No Excuses

My daughter was at volleyball camp  and I had a rare afternoon alone with my son. I offered to go for a bike ride with him and get some ice cream.  He turned that down. Granted, it was raining a little.  Instead, he said he would like to draw comics together.  Did he see my eye roll? Did he hear my internal guffaw.  “I’m not a good drawer,” I told him.  Hello, where did my facility with the English language go? I wasn’t even going to consider the word artist.  So drawer it was.

To which he showed me

no excuses (2)

Thank you, Jedi Academy and your evil creator, Jeffrey Brown.  Ok, maybe not evil.  Maybe spot on. I want to encourage my kid to draw, right? But he wasn’t supposed to turn it around on me.  My self-imposed limitations have been a well-stitched-in part of my fabric for a while.  But I’m a mom and I can’t let my negative self-talk become his. Right? With my head in a defeated droop I follow him to the table where he is quick to the draw with a sheet of paper.

I grab a pen.  Yep, no eraser option. He’s all smiles and I’m all question marks.

He sees me staring at this blank paper and encourages me to start.

“I don’t know what to draw.”

“Draw a fluffy creature who wants to make a friend.”

Oh, how it comes so easy to his imagination.

“I don’t know how to draw fluffy creatures.” Dang, a negative self-talk escaped when I wasn’t looking.

HE encourages ME.

I’m a doodler. my doodles

 

Abstract, I call it. Nothing with bodies. Floating heads are okay in my world. But a comic strip with characters and three squares to get to a punchline?  That’s a lot of pressure. AND my kid’s watching.  He went after the comics that are more like Marvel and I went toward my background with comics, the funnies in the paper.

He’s tearing through his paper.  Rounding out his first comic while I marinate, after explaining what marinate means.

I see he’s not going to let me off the hook so I draw a line for the first box.  He plays peek-a-boo with my paper while I get some ink on it. And he keeps cheering me on.

So, by the time he finishes his sheet, I have the first box done and not sure how to give it a punch line.  He’s OK with that.  I tell him I need to marinate on it some more, but I promise to finish it.  He’s OK with that too.

Here’s to my son who wouldn’t except any of my excuses.  The next Peter Brown? video game designer? architect? oh the possibilities!

D's comic

(Did you notice, ALL FOUR?, I couldn’t even think through one! AND the back of the paper is filled with Olafs.)

And, here’s to not giving up.  To turning off the inner editor that is screaming at everything I should’ve done differently. And to total vulnerability with those who are suffering to push past their comfort zones too.

My comic

 

NO EXCUSES!

Rerouting

To plan or not to plan? That is the question and the frustration. Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”

I love this quote. It is a mantra of mine. I love organizers. Daily planners. Long range planning. Goal setting. I love to feel organized. To look for something and know where it’s supposed to be and for it to be there. To open my pantry door and see like items hanging out together and not dangling precariously over the edge or splattered on the floor. To come home and see the counters clear and the floor empty save for the furniture that rests on it. To sit at my desk with no pile of papers to file and the knowledge that the bills are up to date and the accounts are balanced and tracked. I’ll spend an hour or so on Sunday evening planning my week, meals, projects, writing time. And I get crazy happy when the day goes “as planned!”

I know. I’m delusional. The natural state of things is disorder, especially when other living creatures occupy the same space. My mom’s favorite phrase is, “We make plans and God laughs.”

I find that irritatingly true. First because I find myself reflecting my mother. But also because I like it when things go as planned.

Or do I?

I don’t plan out my stories. I have a vague idea where the story is going to go, but no outlined map of how to get there. I find having too tight of a plan, strangles the story. Though no editor has yet accepted one, I love my stories. I think they are beautiful, colorful, stirring, funny, lovely. So I guess that is the way I need to view my story as well. I know where I want to end up, but I don’t need to detail my days to make sure I get there. Gotta leave room for the Holy Spirit to reroute my day, which seems to be happening a lot lately.

DSC_0466

Didn’t start the day planning on going here.  Didn’t even know it existed.  My day got rerouted.  🙂

So while stories reflect life, this time I must take a lesson from my stories. Yes, I will set goals and plan out my week. Just a little more loosely. I have to trust that I will get to the most important things each day, even if some days that means no writing. Greater things happen in my day than I plan when I am open to rerouting.

By the way, I didn’t PLAN to write a blog today.