I Get Knocked Down, I Get Up Again

When last we heard from Betsy, she was sounding very determined.  And then she vanished from the face of the earth for several weeks.  If you know anything about Betsy, you know that this is definitely not a good sign.  Why it’s almost as if she was trying to ignore flaws and cracks and crevices that were widening and becoming catastrophic and then it all exploded in her face!

Uh oh.  We’d better see what’s going on….

 

Betsy is sitting in the soft grass beside the lake in her mind. The wind is blowing gently. Everything is saturated with color and seems to be more in focus than it has been as of late.

She leans back on her hands, looking at the range of mountains in the distance, the field of grass, the leaves on the trees rustling gently in the warm breeze. The sun is full and bright, the grass and leaves dark green with life, the lake deep blue and peaceful. Even a week ago, the landscape was gray and intangible. Even a week ago, everything was transparent, like the thinnest of papers.  Like a ghost.

Like Betsy.

She feels the softness of the ground beneath her palms, feels the weight of her spirit and her body. Even a week ago, everything was insubstantial.

She looks at the lake, sees the depths of the blue water, the way it laps the shore. The surface is calm, with just a few ripples. Even a week ago, the lake was almost empty, and what water remained was muddy and agitated.

“You’re back.”

Betsy looks up to see the Muse standing beside her. The Muse looks out at the grass, the trees, the lake, and then turns to Betsy and considers her.

“I feel better,” Betsy tells her.

“Good.” The Muse sits next to her, gracefully tucks her legs up under the folds of her gown. “Do you understand what happened?”

“I became disheartened.” Betsy straightens. “I did my taxes and saw the expenses and the income. I thought about how little I had accomplished and was accomplishing. I started second-guessing myself and my decisions. And I became disheartened.”

“Sometimes you have to keep moving even when you are not seeing the results.”

Betsy looks down. “It’s hard.”

The Muse shrugs. “Of course. Who said it wouldn’t be? Who said that something worthwhile wouldn’t be a struggle?”

“I know.” Betsy sighs and pulls out a blade of grass, twirling it in her fingers. “But it’s hard sometimes and I was disheartened.”

“You almost quit. You were right on the verge of changing everything.”

“I wasn’t writing. I said that I was dedicated to it, but I didn’t feel like I had any creativity inside me. There was nothing inside me. So why not quit? Why keep struggling? Why keep giving it lip service? Why not get a regular second job to pay off debt, save for the future, do the things we’re all supposed to do? That would have been smarter, definitely more logical. Why keep wasting my time?”

The Muse nods. “And then…”

Betsy gestures around her. “Everything went gray and lifeless. I felt like I was transparent, just a dead leaf tumbling in the wind. And I thought that I shouldn’t quit if this was the way I was going to feel because it was horrible.”

The Muse settles back. “But you’re writing now. You’re making headway now. Did the creativity come back when you made the decision to keep going?”

“It wasn’t that easy. At first, I had decided not to quit, but I couldn’t actually write either.  There still wasn’t any creativity inside me. So I looked at some other things I could do first. I started changing the way I’ve been eating so it would be better for my diabetes. Then I tried to go to bed earlier to get more sleep, and to get up with the alarm so I could take control of my mornings. All of that gave me the groundwork I needed to be able to write again. Once I started writing, I finally felt like myself.”

“And what have you learned?”

Betsy thinks for a moment. “That the right food and the right sleep and the right motivation are just as important as sitting at the computer because that’s what the creativity is built on.”

“Go on.”

“And that you have to have faith. Faith that it will work out. Faith that it’s worth it. Faith that you’re doing the right thing. Faith even when you are being given an opportunity to doubt yourself. Because if you lose faith in what you’re doing, you lose everything. I had been losing it for a while, and the last couple of weeks were just the result.”

The Muse leans forward and takes Betsy’s hand. “And I will tell you something else. You have to throw away your timelines. There are no expiration dates on your dreams as long as you are alive and willing to fight for them. But you do have to fight sometimes.”

Betsy looks at the Muse and grips her hand. “And sometimes it’s hard.”

The Muse nods. “Sometimes it is. But no one ever said it wouldn’t be.”

 

To be continued…

Author’s note – the song in the youtube clip below probably doesn’t have the slightest thing to do with this blog post, but it kept running around in my head as I wrote this, so I thought I’d share the earworm.  You’re welcome.  😀

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