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HELLO, WORLD! IF YOU'RE READING THIS, I HAD THE COURAGE TO HIT SEND!

By JORDAN BAKER

Guest Blogger

Got the green light months ago. Have not had the ability, courage, energy to proceed.

Until now, though even as I type these words, I'm not sure I have the gumption to hit send. 

Don't know how I get through this thing called life, honestly, because my mind works in such mysterious ways. Frantic to complete one thing and move on to the next.

Only problem: once the thing is done, "the next" is actually a half-mile long, always several dozen items on my to-do list and yes, Dr. Stephen R. Covey, they all fall into the quadrant labelled important and somewhere between urgent and not urgent. No clue where lies the on-ramp to the next thing I need to do. 

Then it hit me. I could muster (as in "preparation for battle") the gumption to write these words here, now. 

First really saw the word gumption in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. PirsigSince I first picked up that book almost 20 years ago, I consider myself in a perpetual state of reading and re-reading the words, ever pulling it off the shelf and reading a passage, letting the ideas roll around my head for days.

Where does this exploration lead? How do I sustain the euphoria of I GOT THIS and not feel like I'm going to come apart at the seams the other 59 minutes of each hour?

One recurring memory:  I see myself in a luncheon of mostly women. I hear the speaker (a woman) asking the women in the room to raise their hands if they were encouraged to be ambitious. Hardly any of the 250 people, mostly women, raise hands. Then the speaker says, "Raise your hand if you were encouraged to be a good girl."

A sea of hands in the air. A hush-hush of laughter because we know we've been had. We have to find the gumption.

Wonder if there’s some twisted connection between being ambitious and getting my to-do list done. If my achievement engine were fueled more by ambition and less by goodness, would I be different? Can I find the balance?

(c) 2017 Jordan Baker