Wednesday, September 24, 2008

...at which point I stomp my feet like a bratty child and whine that it's JUST NOT FAIR!

We all know life is not fair, right?  Didn't we learn that ages ago, when our ice cream rolled off the cone with one lick, rolled down our forearms and landed on the dirty sidewalk?  And didn't we cry because we only got an ice cream cone once every summer, like only once, and Mommy only had enough money for two ice cream cones, one for us and one for our sister and didn't even get one for herself?  And we're not coming into town again until next week?  

Lesson #1 is that life is not fair.

Oh but it's a hard lesson and one that needs to be learned over and over and over. 

Lesson #2 is PATIENCE.  

The next thing we learn is that unfairness and patience don't like to get along.

All summer I worked on Patience.  I prayed for it.  I reminded myself to wait for it.  I have been doing a lot of PATIENT WAITING and let me tell you, it does not get any easier.  How unfair is that?

It's unfair that I don't live in the country, that my husband would love to live in the country with me, but that his work is in the city.  It's unfair that so many clients believe that their recording project is the only one he's worked on this week.  It's unfair that we pay taxes and yet the schools always have their hands out for money.  It's unfair that record labels don't pay up quickly.  Unfair that literary agents have so much crap to read that they don't have time to read my crap, and that they have to send form letters to let me know that they are simply not suitable for my project at this time.  It's unfair that my two horses are both seven years old and not fully trained yet, and that I never have enough time to spend with them.  

Unfair that my kids are 14 and 12 and do not have five acres of room to run around in, when their time at Grandma's farm is spent mostly outside... in the tree, on a horse, on a 4wheeler, under the big sky.

It's unfair that so many books that I consider crappy are published every year and I am still sifting through lists of agents, counting on one of them seeing the value in mine, and wanting it to be a real book.  A good book.

It's unfair that a gorgeous little farm, far away from the yellow smog of Toronto, has a bright red and blue FOR SALE lurking near the mail box at the end of the lane, and that two other people who aren't me have tentative offers to buy that farm.  

It's terribly and sadly unfair that almost four years ago, I had a serious mental and emotional breakdown that basically put life into slow motion for over a year.  It's unfair that I didn't realize, nor did my loved ones, how serious it was... and that it took me almost two months to go get help for it.  It's unfair that because of my messed up state, our household suffered, with bills going unpaid and chores undone and food going bad in the fridge.  

Like, I could just weep, right?  

Yeah, but I'm medicated and I haven't really cried since I started taking them big honkin red pills.  

Also I'm realizing that my paternal Grandfather's stubbornness is a hereditary blessing.  I am stubborn.  As soon as I'm done my temper tantrum pity party, I have to set my jaw and keep slogging my way through.

So I go through it backwards.  Take a deep breath, start at the end.  

Yeah, it's unfair that I had untreated mental/emotional problems for so many years.  But in a way, that breakdown may have saved my life.  Now I know.  I recognize it, I know when to call for help.  I know I'm not alone.

It's not right at all that I'm still living in town.  BUT I have friends here to cheer me up.  I still have my horses, even if I don't see them enough.  I know that they are cherished and well cared for.  My kids haven't grown up in the country, but they've known the joys and hardships of country life from all of our long holidays at the farm, as well as the fun of having friends drop by our home in town.  They know the best and worst of both worlds.  

I am blessed with a unwavering faith that I will be back in the country again.  Soon.  Not in another decade.  I have a husband who is ready for this. I have an odd confidence that I will get what I want.

I have the knowledge that the publishing world often moves at a snail's pace and that's it's not necessarily my fault that my book isn't a book yet.  Sure it's unfair, and I'm not the only one who feels that way.  I'm blessed to have the belief that I'm a pretty decent writer.  I marvel at this new confidence... this steady faith that it will happen for me.  It didn't used to be there and I welcome it.  

Life isn't fair, kids.  We don't always get what we want, and don't always want what we get!  The world hasn't run out of ice cream cones yet.  

Today I have to take a deep breath and put myself back on the path.  Temper tantrums and pity parties are such a waste of energy, and I'm going to need all the strength I can get.


Real Live Lesbian said...

I could add about 500,000 things to your unfair list.

I guess we both need to put on our big girl panties. ;)

Heidi the Hick said...

Ugh, pull em up.

JKB said...

Oh man I getcha BIG on this post. Now for a little witchery on those two buggers re: the farm.

Stay away, hoomans. It is HTH's farm, not yours.

And the agent will be there at some point.


Tod said...

Of course your book is worth publishing. It is not your fault that the so-called gate keepers of publishing reject 99% of everything they(say they)read. And it is not your fault that they choose to publish drivel for profit and still like to think of themselves as maintaining standards and quality.

Come join the self publishing revolution Heidi. It won't be too long before the POD revolution will by-pass those gatekeepers and make them redundant - and they already know it.

pseudosu said...

