Do you ever just wake up some days and just wish for…something? There’s an itch in the middle of your spine, in that place you can’t quite reach and even your back scratcher can’t really take it away. It’s that sense that there’s something better or maybe just different, that’s just out of sight, if you could just get there.
When I was little, those were the days I’d lay on my back and look up at the clouds. Or head for the library. I will be honest, I always feel a bit like this when I’m getting ready to open a new book. There’s hope, anticipation, a flutter in my mid-section. But with a book, I kind of know that something WILL happen.
In the real world, most of the time, the tenor of my days doesn’t change, whether I have the itch or not. I wish I knew why some days were like that. Some days I can ignore the itch and do what needs to be done. Other days, the itch actually helps push me through the day. Sometimes it even pushes me in new directions and by the end of the day, the itch feels scratched.
And then there are the days when it feels like I’m stuck in place, just spinning my wheels. And itching. All day long.
Is it our human nature? Is MY nature? I do believe, at least for me, that I need the itchy days. They make me pause and look at my life. And when I’m wise, I count my blessings. When I’m blue, I try not to make eye contact with my whines. Nothing makes a day go south faster than the sound of my own whining.
In a book, a ticking clock is a good device for building suspense. In real life…it can tick in synch with the itch. It’s way too easy to focus on what didn’t happen today or last week or last year and miss what did.
My real life has turned out very different from I thought it would be. If I were to sit down and have a chat with my younger self, she would remind me of what we thought we wanted. When I was little I dreamed of being a dancer, a singer, of walking on the moon (would still kind of like to do that). The dreams were probably bigger back then, but I’ve lived long enough now to know it isn’t the size of my dreams but the living of my life that has brought me the greatest satisfaction.
I have found real, sustained joy in being a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend, a grandmother, and an author. In a way, I’ve been able to BE all those things I dreamed of through books, either by writing them or reading them. But I’ve also been careful to make sure the dreams don’t steal away my real life with all its joys and challenges and yes, it’s itches.
Do you ever get an itch you can’t scratch? How do you handle it? You know I love comments so much that I pick a favorite to receive my monthly AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value). Recipient is announced the first blog post of the new month.
P.S. One of the biggest itches I scratched was writing my first novel. After many false starts, a book originally called Pig in a Park made it onto the page. Many publishers later, it morphed into:
You can buy it in digital and audio. 🙂