Spend It All


I doodle across the top of the desk calendar: SPEND IT ALL. It’s not about money.

* * *

When my oldest brother died in ’96, I wondered what happened to all the paintings he did and was relieved when his kids retrieved them from an upstairs closet. How happy I was they’d not been lost!

A fear was born in me that day, though, a fear that, being a hermit who fits very nicely under a bushel, my stories would end up in a closet. I would die with my tales untold, which would be okay, except someone might need to hear one of them. They might need the encouragement. Because, unfortunately, the world has not yet run out of people needing to know they are not “the only one.”

Twenty years, this fear dogged me.
Twenty years, my feet were tangled in perfectionism and “someday” thinking. Someday I will put it all together perfectly.

Pshaw, pshaw.

I am now spending it all in small chunks everywhere and it feels like a fresh breeze blowing through things. If a fitting memory arises, I share it and count it used. I’ve shared what I’ve been given in at least one place.

No more waiting for perfection, a book idea or even to know how the ending turns out. No more waiting to know the big story. The small stories will add up to it.

I’m going with imperfection now. We are a very happy couple.

* * *

Click HERE for all the posts on perfectionism.

About Marilyn

Reading, thinking, listening, writing and talking about faith, creativity, ESL for refugees, grief and finding the story in a story. Student of Spanish. Foe of procrastination. Cheez-it fan. People person with hermit tendencies or vice-versa. Thank you so much for reading.
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One Response to Spend It All

  1. Belinda says:

    So glad you’re “spending it all” and unloading your stories. I for one, want to hear every one you have to tell. So many of them have already been “me too” stories. Someone told me this weekend, “Don’t spend any more time on getting that killer first line, just get the story down.” I still haven’t, but at least I’m not stuck on the first line.

    Liked by 1 person

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