The Ramblings of an Active Mind ………………………………..by: Elizabeth Tobolski Dudak

All In, Baby

This morning I was driving in my car.  The beautiful winter sun was warming me through the windows.  And I started to think. (I believe thinking and driving is still legal.) I thought about how quickly I get knocked down when my writing is rejected.  I do pick myself, brush myself off and continue, but while I’m down there it’s painful.  I took that thought and started raising questions in my mind…okay, some aloud.  Don’t tell me you don’t talk to yourself when you drive. ( I mean, really, don’t.  I’ll feel like a loon if you do.) Anyway, the questions just kept building on one another.   Do many people in my circumstances –  in middle age and with grown kids –  feel their knocks harder than most?  Especially women trying to start over because their kids are well on their way to their own dreams?  Does it hurt us Moms more because of the limited amount of time left to not just chase, but catch the dream?  Or do we panic because perhaps the dream we’re dreaming is not the correct one and the failures is the universe’s way of telling us just that? Is there a bit of panic wondering what will fill the void of grown kids?   

As Moms, we basically lived our lives for twenty, twenty-five years providing for others, especially our children.  Every thing we did from making lunches, to serving as room moms,  to playing chauffeur, are all done for our kids.  And let me just say, for me, it was a dream life.  I dug it more than any other job, vocation, extracurricular I ever did.  Yes, I wrote from time to time, but I had to steal that time and make sure it wasn’t interferring with my first love – my children.  And, I did get published here an there, but it wasn’t consistent and that was okay for I had a bigger job, a fulfilling job, a dream job.  But about now?  Now, things are different.  Even with working full-time, I am putting aside more time to pursue writing and now, without guilt or knowledge of the more important.  And I want, no need, to spend it getting my writing out there….wherever “there” is.  Now if I fail, it’s not an “oh-well” moment.  It’s not a moment I can shrug away and say, “well, I have to get Leah to basketball” or “Matthew needs to practice his lines for the play”.  And maybe that’s why the knocks hurt me more.

As I posted on Facebook, my 2012 mantra is “All In.”  (Yes, I may have subconsciously stole it from the Chicago White Sox.  Please don’t take away my Die Hard Cub Fan Club card.)  “All In” does fit my mood now.  Despite any knocks to the ground, I have to remember the passion I feel, the zip in my step that I have, when I write. And I have to…need to…pursue getting it out so I can spend my hours doing THAT instead of spending it making money at a day job.  Although for now, the day job is a good, no great,  thing.  

So….as I swerved to avoid hitting the back of a truck with my distracting thoughts (shhh, don’t tell the people who do statics or I might not be able to think and drive) I thought about the words to the Lifehouse song All In….Even if I loose the game, I’m all in.” 

How about you?  What dream will put you All In? 

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