Thursday, August 17, 2017

Wonder(ing) Woman


On the outside, I'm staring blankly at the screen, my fingers frozen on the keys as my once-steaming cup of coffee congeals. On the inside, I'm hurling enough blistering invective at the neighborhood dogs to turn any listeners within a three-block radius into pillars of salt.

The barking is driving me nuts.

Come on, focus. Wonder Woman; I'm supposed to be writing something about how Wonder Woman relates to my writing. Psht. Yeah. I wonder how I ever get anything done; how about that?

Hey, that could work.

How does Wonder (insert gender here) manage to do All The Things without collapsing in a sobbing heap at the bottom of a carton of Dark Chocolate Caramel Espresso* ice cream?

Ah, I see that you are now on the edge of your seat, hoping that I will reveal either The Secret or the location of said ice cream. Truth be told, they are one and the same. In two words: self care.

Back when my husband was diagnosed with the second of six cancers (I tell you, he's a freaking overachiever), our son was diagnosed with Autism. Our already busy schedule of chemo, hospital and doctor visits, and trips to the store to buy barrels of hand sanitizer ramped up considerably. Every time I set foot outside the house, some kind soul would remind me to "take time" for myself.

I kind of wanted to punch them. There is no more time to take, so where am I supposed to find any for myself?!

Fortunately, the message eventually sank in, and the clock slowed down. Instead of hovering over my husband, making sure that he was still breathing often enough during naps, I blew the dust off my spinning wheel and made yarn, checking in during trips to the kitchen for more coffee. Instead of sitting by the phone, wondering if the school might call, I hauled my laptop/knitting/newest book purchase to the local coffee shop and indulged in a mocha.

I ate the ice cream.

The past five-plus years have been a learning experience in a lot of ways. The biggest lesson? I don't have to be Wonder Woman and do All The Things. Not all at once, anyway. Most of it can wait until I reheat this coffee.

Audrey Lintner is the Owner/Chief Editor/Head Gofer of ALTO Editing Services. When she's not at the computer, she's likely to be found knitting and listening to her son relate the first few hundred digits of pi. Her celebrity crush is Lewis Black.

6 comments :

  1. This post strikes a chord I too often refused to hear. I have wanted to write most of my life, but life always seemed to get in the way. Age eventually stepped in with its now-or-never warning: It's time for ice cream; I'd best not let it melt.

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  2. I'm with Linda, grabbing the ice cream. And I want to be you, Audrey, when I grow up. :-) You inspire me in so many ways.

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  3. Somehow, wonder women just get it done. We learn how to cope, learn how to deal with the things life drops in our laps unannounced, things we never thought we could handle. The hardest part is learning how to cope with ourselves, with our needs, with out fears and insecurities. But we do it. Deep down you knew you could, and you did. Because you're a woman.

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  4. When life dumps challenges on us, it tends to use a dump truck instead of a little shovel. I've been there a few times too, trying to be Wonder Woman and wearing myself out in the process. Grabbing a pint of ice cream seems to be a universal approach to self-comfort. I wish I had written more instead of eating more... :D

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  5. Sometimes you need a break from everything to recharge.

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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