Putting on My Pants

 In Fiction Journey, Personal Stories

This morning Kiki stood in the kitchen and wailed. She was almost ready for the day—socks and shirt on, teeth brushed, bed made. The only thing she had left to do was pull her pink camo pants over her legs. Karly and I were ready for our morning walk, and we were waiting for Kiki to finish getting dressed. But instead of hurrying, Kiki panicked and cried even harder.

I knelt down beside her and explained that she wouldn’t need to cry if she simply put one leg into her pants and then the other. It was a simple job. One that she’d done by herself a hundred times. Tears streaming down her face, she finally overcame her panic and got dressed. Then her face broke into a smile as she ran out the door.

As a parent, I’ve discovered that God speaks through my kids (almost daily!), and I so needed this lesson today. You see, I’m about two-thirds through my latest novel, and I need to have the first draft finished by the end of this month. Last week I panicked. During my writing time, my mind raced and the fear took hold. I can’t do it. I’ll never finish in time. It’s TOO hard!

With a jolt, I realized that I was doing exactly what Kiki was doing this morning. Instead of finishing my task, I was letting the anxiety control me, and the result was ugly—I couldn’t get anything done at all. Even the simplest tasks of editing and rearranging my story seemed overwhelming.

So today, I set out for the coffee shop and I did my best to put the anxiety behind me and focus on my story. And when I stopped my inner wailing, I got a ton of much-needed editing done.

For the rest of the month, I’m going to try and focus on one part of this story at a time until I finish this entire manuscript. I guess you can say I’ll be putting on my pants, one leg at a time.

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Showing 2 comments
  • Patricia Hickman

    It’s like Anne Lamott’s old Bird-by-Bird analogy. Such a great reminder to me as I zip toward a Christmas deadline. I said I would never have a book due again around the holidays. Never say never! You’re kids have grown so much–and still so gorgeous!

  • Christa Lund

    Hey Melanie, I am friends with your parents and Lyn gave me your blog spot. Just getting into blogging and writing a book, “Raising Kids with Character in an Uncharacteristic World.” Would love you advice. Love your blog, take care and God Bless:)
    Christa Lund

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