October came and went before I even had a chance to
really say hello. Because October has
long been one of my favorite months, I felt a little sad with its passing… but
then I considered all the good and scary things October brought.
There were, of course, the ghosts and goblins of
We are so blessed to have crazy friends who go all-out on
There was a pumpkin wagon for carrying gangs of children
around the neighborhood, lots of good food, kooky costumes, and a haunted trail
with a giant black spider falling into our wagon from the dark
branches above, a skeleton that sprang from a makeshift
coffin, and our friend, Jay, wielding a chainless chainsaw and looking about as
threatening as a fun-loving 39-year old dad can. I love how having kids is our license to
Dr. Frankenstein– Chief of Pumpkin Surgery
But it turns out that wasn’t the only scary stuff going on
around here. Recently, I
challenged my G-Force girls to “do something scary”, which I was quick to point
out did not mean anything that might result in bodily harm. What I wanted them to think about was trying
something they had thought about doing but felt just a little bit afraid
of. For some of them, these things
included attempting a back handspring, trying out for a play, or
singing a solo at church. It became part
of their weekly “homework” to think about one thing they wanted to do that
scared them a little and then to do something—any small step—towards that goal.
They say that the best way to learn is to teach, so when I
throw these kinds of challenges out to my girls, I have to think about my own
fears and what I might do to face them.
Biggest fear right now?
Putting my book out into the world and letting real people read it. So… this October, I mailed my manuscript to my number one literary agency choice.
I went to the National Women’s Book Association’sBibliofeast event where I not only met the agent I had submitted the manuscript
to but I also sat next to her at dinner, asked lots of questions, and learned
more than I ever would have sitting at home on my butt reading other people’s
And to think—I had considered not
going since I wouldn’t know many people, and I was AFRAID I might be out of my
The Director of the Foothills Arts Council asked me to read
some poetry at the poetry in the garden event, BEAT! I said yes, and the FEAR promptly set up camp
in my busy, busy brain. “What were you
thinking?!” it screamed. “You are not a
poet.” Despite the fear, however, I
wrote two poems (two that I’m actually pretty proud of) and read them aloud in
front of several friends and even more strangers, and it was FUN!
Why haven’t I been doing this stuff all
What I learned by venturing into these places where I felt I
might be out of my element is that I was completely IN my element. What a loss it would have been to have never
found that out.
So as a month of haints and boogers passes into a month of
gratitude and thanksgiving, think about what it is your heart really longs to
do but your mind is just a little bit afraid of.
DO IT ANYWAY.
You’ll be so grateful you did.