Saturday, February 11, 2023

One secret to life, revealed (<--clickbait title)

It'll be our little secret

Don't tell anyone, but when I am suffering from writer's block (when I'm majorly psyched out about my thesis, for example), I open up a Blogger draft and type in there. Because it's soothing somehow. 

I may or may not have 655 words of my thesis saved in a Blogger draft right now. Those 655 words are just a drop in the bucket—for reference, my thesis prospectus is 17566 words (including my references). That translates into 76 pages (and I don't really want to talk about it because writing those 76 pages was hard and made me feel like I wasn't really a writer, or a reader, or a scholar, which is why my thesis itself is only 655 words from today plus the 566 words I wrote a few days ago, so 1221 words total)—but they exist now and they didn't before, so that feels like a victory tonight and so I'm allowing myself to blog about my a treat. 

Will my thesis be finished by next month? Probably not. 

But we're going to just keep putting drops in the bucket—and by "we," I mean "me"—because that's how things get done.

While we were at the park today, Alexander was determined to go across the monkey bars by himself. I helped him across a couple of times, spotting him while coaching him to swing and reach. Then Rachel coached him for a while. And then he attempted it on his own. 

The first time he dropped to the ground after only reaching the second or third bar. The second time he didn't do much better. I'm not sure which try he was successful at first, but soon he was making it across more often than he was finding himself lying in the wood chips. 

Still, after he'd "mastered" it, there were times he had to drop to the ground in the middle of traversing the bars because he was too tired to go on. 

But he kept at it, kept flailing his legs wildly while swinging his body back and forth—the most chaotic little pendulum I've ever seen—and reaching with his arms.

Here he is, coming in at the end of the monkey bars with a mixture of pride, relief, and effort on his face:

After we'd finished playing and were walking back to the car, Alexander pranced up beside me and said, "You know, I had a lot of failures on the monkey bars today, a lot of mistakes. But then I had some successes, too, and that was nice!"

And then he dashed off ahead of me. 

Those successes are rather nice, aren't they? 

Especially after falling flat on your face a dozen times in a row.

This morning I woke up to a notification that two of my poems were accepted for publication at a lovely little pet-project publication based in Romania. A couple of rather nice "successes!" (I won't tell you how many poems I've had rejected).

They should be coming out April 1. 

And I got back a paper to revise and resubmit from a pretty highly rated journal. So that was nice, too, though making revisions isn't my favourite activity (and the last time I did a revise and resubmit on this paper the journal was like, "Yeah, thanks for making all those changes. We're still going to pass." And I was like, "Cool, just let me finish brushing these wood chips off myself and I'll take the paper elsewhere.").


Today my sister Josie also happened to tweet about her first falling-flat-on-her-face attempt at making pysanky (years ago) compared to her most recent eggs, a beautiful trio of successes: 

And I have to say that it seems that falling flat on your face (over and over and over) again is...worth it.

All those false starts and tripping at the finish line and losing your grip and writing really bad poetry and creating a truly awful egg (wink face), all the bumbling and's all worth it!

The successes are coming.

I suppose this post could really be summed up with the childhood refrain of "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again!" Or Daniel Tiger's "Keep trying! You'll get better! Try, try, try!" know...any number of pithy little sayings/songs like that. 

But it felt good to write it, anyway.

No comments:

Post a Comment