The Missing Hours was released in paperback two days ago. According to my traditional rhythm, it is now customary for me to be stricken with fear. What if the readers hate it? Or worse what if no one hates it because no one reads it?
Oddly though, this time I do not feel fear. Don’t get me wrong, there are flashes of it. But they come and they go and life moves on.
I wonder, am I finally learning to release that which I cannot control?
Because all I have are my words. I tell the story that is within me to tell. I work hard, I write and I re-write, and then I let it go. The Missing Hours has flown the nest. Its subsequent fate is not under my control.
In worrying about its future, I am trying to control that which is beyond my reach. I am trying to force the world into a pattern of my design. But what if the pattern of the world is more complex, more beautiful and more brilliant than I could possibly imagine? Things may not go as I want them to. But maybe they’ll work out anyway.
So, today, when those fears spark, I am attempting to remain where I am, in the moment. To enjoy the sound of rain against the window, of my children’s laughter. I am trying not to live forward but to live right now.
Sometimes that fails. Then I distract myself – this afternoon it was a dance party in my kitchen, or re-visiting The Wolves of Willoughby Chase and remembering how those words struck me as a child. Tomorrow, I might swim or clean my bathroom (I REALLY need to clean my bathroom!).
And whatever is going to happen will happen.
And maybe that’s okay.