The other day my daughter and I were in the car headed down the two-lane county road that leads from the big town to our small town when I noticed a new caution sign. So I slowed down. Half a mile or so later, I discovered that an intersection was being repaired, and a somewhat confusing scramble through orange barrels ensued. It wasn’t a big deal, and the only reason I remark on it is that when I came out the other end of the luge (as one of my friends calls it), my daughter exclaimed, “You made it through, Mama!” Like I was possibly the most genius individual ever. (My daughter is still young enough to be occasionally impressed by the things I can do.)
Anyway, it made me feel ridiculously happy to be appreciated for this, and I realized how often I overlook things to celebrate, even if they are small (I made it through the confusing orange barrels!) and concentrate instead on all of the things that are less wonderful, annoying, or just unfinished.
In writing and in publishing, the less wonderful, annoying and just unfinished things are always going to overwhelm the gigantic fantastic news (like a three-book deal, a six-figure advance, a movie option). So you have to appreciate the small things, like an encouraging word from an editor, pizza and some Mike’s Hard Lemonade with a new friend, a colleague who helps you puzzle out a solution to a thorny problem, a check in the mail (even if it’s only three figures), and lunch with your agent (hi, Neil!), who makes you feel brilliant and capable even if no one has said yes to your new book proposal (yet).
Not a small thing at all: today is my daughter’s birthday. If not another good thing ever happened in my life, having her would be enough.
What’s your good news for the day?