Beyond Our Gates
This Thanksgiving weekend, we traveled north to visit my father-in-law, hoping the five grandchildren (three kids and two doggies) could bring a smile to his face. They did. Every holiday since my mother-in-law passed away has been difficult for him so we hoped to lighten his emotional load. We did. Especially the puppies. Grandpa and Grandma had a dog up until a few years ago so I knew our doggies would be good for him. They’d keep his mind off who wasn’t there.
Since we’re still dealing with Brogan’s puppy issues–which I’m sure I will need therapy for later–we put up baby gates to confine the dogs to the kitchen. Grandpa has a galley-style kitchen so it was easy to gate off. Brogan didn’t even blink at the gate, let alone paw at it. He didn’t try to jump on it, knock it down, or chew on it. It was HEAVEN!!
At home, we have a more open layout so he has had free rein of the house since we got him. Those days are over. We were stupid. We didn’t think that it could be done but after having a VERY peaceful and accident-free holiday, the first thing we did was whip out the baby gates. We made it work after incorporating a large vase and some creativity angling. Life couldn’t be better. Last night, as I stepped over the gate to go upstairs to get something, Brogan didn’t bother looking up from his bone. He knew. Normally, he is on my heels as soon as I get up to go somewhere. What the hell were we thinking by not doing this before?
Sometimes the impossible is so very possible that you want to kick your own arse for not believing in yourself. Did that make sense? Probably not. I’ll move on.
Why is it that the gate works so well? Why isn’t he trying to knock it down?
Because he doesn’t know he can. Once he figures that out, we will have to move on to something else to confine him but in the meantime, we are going to LIVE IT UP! (I’ll take the excitement where I can folks.)
This is where I am at in my writing. Maybe it is this way with you too, in whatever you are trying to accomplish. Whether it be starting your own business, knitting a sweater, making jewelry, or being the top sales person in your company. Whatever it is. We put up gates or we let others put them up around us without so much as a blink. Here are the gates I’m dealing with:
- My ignorance of the craft of writing
- The publishing world and all that lives and breathes within it
- My insecurities that I don’t really belong in the writing community and they are just being nice. For now. [Gulp]
- My fear of failure
- My other roles (wife, mother, dog owner, housekeeper, bill payer, etc.) that keep me from sitting my butt in the chair and writing all day
There is so much going on over on the other side of the gates I have constructed. You know, over there where the cool people are hanging out. The place where people are getting their stories published, going to their book signings, having gobs of people visit their blog, starting a Facebook fan page, and getting interview requests. I have told myself for so long that I don’t belong there. My gates have kept me from trying. Not anymore.
I know I can do this. Just keep writing. Keep learning. Stay positive and be helpful to others. Everyone has to start somewhere. Someday I’ll be there. Do my other jobs and do them well. Take pride in where I am. If I don’t fail, I can’t learn. These pep talks with myself are so important.
It’s how I am going to knock those gates down. No, not just knock ‘em down. I’m gonna kick ‘em down. Show those gates who’s boss. Who says I can’t be over there hanging out with published authors, brilliant editors, and supportive yet elusive agents? I am well-behaved, I don’t bite, I learn quickly, and I sure as hell don’t defecate where I am not supposed to. Wait…that was gross. Enough with the puppy analogy.
No gates are going to hold me back from where I want to be. I want to be part of the writing community. I’m sick of peeking over to see what everyone else is doing. I’m going over, around, under, or through my gates if I have to. Hope you don’t mind if I invite myself over. I’ll bring wine.
What gates have you put up between yourself and where you want to be? What are you going to do differently to make sure those gates don’t hold you back? What’s it going to take for you to keep from being confined?
We are only given one shot at this. I don’t want to sit and watch it all happen. I’m going in and I hope to see you there. Again, there will be wine.
[image courtesy of Flickr/Dizzy-Lizzy]