I’m Mad At Myself Today

I rushed yesterday’s post. Instead of sitting down to write, I posted what I had on hand. I hate doing that; it feels like cheating. Posting became more important than writing. That’s not why I started this blog. The blog was supposed to serve the writing, giving me a reason to write, a daily deadline. It was a challenge to myself to answer that nagging question: am I writer? Do I want to write every day? Will I find things to write about even when life is slow and lazy? The blog was supposed to support a daily writing practice, not undermine it by tempting me to post for the sake of posting, just so I can check off one more day on my calendar. I shouldn’t get points for posting yesterday. How many other days were the same? And why am I so upset with myself about it now?

I think I’m struggling still with my commitment to calling myself a writer. Yes, I write. I wrote the piece I posted yesterday (it wasn’t done, but I did write it). So what’s the problem? It’s simply an identity game. Yesterday, I got a call from my daughter: my granddaughter wanted to sleep over and wanted to come early so she’d have the whole day with me. Suddenly I had to re-prioritize my to-dos for the day, including writing. My leisurely morning had evaporated, leaving me scrambling to finish the must-dos before she arrived. I chose, in that moment, to bump writing off that list, but couldn’t let go of the need to post. I wanted the feeling of accomplishment that would come from not missing another day, just not enough to spend quality time on it. I had shirts to iron.

So I ended up posting something not-quite-ready, and today I’m not happy with myself. I wanted more from that idea than what I settled for. It was just a flash, a moment’s thought, that I had scribbled in a notebook. What if individual blades of grass committed suicide? Would it matter? We look at grass and see lawns or meadows, vast expanses of green, without really noticing each blade. When large areas die off, we notice. But what about the individual blades? Do their neighbors rejoice, knowing they’ll benefit from more nutrients, more water, without the competition? Or are they missed? And what about the little blade? Does it die believing that the others will be better off without it?

Of course this is all tied to my own depression and suicidal ideations over the years. Usually, that’s my dominant belief: my not being will enhance the lives of others. They are better off without me. I readily admit the value of other individuals’ lives, but not my own. Then one day I looked at the lawn and thought that if every blade of grass felt the way I do about life, the world would be less beautiful. Look at the fields and meadows—those blades of grass aren’t trying to be anything grand or expansive. They’re just there, green and alive, awesome in their own right, but even more magnificent taken together. Could my life, my little life, be part of something as wonderful just because it exists? I don’t need to be a thread in some grand tapestry woven by a higher power. What if I’m just another blade of grass in a wild meadow that somehow makes life just a little more beautiful? Isn’t that enough?

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