Help!

Bertha…is bringing up a subject this morning…one that is mostly difficult for me…and probably for many of you as well…and that is…accepting help…and…even more difficult…asking for help…

This is truly a challenge…I’ve been fiercely independent for a long time…Mama recounts that as a two-year old I would stomp my foot…and proclaim…I’ll do it

Now you may think that was just a case of the terrible twos…and while I’m sure it was…I just kind of didn’t grow out of it…

So…it’s hard for me to accept help…even when I want it…even when I need it…and…although I’ve never been to intense counseling about it…I think it’s just a fear of being vulnerable…of seeming incapable…in some way…

Now…don’t get me wrong…I’ll probably let you help with the dishes if you come over for dinner…dislike of kitchen cleaning trumps vulnerability…every time

It’s the big deals that have always given me pause…although…as I write this…I realize…I’m changing…in that respect…I belong to a few groups that cross promote each other’s writing…and…I can now ask for what I need within the groups…it’s a start…

And…according to…Bertha…it’s an important start…because…there’s a balance between…giving and receiving…or…there should be…the more I receive…the more I accept…the more I can give…be it…time…money…ideas…support…

Hmmm…a lot to contemplate this morning…right after I ask…Bertha…why she doesn’t help with the dishes…

Jane

Heart Failure…

I’ve been working on the sequel to…Bertha-Size Your Life!…for a while now…seven years to be exact…well…to be honest…I haven’t actually worked on it all those years…oh…let me just start from the beginning…I think it’ll be easier that way…

I started the sequel when the first book was being published…that was the same time that I’d quit my job and sold my house…living off the equity…in order to be a fulltime writer…

And…as great as that time was…it was also a time of panic…I had to make a living as a writer…I had a limited reserve…I had to make it work…and quickly…

The only problem was…I write about my life…about my experiences…about the lessons I am learning…and…naturally all that fear and panic was as noticeable in my writing as red panties under sheer white pants…and…if I do say so myself…it wasn’t very good…it was whiney…the publisher didn’t like it either…it never made it off the editing table…

Then…the inevitable happened…I ran out of money…I either needed to go back to work in nursing…or die…and although I was never suicidal…dying did seem like the preferable choice…

Thankfully…a school nurse position became available…I was in the right place at the right time…I grabbed it with both hands…but…I let go of writing at the same time…couldn’t do both…or so I thought…

I felt jaded…like the wife of an unfaithful husband…heartbroken…and…not ready to trust again…except…it was my writing that I thought had been unfaithful…not realizing that it was my heart…not my words that had let me down…

So…I didn’t write…I journaled a bit…and that’s about it…I let go of everything related to writing…I packed all the…Berthas…along with everything connected to writing and stuffed it in a closet…

And…it all stayed there for several years…through thick and thin and brain surgery…until…finally…about a year ago…I started to get the urge to put pen to paper again…

From there my life has changed quite a bit…Bertha…has been rereleased by a new publisher…and I have undertaken the sequel again…rewriting the stories…sometimes more than once…taking out the whine and adding some shine…writing new stories to represent the new things I’ve learned…and…I’m almost satisfied with the first draft…but…there’s this one story that is holding me back…

The one that I just told you…the one where I let go of my dream…at least for a time…the one where I felt like a failure…I haven’t figured out how to write it yet…it’s not easy to be that transparent…that honest…and…perhaps…that is what makes it such an important story for the book…for my life…

Jane