And Just Like That . . .

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

She started writing again. I haven’t done a search of how many posts on Medium right now begin with that phrase, “And Just Like That . . .” I never imagine myself as unique, so I’m certain it is a whole heck of a lot!

For those who may literally live under a rock (how are you reading an online blog?) that phrase is a reference to the new sequel series to Sex and the City. I’ve never been a big fan, so I can’t tell you which character I am or why it was so shocking to the world that Mr. Big died after a Peloton workout — so shocking that it effected the stock market (we really have lost our minds). But, being someone who really wants you to read what I write, I will use just about anything from our culture to pull you in!

It has been over a month since I last wrote anything. Not true. I have written at least one sermon in that time, but I rarely think of sermon-writing as WRITING writing. I’m working on reframing that in my mind, but clearly it is a work in progress.

Every day when I have woken up, I have thought, “maybe I will get back to the daily writing today.” Every night when I have gone to bed, I have thought, “Maybe tomorrow.”

And just like that . . .

What drew me to the computer today? For one, I counted the months until my birthday. We are less than half a year away from my 50th birthday now. I had a whole year just yesterday, I’m sure of it. I had such big plans. Walking regularly, losing weight, riding my bike 50 miles in one trip, the usual stuff when a person is about to turn 50! Today I purchased some groovy-looking compression socks. They will be here before Christmas and I’m so excited.

Writing was the big thing, though. In my mind it was THE ANSWER. It was the answer that was going to bring all the other answers I needed. Who needs to go to therapy if you write everyday, am I right? (Spoiler: I am wrong.) This is what has brought me to the laptop again. I’m going to try to be honest with y’all. It isn’t pretty, though, and it completely ruins the whole fascade of being really cool that I have going on. (My kids are wrong! They say you aren’t cool if you have to tell people you are cool. Whatever.)

I was writing every day and hoped that it would be a sort of discernment process for me which would then work its magic on my family. I was writing every day in hopes that by the time I turn 50 — 164 days from today — that I would know every possible answer I’ve ever wanted.

That isn’t true.
I’m not stupid.

But, I did hope that I would have discerned “next steps” for Hubby and me — you know when Kid #2 burrows up out of the den and runs free. (We aren’t bird people. No empty nest metaphor here. We are the sitting in the dark with Fantastic Mr. Fox people.)

There is still a lot of time. I have hope. Here is the ugly part I have to share. There was this writing contest on Medium that I entered. I, of course, hoped to win the $50,000 grand prize which would be a very clear indication that not only can I write worth your reading, but that Hubby and I had at least a year’s salary to live on the beach with (Hubby is not on board for wasting money. Hubby is on board for living on the beach.) I did not win the grand prize. I didn’t even get Ms. Congeniality!

And just like that . . . this blog disappeared.

Once when we were fairly young, Hubby shared some of his education in psychology with me.

“YOU have an EXTERNAL locus of control. I have an INTERNAL locus of control.”

He doesn’t think he said it in a way to acknowledge which he believes is the better locus of control, but it was clear. It is still clear. The way I would clarify for him is:

“I CARE about other people. You DO NOT.”

That isn’t true either, but I have said those very words to him. He certainly doesn’t worry about what other people THINK very often. He doesn’t need pats on the back or “Atta boys.” If I didn’t get an “Atta girl” yesterday, I will likely not get out of bed today.

So, when it became clear that the “celebrity panel” for the writing contest thought my writing was a big pile of shit, I stopped writing.

Don’t worry, please. I do not think my writing is a big pile of shit! I do not even think that they thought it was. But, I wasn’t THE BEST. I didn’t WIN. And, I’m here to confess that it effected my desire to write at all. Not being THE BEST, not WINNING, always effects my desire — for anything.

And, confessing that makes me feel small and dumb and vain. I wonder if I am even a “real writer.” Wouldn’t a writer write regardless of what others thought? Don’t the real writers keep a notebook that is private (Hey Hubby!) and couldn’t care less if anyone ever reads any of it? Why keep writing when I’m clearly a fake?

And just like that . . .
She is back at it.

I don’t know if I will write tomorrow. I know I’m still making a list of story ideas and there are lots of things I’d love to share:

FOMO or Fear of Not Being Invited?
The time I was accused publicly in writing of having an affair with a co-worker.
The first time I KNEW I was called to Theatre.
My 16th Birthday Party (Hubby sang “16 candles” to me!).
Remembering the supply store in elementary school (“I need two pencils and an eraser, please.”)
Unknowingly participating in an exorcism.
My siblings thinking I “have a healthy dose of self-esteem”!
Serving Communion on the set of The Ugly Duckling.

There are others. I’ve got stories. Finding the energy to sit down and write them is what I lack too often. Today I should be doing about four other things, so suddenly here is all this energy for writing! It feels good, though. I don’t know if I will show up again tomorrow, but today here I am . . .

And, just like that . . . Year 49 tick, tick, booms down to 236,160 minutes . . . tick, tick, tick . . .

This is Year 49.

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In no particular order: Writer, pastor, Mama Bear, LGBTQ+ ally, wife, preacher, watcher of TV, seeker, mystic want-to-be

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T. H. McClung, she/her(s)

T. H. McClung, she/her(s)

In no particular order: Writer, pastor, Mama Bear, LGBTQ+ ally, wife, preacher, watcher of TV, seeker, mystic want-to-be

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