I didn’t sleep well last night. Again. This is the 3rd night in a row I’ve been awake at 2 am. Last night I did not go back to sleep. I didn’t even doze.
And perhaps because I’m so utterly exhausted I’m struggling with things that are coming up. I am taking a writing retreat. Things aren’t supposed to be coming up. But they are.
Today I realized I lost something. It was something valuable, and it wasn’t even mine. It belongs to my daughter and I was responsible for it. I remember specifically having it in my hand Tuesday before I left my house. I haven’t thought about it again, until this morning. And now my stomach is churning with fear that I won’t find it.
As I was pulling into my parking space at the condo where I’m staying I kept thinking, “Stupid, stupid, stupid! How could I be so stupid!” I rushed upstairs hoping that there was a chance I’d stuck it in one of the bags I brought with me. Unfortunately, no, it wasn’t there. Immediately I thought, “What’s wrong with me!”
It’s gone. Hopefully not forever, but for now. I lack the energy to look for it and I haven’t even begun to work on the book today.
Speaking of the book, I made amazing progress on it yesterday. I felt inspired. Who wouldn’t be in this amazing place, where every time I look up I can see the ocean? I laid out the whole book, worked on transitions, completed a chapter that had still mostly been outline. I was confident in meeting my deadline, possibly completing ahead of schedule. I was brimming with a certainty that this book will be meaningful for those who read it.
Then today I had breakfast with a friend. He’s a really good friend who actually has experience as an author, so he knows about publishing. As we were talking about it and he was asking me questions about my plans I couldn’t help but think, “Why didn’t I think to ask his advice sooner? I have no idea what I’m doing. How can I think I can publish a book?” He meant well but again, my stomach churned with fear.
And then I stopped myself. These thoughts aren’t constructive. They are eating away at my self-confidence. Fear is threatening to take hold, and I need to stop it.
I know why my stomach is churning. It is not from rational thought. I’m tired and my unconscious mind has taken the reins. It’s celebrating the control it has regained. It enjoys making my stomach churn.
But I can stop it. Logical, rational thinking will put this to an end. The lost item will be recovered, or it won’t. It’s expensive but not irreplaceable. It is nowhere near as valuable as my self-esteem. And the book will be published. I might not have all the answers but I will figure it out, or I won’t. But either way I am putting it out there to the world. Regaining my certainty is more important than fear of failure.
Most importantly, I think I should take a nap…
This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Churn