“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.
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 just beginning
The pen’s in my hand
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?