"By taking small, seemingly insignificant actions in the direction of our goals and dreams (baby steps), we can quickly create changes which not only lessen the symptoms of depression but can also bring more energy, hope and vitality into our daily lives." Michael Neill
With 7 weeks to go in this pregnancy, each hour in my waking day feels like effort. The harder I try to convince myself that a positive attitude will help me out of this rut, the worse I feel. Last night I wrote about the war breaking out between Israel and Lebanon with about as much concern as I have for a glass of spilled milk. I'm a heartless being this week. It's no wonder the lullaby that always works when all else fails just made Jackson cry harder today. Yesterday I tried the fake smiling for 30 seconds trick, but I didn't have the energy to count past 20. And truthfully, despite one day last week where I did about fifty yard circles to get my mind off the gymboree going on inside my belly, this baby isn't causing me any major pain or discomfort to put me in such a moody mood. In fact, instead of bloated, wobbly, and full of life, my body feels empty and useless.
I didn't know quite how to account for this emptiness until I read a passage from Madeleine L'Engle's book, A Circle of Quiet this morning. And now, hours later, I think I can safely call this period of misery a mere wrinkle in time. Though I could blame it on a lot of things like pregnancy hormones, the heat, or my two year old's sudden outburst of terribleness, I have finally realized that it is something completely unrelated to weather or motherhood. What's missing is my writing. I've been so preoccupied with waiting to hear about my writing that I've lost the whole point of the dream. Last week, instead of being overjoyed to hear back from a second agent that my voice is unique, my story and characters compelling, I came up feeling lost and confused. What now? How can I possibly manage all of this feedback and improve my novel rather than make it worse? Especially now after all of this time away? Do I even remember what all of my characters are about?
Jennifer Louden sent me a nice note today to ask whether I had any good news about my novel. I'm always amazed how she has such perfect timing in her blogs and podcasts in relation to my own life's struggles. It's as if God has sent her out to wipe my windshield every time it rains.Receiving a personal e-mail from her in practically the moment I was begging for something to come along and fix my mood confirmed for me once again that I ought to keep climbing. Not only was I able to put my naive confusion in words in my note back to her, she quickly responded with veteran advice about how to act next.
Madeleine L'Engle who received countless rejections for her best selling novel, A Wrinkle in Time put my thoughts into words: "And I know now that the bleakness of the period of my life, bleak in many areas, was an essential part of my growing up, both as a woman and as a writer." And later…"I worried about not being a good enough wife. Or mother. I was joyful. In misery. In other words, I suppose I behaved normally for a writer."