It feels strange to say I'm grateful for this. It only recently hit home that the best laid plans of mice and men are only the plans of mice and men. That what actually happens - despite my lists, schedules and failures - can turn out to be good.
It helps a lot, at times, for instance, like Monday - when I read in Don Pape's interview that readers have begun to expect the same prices for books as they do for iPhone apps: free, or at least cheap. Think of the trouble this signals for any who want to be paid for their writing.
Maybe you've seen it written on posters in Facebook: "Never give up what you really want for what you want right now."
May I suggest a new one? "What you really want is easier to get than what you think you want."
My five year plans outlined the things I thought I wanted. For Instance: to make my living writing books.
But recently - by accident, default or sheer grace - I have managed to allow God to write his own list for me:
- To settle into this moment, in this skin.
- To loosen my grip on my needs and desires, assuming, like any loved daughter, that I will be cared for.
- To see for once the things I missed when I held so tightly to my needs and desires that my eyes were clenched shut.
- To write from a place of wonder, generosity, and compassion - for my characters, my readers, and myself.
- To give, assuming, like any commissioned servant, that provisions will be in my hands when they open.
Now that I look at the list, they don't seem so easily gotten. Whole years of things came before. And if I'd put them on a five-year plan, I doubt it would have worked out.
It feels, though, as if I just let go, and let myself fall - in frustration, or resignation, or weariness.
But when I fell, grace caught me. How easy was that?