You are SO not alone.
Waiting sucks. Unfairness sucks. Crappy books getting published while we still wait for some agent to recognize our stuff sucks. Instability feels sucky, but is kind of awesome too in an existential way.

But you're right-- still plenty of cones out there, or as I like to say, "There'll still be plenty of cool stuff around when I actually have money. The world isn't ever going to run out of cool stuff." (or dream farms, or lit agents)

coffeypot said...

Lordy, Hon, I have to take so many deep breaths that the walls in my house are concaved. Life is not fair, but it is life. It’s what makes us grow and learn. It gives you lessons that you can hopefully pass on to your tax deductions to save them from making the same mistakes (if they will listen.) It gives you fodder for your books. It allows you to have an impact on people you never met or will never know about. Life is not fair but it is beautiful in a sad, sick sort of way. And the best part is, you can throw a pity party and have a hissie fit and you will still come out of it okay. Just letting off steam. It’s just hard to clean up all the carnage and get the blood off everything when it’s over.

Talk about stubborn. When J-Man was at the Shiners Hospital there was this kid that looked like he was 10 years old who had MS. He had to walk the perimeter of the atrium twice a day. He was holding onto a walker and was crying and telling his mom, who was waking backwards in front of him, “I can’t! It hurts!” But he kept on taking one step at a time. He was so brave and, his mother said, he was so stubborn. I set there with teas in my eyes and wanted to go over and hug him and tell him how brave he was. But that’s life. Something he has to bear. But he affected me in a way that no one, other than J-Man, has in a long time. He doesn’t know it. He doesn’t know me. But he and J-Man have showed me what true courage is and I hope I can live up to their examples when my time comes. You can have a effect on others, too.

CindyDianne said...

Sing it Sister!

You know I am right there with you. Except for the book thing. Because, well because, I am not a good writer. But, other than that, I am totally with you.

Heidi said...

Okay, the first problem here is that your prayed for patience. DO NOT PRAY FOR PATIENCE! You know how you get it, right? By having to wait!

Yeah, I'm so in this with you. The book/query thing is so not fair! Of course, my rebellious little self gets all in a huff and says, "I am not going to go groveling to those arrogant agents because they are the ones who need me. I'm the one with the product that makes money"

Then I tuck my head under and go back to perfecting my pitch.

You'll get there, girl. Just a little more time...

hayseed said...

Oh, well, sometimes foot stamping is in order, it helps you get things out of your system. When you get your sweet lil' farm, and publish your book, it will be all that much sweeter. It'll happen for you, Heidi.

jules said...

You're right Heidi, life is not fair sometimes. But...when it is, gosh, isn't it great?

While you're learning patience, go here: http://www.farmaid.org/site/apps/ka/ec/catalog.asp?c=qlI5IhNVJsE&b=2736363&en=igJIJTNGJcLEJVNDJaLII2OKKiIKKWMAKcKPL7MMLuH&CategoryID=227809

They even have one in JD green/yellow. I love it. Farmers kick ass indeed!

Heidi the Hick said...

Oh Jules, thanks for that link! (I like the Homegrown: IN dirt we trust Tshirt too!)

And yes, when life IS fair, it's wonderful.

Hayseed, it's occurred to me that I'll appreciate all that I get so much more if I'm made to wait. It doesn't make me any happier about the waiting, but it's something to think about!

Heidi- good point! (What was i thinking...?) What's that verse about the wings of eagles and running and not being weary?

Yeah the book thing is not fair but it is what it is.

Cindy, thanks for lettin' me SING IT!

Coffeypot, excellent comment. I don't even know what to add.

Su- wow, you're right... more cool stuff is existing all the time... hmmm...must keep this in mind...

Tod, I think about self publishing a lot. So far I'm taking the circuitous route because I'm a crap business mind. I would gladly give up a percentage of earnings for someone else to take care of business.

Bottom line- I can't give up on this book! I won't give up!!! Even if worse books than mine make it to stores. (grrrrr)

JKB ha! It is my farm, not theirs! The problem is that they don't know it yet.

Well stomping my feet won't get it for me, I just have to wait it out... until someone else bails out...

This has been a great discussion... thanks everybody!

Anita said...

It's not fair we're still living in a FEMA trailer - BUT, I always tell myself it could always be worse... it WAS worse for us when we lived in that camping trailer with no water for 2 months...
You ARE going to find one agent intelligent enough to know a good book when they see it!

dilling said...

yeah, so there.
take that...stupid unfairness.

heh...i am wearing brand new big girl panties, too. bought myself some new ones for my birthday.

Heidi the Hick said...

Oh Dilling, so proud of you for gettin yerself such a useful gift!

I just gave Unfairness another big kick.

Anita, the old Could Be Worse! It always works, eh?

Anita said...

Um, no... it should always work, but it doesn't... lol

Lynn said...

The world will never run out of ice cream, Heidi. There is a cone out there with your name on it. I just know it.