I can’t believe it’s been over three months since I last posted a blog. Time does indeed pass more quickly as we age! I suspended my posts when I realized I wasn’t making any progress whatsoever on the revisions to my book.
That excuse has gone by the wayside now, since the revisions are done! I just got the line edit back and have to incorporate the corrections into the work. Then it moves on to the production phase.
I still can’t believe I made it this far; the word that came to mind when I sent it off for editing was: accomplishment. Yes, this gray-haired lady who arrived in the neighborhood a little less than a year ago, and who still struggles with the burden of chronic depression and pain on a daily basis, managed to finish a book and start a new chapter in life.
The word accomplish is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “achieve or complete successfully.” It derives from the Latin ad ‘to’ combined with complere ‘to complete’.
Yes, I’m just about finished now, the end is in sight. Accomplishments are also described as activities that a person can do well, or, a skill or ability in an activity. Creative writing is new to me, I only recently put pen to paper (so to speak).
I don’t really see myself as being particularly good at it, although I was gratified to receive a compliment or two in the comments the editor sent me. One of the tools I use to brake my slide down the slippery slope of depression is to pat myself on the back.
So I’m accepting the kind words of a stranger, and am sending them to my son and to friends who can share in my achievement. I am — in my own reluctant, hesitant fashion — trying to blow my own horn.
I feel compelled to do this because there've been other minor setbacks in my life. Some of the weight I struggled so hard to lose has found its way back onto my frame, fueled by the hunger and appetite that grew as I began to swim longer and longer distances.
Although this and other occurrences are making things harder for me right now, I know that change is possible, and I’m simply not going to give in to defeat. I’ve fostered the habit of getting up and starting each and every morning without beating myself up about yesterday’s reversals or disappointments.
I hit rock bottom when I was hospitalized for depression almost two years ago, and I vowed to do everything possible to avoid ever getting that low again.
Now it’s up to me to get the editorial changes incorporated and to see the thing through. At such a crucial stage of the game, why do I feel such a lack of energy and focus? Where can I turn for help?
Perhaps the blue jay that’s been appearing more and more frequently at the bird feeder has some answers for me. He’s visited sporadically all year, but now comes several times a day. His piercing caws guarantee that I notice his arrival. What’s his message?
The Sioux tribe felt the blue jay signifies strength and endurance, since he often chooses to nest in strong trees such as fir and oak. I need to tap into this right now to finish the project and move forward.
The jay is also resourceful and will make its home almost anywhere — awnings, mailboxes and other odd places may be used for a nest as the need arises. This is a nice reminder to attend to matters at hand, and not spend too much time on pie in the sky or daydreaming.
This bird is said to have extra power to connect heaven and earth by virtue of its blue color. All birds share this property, but the jay’s color — which mimics the sky — is especially robust in joining the powers of above and below. It's good he's coming frequently, since I've been having difficulty with my meditation work lately. Perhaps he can beef things up for me!
The blue jay is very resourceful and adaptable, features that I’ve had to tap into in order to produce, revise, and self-publish a book that at first only I believed in. It’s a fearless bird, too, reminding me to not be deterred by setbacks like gaining weight or feeling alone. The jay is also seen as a joker or trickster, and tells us to watch out for those who might pose a threat to success or well-being.
The blue jay is curious, like me, but can be somewhat of a dabbler. In this respect, I think he's giving me the important message to be thorough about my project, to avoid a superficial approach and to make it as good as it can be. A sense of commitment is called for, as well as the need to see things through to the end.
Well, I'm almost there with the book, but feel like I'm at a standstill or crossroads of some sort. Blue jay warns of the dangers of trivial efforts, and may be telling me to commit to my newly chosen path, and to not let age or my sense of aloneness deter me from carrying on.
Right now I might feel like I'm dead in the water, but at least I have these avian messages to reflect upon. I’ll be focusing on them in the next few months as I work on getting the book out and determining the nature of my next project, whatever that may be.
I’ve been finding a lot of pennies lately, too. They've come my way before and I think I know what their re-emergence is telling me: It’s time to start something new.