space for things and what you do have must be multi-functional. Follow your dreams in your spare time. FIND A WAY.
We are all waiting for the grim reaper to find us at some point. Take care of yourself. Be healthy. Be spontaneous. Be free. Live like you are dying…. because in essence – we are. That is not a negative, it is a reality. Don’t allow someone else to take away your time without you wanting it to be that way.
Remember, you are worth every breath you take. You are enough to follow your dreams in any capacity. You are valued, loved and cherished in this world. You might not feel all those things all the time – but it is true.
I value all of you who read, subscribe and allow me to follow my dreams. I cherish the communication, comments, and reviews you all take time to post. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me your time.