Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Beginning

2012 has arrived! and with a hopeful heart I am looking forward to this new year of possibilities. Although I'll probably forget to write the correct date on my checks and other documents well into February, I am glad for this chance to open a new calendar book and think about this new beginning.

I'm working on several great projects and enjoying all three. Their presence gives me a renewed sense of energy ... and when you are about to turn 64 any positive boost is welcomed. These writing projects bring purpose and schedules and deadlines ... a better place for me dwell.

My life is very different than I imagined years and years ago, it is also, right here, today very full. Most of the happenings were not of my choosing ... who chooses to watch their beloved husband die at age 44? He was gone before our 25th Anniversary, but there isn't a day that goes by that I don't share a thought or prayer with him. His picture is the last one I see at night and the first one in the morning. Most people I've met since that late June day in 1992 do not know this part of my life story. Nor do I write about it. After all what was there to say.

It isn't just Larry's death that defines me ... but my fearful response to loss, failed expectations, unrealized goals and my own poor choices. This needs to change. Oh, I'm not talking about writing long posts about the grueling days of uncertainty, the many trips to Johns Hopkins Hospital, the parade of doctors who did their best, the final goodbye.

Instead, it is time for me to consider new beginnings and next steps.

Words and the stories they create have always been important to me so it is logical (at least to me) that I think in terms of my own words and stories, and of favorite books by authors who gave me a welcomed escape ... or taught me to fry chicken, raise a baby the Dr Spock way, or delighted me with the symmetry of their sentences and inspired me to be a better writer, a better writing teacher.

Lately, I have been thinking about this blog ... and how my original vision was never realized. Back in 2008 I saw "Dialogue" as yet another gathering spot for my many writing students. An online community where we could stay connected, ask and answer questions, share news, markets, and more. It didn't happen. I wasn't able to mimic the bonding or the enthusiasm that occurred in the classroom. I wonder did I step back too quickly. Perhaps.

Three years have passed since that first posting and now it is time for Plan B*. I still want to write about writing (fiction, nonfiction, and the memoir which encompasses both). What I know about putting words down on paper and what my students taught me; about books that have been successfully published and their authors; short lessons on mechanics and longer posts on where to find inspiration in life. I'm not ready to abandon "Dialogue" or change its name ... just its intention.

Aging does not guarantee wisdom or a cure for overcoming the fearful life. It just doesn't. But finding the right words to tell our stories, both past and present, might be the change we need for our future. Or at least the beginning.

* Plan B by Pete Wilson has been an important book in my recent life. Published by Thomas Nelson in 2009 it is a fairly new book ... my copy however, dog-eared, well-read and treasured. It is a book about God and what to do with shattered dreams and disappointments. What do you do when your life isn't turning out the way you thought? What do you do when you have to turn to Plan Be? I have learned a lot from this book, thank your Pastor Pete Wilson and Thomas Nelson.

Note: I reviewed this book, here, on June 15, 2011.


Jen Zeman said...

Great post Patricia! May 2012 bring you tremendous success in all that you do!

Patricia said...

Thanks Jen, you continue to be a source of courage and inspiration for me ... I believe you are already a success.

Carol Bindel said...

Yes. I'm one of the lucky ones who knew Larry, and "the kids" when they really were,(as you knew my husband and kids), one of the lucky ones who has shared the path with you. Contemporaries. Friends. Fellow writers. I'm so delighted to read this post. Let the sharing continue.

Patricia said...

Carol, as always I appreciate our years friendship.We have shared so much over the years ... tears of joy and sorrow, quiet giggles, writing how-tos, and smiles of understanding. Two girls from very different backgrounds ... sisters in spirit. You are never far from my thoughts.