In January, I posted this update relating to my site and my thoughts on future writing plans. At the time, I chose a new title for my site. That was not to imply I wasn’t happy with the previous title, The Writing Studio. It didn’t seem to fit my online persona as well as it did the actual studio my husband designed and built for me.
Today’s post, I hope, will give you a look into how I chose the new title, Life in the Slow Lane. My explanation is long in coming but with this bit of change, my desire to write grows stronger each day. And so it is that I share the origin of the new name.
Living in the slow lane is a beautiful gift. A gift of time. Time for planning and dreaming and reflecting. Each of these processes brings a special gift. These gifts conjured up images of trips down long and winding country roads, thus the title “Life in the Slow Lane” was born.
One day, while struggling with chronic pain, I realized that I pushed myself in ways I could give up. Overload, perfectionism, and social media took precious time from my family and faith. Without either of these, I am lost as an individual.
Slowing down is hard for a perfectionist. The detail-oriented tend to bury themselves in overload. My thoughts gave me a sense of humility and raised questions. All this forced me to take a good look at what I want the next decades to look like. Asking yourself questions can be scary and humbling but it also guides and directs you.
One of my biggest writing battles is with myself. I love the craft and process of scripting words together to tell a story, my story. I have completed a manuscript of my memoir. But I’ve reached a point where I can’t make up my mind about publishing it. I know it’s well written although it needs some restructuring. It tells my story with truth, love, and faith. With very little work, it could be ready for submission in a few days/weeks.
I’ve wrangled with myself like a cowboy trying to rope a calf and brand it. Bob and I have had discussion after discussion about what I should or shouldn’t do. In all honesty, there are many points under my “shouldn’t” column. And if anyone ever needs someone to coach them into doing something, I’ll hire Bob out.
The biggest part of my problem? I’ve finished the fun part of writing this book–the writing and researching. I don’t want to deal with launching, marketing, selling, and putting myself in front of the book. It’s not that I’m not proud of what I’ve accomplished. I am. However, I did what I’ve always said I would do: Write the story of my difficult relationship with my mother. It seems others have always assumed I meant I’d publish it too.
During the last three years, my inability to focus on writing has taught me several things. First, I could have spent many more years sitting or lying in pain than I have. Diagnosed at age 12 with scoliosis, I was fortunate to not suffer from back pain until I was in my late 30s/early 40s. Luck was with me all those years.
During this time, I’ve enjoyed the love and companionship of a caring husband and one of the best nurses I know. He’s cared for me through more surgeries than either of us wants to count. Despite this, we have enjoyed the activities we enjoy both at home and in our community.
My thoughts next turned to once the recovery from this recent surgery is behind me. What do I really want to do with my life? Lots of things came to mind, but the best and most important are below:
- Wake up every morning looking forward to spending each day with the love of my life, 24/7, no less.
- Listen to classical music every day, whether via radio, CDs, or Bob practicing one of his many horns.
- Love our home and care for it as I have always done, except when unable to because of pain.
- Spread our love to our kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids despite the miles separating us.
- Gardening! I haven’t been able to dig in the dirt and garden for so many summers now. I’ve watched Bob do it all and longed to be out there with him.
- Volunteer my time as I am able, especially with the Mothers of Preschoolers program.
- Ride in our red convertible come spring and summer down those long, lazy country back roads.
- Write, write, write! Whatever I choose to write. Whatever I want to write. Simply because I want to write. Not because I’m looking to make a name for myself as a writer, or get rich as a writer, or whatever. I love words and writing them down. And I love telling stories.
- And whatever I’m doing I want to do it all giving the credit and glory to God.
There you have it—the name behind this site is a short summation of my life from here until God calls me home. Nothing more, nothing less than who I am and believe I should be.
Sounds like a good plan 😊
Time will certainly tell just how good this plan is! Stay tuned…
Sherrey, how well I understand your ruminations in this post and I’m struck, again, with how much we have in common. Scoliosis, a love of writing and desire to to honour our Creator in it, and a love of gardening, to name a few. Kindred spirits, until God calls us home. 🙂
Linda, thanks for your gracious words and the listing of our similarities. Yes, kindred spirits until God calls us home. 🙂
Sometimes God has to get our attention to make us appreciate the little (or not so little) things in life.
Joan, the last almost four years has proven this over and over again!
Your clarity of priorities is inspiring – thanks!
So nice to “see” you here! The worse the pain became the more obvious the necessity of prioritizing became. Three months post-op and facing a very long recovery.
What a good title, Sherrey. And your goals are so clear! I applaud you and wish you many happy days, writing as much or as little as the Slow Lane dictates. You don’t have to answer the publishing question until you feel called.
Shirley, your words fill me with joy! I especially like your last sentence. I believe God has called me to the Slow Lane because He has something more for me to do in His Kingdom. And now you have given me pause to wonder what the call might be with those last words.
Dear Sherrey, your beautiful reflections on slowing down and accepting our limits resonates a great deal with me. All I could think of as I read your words was what a healthy perspective to life’s ongoing challenges. Be well. my friend and keep on healing. Thank you for sharing these timely thoughts. Sending blessing and hugs.
Dearest Kathy, I certainly enjoyed our real time call today and so pleased you’ve stopped by here. We have both experienced ongoing challenges these last few months and are still pressing toward recovery and improved health. Returning in your direction blessing and hugs. Be well, Kathy.
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