Still Unwritten

“Today is where your book begins, the rest is still unwritten.” – Natasha Bedingfield

Some years ago, I faced a milestone birthday. I thought, “If I’m ever going to get my teeth straightened, now is the time. It is less likely that I will do it when I get older. How many older people do I see with braces on their teeth?”

That milestone year also motivated me to start exercising. Exercise had never been a big part of my life, except for physical education classes. That year I said, “It’s now or never. If I don’t establish an exercise habit now, it will be harder as I age.” I didn’t know how to swim except for dog paddling from one side of the pool to the other, so I went to the pool and practiced putting my face in the water. I also took a beginner’s triathlon class in which the other participants ran around the track, while I walked. That is the year I started doing triathlons, and I did them for the next three years.


Women’s Triathlon – Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games _ Flickr

This year, I face another milestone birthday. I told my counselor I feel it is now or never once again for my goals: losing that ten pounds; running that race; really making headway on that book. She responded, “Yes, you need to make the most of the here-and-now. But there are no real deadlines. It’s never too late to reach for your goals.”

I said, “But it’s less likely to happen the older I get—especially writing a book.”

She said, “Not necessarily. Everything happens at the right time. When it is the right time for you, your book will flow. Keep working the Artist Way program, and your book will unfold in its own way.”

Shortly after that discussion, I went for a run and listened to music, including the song “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield:

“I am unwritten
Can’t read my mind
I’m undefined
I’m just beginning
The pen’s in my hand
Ending unplanned”

This song gave me hope and inspiration. I wrote in my journal, “If I had to pick a theme song for this phase of my life, I’d pick ‘Unwritten’. It appeals to me as a writer, and it reminds me I do have time.”

Coincidentally, a couple of days later, a friend sang on Facebook, “Feel the rain on your skin / No one else can do it for you / Only you can let it in /.” These lyrics are from that same song. They speak to me of paying attention and enjoying life.

The song also reinforces a theme I’ve learned in the Artist Way class, which is that we need to stop demanding perfection of ourselves:

“Sometimes my tries are outside the lines
We’ve been conditioned to not make mistakes
But I can’t live that way”

My counselor had said something similar–that I will develop more will-power once I have more self-empathy. I’m too hard on myself.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’ve been in counseling for over a year. The reason I mention it openly is that I hope to inspire you, my readers, to get help if you need it. Life is short. We should not be ashamed to get support whether it be in a group, by talking to a friend, or via counseling. I went to counseling because of anxiety and sleepless nights. I am doing much better now and am happy to report that my next counseling session will be my last.

Here is the link to “Unwritten”. Enjoy, and please let me know how the song affects you.

Are there issues in your life that need addressing? Is there a song that gives you inspiration?


About Susan Ekins

Freelance writer and blogger at Women Making Strides. Interested in personal leadership and empowerment. Wanting inspiration and to inspire. Leader in church ministries. Blog: Facebook page:
This entry was posted in exercise, Goals, Leading Ourselves, Proactive, Self-compassion, Support and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Still Unwritten

  1. nanciec13 says:

    this is also my theme song Susan! blessings–the book will come to birth…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Catherine A Gorski says:

    I love that song, Sue! My favorite line from it, in addition to the ones you shared, is “live your life with arms wide open”. A little over a week ago my husband and I were in Phoenix and we checked something off of our bucket list: we took a hot air balloon ride. Several people asked me when I returned home if I had been afraid. I said that was not and that it was a beautiful experience. Each day allows us a chance to experience life. Even in our 50’s the rest is still unwritten. Phil and I won’t be sitting down any time soon. We’ve got tickets to a hot rock concert (Joe Bonamassa) next month. In my Saturday morning yoga class the instructor often tells us to try to stay within the moment and not let our mind wander. I try to do that in life and enjoy the moment I am in. It’s not always easy, but I try. Carpe Diem!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dawn Herring says:

    It’s amazing to me how when we tune into our intuition and pay attention to what really matters to us, that what we do with what we’re attracted to can have a positive impact on someone else we care about! Wow. I’m happy to say that I’m that friend who was singing on Facebook that you mentioned in your post, and I’m glad the timing of my “spot of Joy” was synchronized with the meaning this song has for you right now. Amazing!

    So glad to hear that you’re now doing better and are learning to be gentler with yourself, letting things come together for you with ease.

    I wish you great success and JOY with the book writing!

    Be refreshed,


  4. Such a forward thinking, action planning type of post – and something I can use right now. Your generous spirit and willingness to share your journey are such a gift to those of us who read your post, and I’m sure those who talk to you and spend time with you. Thank you, Susan.

    “Everything happens at the right time”. Good words. I have often said them to others, but, internalizing them myself – something I work at. Good wishes as you work on your book. 🙂


    • Susan Ekins says:

      I struggle to internalize that sentence too: “Everything happens at the right time.” Part of me says, “But it isn’t going to happen by magic!” To be precise, what my counselor added to that was, “You have to keep engaging–keep working the Artist Way program.” I guess for now it may be baby steps, but baby steps move us forward and can gain momentum. Thank you for the good wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Good for you, Susan. And don’t be afraid to go back to the counselor if you feel you need to. I have a driven personality that has been prone to crash into depressions. I’ve suffered five or six serious depressions during my life. Ultimately, I had to see a psychologist for talk therapy each time, which almost always helped. But I didn’t want to resort to drugs, because one can become dependent. Alcohol is the drug most people use to medicate psychological problems.
    The other activity that helped was to spend time (talk therapy?) with female friends. I have a group that gets together once a month for dinner, and we tell our troubles and support one another.
    Luckily, I haven’t had a depression since menopause. But then, I retired about eight years after going through menopause, and the depressions used to come every six or eight years apart. So I don’t know which (if either) was responsible for the relief.
    As for the book, I’ve found it helpful to work with a regular writers’ group – maybe three to five others who can meet and critique one-another’s work. That way you need to produce a monthly bit of creativity that you can share. You’ll become less worried about things being perfect when you see how others write!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susan Ekins says:

      Thank you, Joanne. My counselor said, “You can always come back for booster visits,” so you’re right, this may not actually be my last visit ever. I’m glad you haven’t been depressed for quite awhile. Good for you for being proactive when you sought therapy and when you meet with female friends. I’m technically a member of a couple of writers’ groups but seldom attend. It’s one of my goals, to write fiction and bring it for critique! I’m happy to hear the writers groups work for you.

      Liked by 1 person

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