Five years

Five years is both a tremendously long length of time–longer than a presidency or high school or most college degree programs–and the blink of an eye.

Oh the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss

Five years ago, I became a mother. Today I watched my little girl pedal away from me for the first time on a real “big girl” bike for the first time and the soundtrack in my head was Dr. Seuss:

Congratulations!

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
 
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.  And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
That’s how my daughter is–full of confidence. She doesn’t look back when we drop her off at school or when she rides away. She’s a planner–she planned this birthday for months, right down to the color of the cupcakes and the contents of the goody bags.
She never had any doubts that it wouldn’t come true. I hope she never loses that certainty that dreams become reality if you plan long enough. The indomitable Cherry Adair says in one of her classes, “A Goal is a dream with a deadline.”
My five year old is full of dreams with deadlines–the bike she wanted to get for her birthday, the reading she wants to accomplish by the end of the year, the swimming she wants to learn by next summer.
As adults sometimes it’s all to easy to lose sight of both this certainty that dreams do come true and this innate ability to give our dreams deadlines. It’s way to easy to get caught up in the other part of the Seuss tale:
You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.
I know I’m not alone in experiencing a bit of a Fall Slump. I’ve got several projects out on submission but I’ve spent a week without a WIP. It makes me antsy and uncertain. And we  all get that way–when the doubts start to creep in and dreams feel silly. And we forget that we’re on a journey–one that’s uniquely our own.
If all goes well, I’ve got a book out next week and it’s not unlike the experience of letting my child out into the world–my stomach is all wobbly and I want to snatch it back. But books, like children, are meant to be shared. And dreams are meant to be realized.
Thank you to my little planner for reminding me of that. Time to set some more dreams-with-deadlines and trust the journey. Time to look ahead, instead of looking backwards at how much time has escaped our grasp.
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!
Where do YOU want to go today?

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