I’ll be happy when I ______

Spent most of my life filling in that blank: get to high school. Have a boyfriend. Go to college. Go to a better college.

I consider myself lucky; most spend every last day clutching at various aspects of life like an urgent Mad Lib, stuffing anything into that blank that will hopefully, finally, possibly make that sentence true.

Never does. High school had boys in it. Boys had their own problems in them. College had misogynistic professors and way too much alcohol.

I’ve been sitting here for the past eleven months with this ever-so-faint mantra going through my head: I’ll be happy when I finish my book.

Notice I didn’t say “publish.” No longer that greedy. Just “finish.” Then I can finally focus on my daughter, resuscitate the dregs of my social life, or okay, realistically find some more great shows to binge watch on Netflix while thinking about how I should really give my friends a call. I could paint my nails again! Finish knitting this sweater! *brandishes perpetually half-finished sweater at computer screen*

I’m about three days off from finishing off the final edits and staring at this To Do list:

  1. Get beta reader feedback.
  2. Incorporate feedback.
  3. Create a platform (aka: remember that blog you had? and figure out what the hell to do with Instagram).
  4. Edit query letter.
  5. Research literary agents.
  6. Query agents.
  7. Pray.
  8. Pull out hair, and
  9. Repeat steps 5-8 as needed.
  10. Start second book.

The joke is always on me, isn’t it?

Life doesn’t hyperventilate like I do when I keep going and going and going. It tosses its pitch, you swing, and the next one is on its way. There’s always something. 

Instead of waiting for the lovely and unreliable parts of life to magically float together like a flawless game of Tetris, I’ve decided to give step #7 a whirl, despite being a while away from querying.

Had the missionaries over the other night, and they shared this scripture with me:

“And behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?” (Alma 5:26)

Kind of an embarrassing moment, because my entire book is about said change of heart and song of redeeming love, but NO, up to my elbows in proper grammatical uses of the comma, I do not feel so now.

So I invited some friends over for dinner on Sunday night, went on a date with my husband (!), burned through the first season of the new Netflix show Sense8 (guys, can we talk about how good this show is?), and even painted my nails last night. They’re already chipping. I blink and my daughter is speaking in complete sentences, blink again and my husband is applying for jobs in Connecticut and London. I want to be awake for the ride, hollering the song of redeeming love at the top of my lungs all the way down.

Here’s to Life, that pesky little bitch I tried to get rid of for so long. Gotta be honest, you’re quirky, but I kind of dig you now.

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