I had an epiphany last night and one earlier this week, put together, they may change me.
Over the last week, my two-year-old has gotten way off his sleep and nap schedule. Yesterday he rested in bed but couldn't fall asleep for a nap. By 7:00 PM, he was done. So was my husband, who was trying to coax him to sleep. Eventually he called for me. I offered to tell him a story.
I told him the story that is the first chapter chronologically in the children's story I wrote about a year ago. The beginning is a flashback, but when I tell my son the story, I always start with the first chapter chronologically. I had the realization that I need to rewrite this story, the edits of which have been vexing me because the timeline is so confusing. The first chapter happens in the summer, two months after the story has started. The action actually starts in the spring on a very rainy day. Since this story is for 3rd graders, I think I need to start it at the beginning and lose the opening chapter. But this isn't the epiphany that changes my life, this just changes the revisions I need to do.
The epiphany I had is this: I love to tell stories. I haven't lulled my little guy to sleep with one of my stories in weeks. My husband has been doing the bed-time thing with my son to help me out. I love telling stories, especially sweet children's stories. I ended the evening with him asleep in my arms dreaming about snakes and bunnies and very helpful groundhogs. I ended it with me feeling more relaxed and content than I can remember.
The second epiphany I had was on Sunday on an evening I struggled to make a progress bar for myself to track my works in progress and where I am on revisions. I saw these little progress bars on other people's sites, referenced their code, but wanted it to be different. I am a software developer and web designer, I thought. I can do my own. But it seems that after a full year of writing and no computer-nerdy endeavors, I have lost all my skills and couldn't even remember the syntax for the style element inside HTML tags. I felt let down, incompetent, like something inside of me was lost.
But here's the thing. I only did computery things for money, not because I loved it. I loved planning things, getting things done, building applications with words, keeping my mind busy, and that feeling of competence. It is time to let it go, to clear my brain cells of syntax I no longer need and make room for things I love. I love writing and literature, my garden, and my family.
So today I dedicate myself to these things and these people that I love. And I look at myself differently than I did yesterday. I feel happy.