The most prevalent flavor of life is bittersweet. ~Anonymous~
I finished writing the memoir about my parents on Sunday. I can hardly believe it. I am stunned. I am at the place I have longed for, after working on this project for over eleven years. Shouldn’t I be jumping up and down and shouting hooray? But I’m not.
As long as I was writing about their lives, I was recreating them as living creatures once again. Then all last week I was rewriting every moment of their fading away, including their deaths and scattering their ashes. Now I am numb.
Where do I turn next? When I finish a large project that I have been pouring so much of my conscious and unconscious energy into, how do I turn it off? Is it good enough? What else can be tweaked? My husband advises me: at some point you have to let it go. You have to decide that it is done.
The irony is I have wanted to be done for such a long time. I have abandoned this work two or three times, but it has nibbled at me, then yelled at me, then discouraged me. I have rolled my chair around the office, sorted paper clips, cruised eBay and Facebook, even balanced the checkbook, rather than work on the book.
Now I am finally done, and I can’t let it go. My brain is clicking, waking me up in the middle of the night. What do I work on next, now that I can do all those things I’ve been longing to do, everything that I’ve been putting off until the book is done?
I know I feel this urgency because I’m at the fast end of the hour glass. There is so much less sand now and it moves so much quicker. I don’t want to waste a minute, even though I remember all those moments I have wasted when I thought I had so much.