A Sunday Confession – I have an Attitude Problem

I have an attitude problem. How’s that for a Sunday morning confession?

No, I don’t have the bitchy attitude, although my husband might disagree and I’m not being haughty or arrogant.

Nope, the attitude problem I have, believe it or not, is one of discouragement and lack of faith. Not, the Faith, that’s another subject. Lack of faith in my ability to write.

My muse has left me high and dry, and the 40,000-word novel I’ve struggled with is taunting me each time I open the file. Prompts I used to enjoy doing are drawing a blank. It’s as if the words and thoughts in my brain have gone on vacation without me. An invite would’ve been nice.

I had the entire house to myself yesterday, and writing was on the agenda, but the ghost of my mother appeared. I ended up reorganizing my cabinets and scrubbing the surfaces clean till they sparkled. Yeah, those cabinets just had to be cleaned, three days before my housekeeper is due.

By the time I finished, the day was more than half gone, I was exhausted and had screwed up a knee. Needless to say, I spent the rest of the evening recuperating, bingeing on the Hallmark channel, and getting weepy over stupid stuff.

The truth is I didn’t want to write yesterday. And being a bit obsessive about my house, I welcomed the ghost of my mother. She’s the one I blame for that little personality trait. We learned early on; a clean house is a Southern woman’s obligation and an excuse to get out of anything.

Yep, right now, I have a piss-poor attitude about writing. And, to make matters worse, I’ve committed myself to the A-Z Blogging Challenge in April. Oh no, with my brain on vacation, I’m not feeling any pressure.

April is looming, and I needed to get out of this slump.

Self-help books of all kinds have always been a go-to resource for me. Over the years, I’ve saved encouraging and funny quotes for times just like these. So, this morning I searched out the old file out to get inspired. The first sheet I pulled from the folder had me wondering, but I persevered.
IMG_1314Really?

Then I discovered two of my all time favorites.  A quote about Attitude, by Rev. Charles Swindoll and Faith (author unknown).

You can find the entire quote from Attitude by clicking on the link but here is an excerpt.

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life…
It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill…
The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have,
and that is our attitude.Charles Swindoll

I encourage you to read the entire quote. It will give you an attitude adjustment. And as far as faith, well at some point we all have to believe.

Faith
When we walk to the edge of the light we have
And take that step into the darkness of the unknown;
We must believe that one of two things will happen  –
There will be something solid for us to stand on
Or,  God will teach us to fly!

I’ve always liked the idea of wings. What about you? Do you ever have doubts? I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovin, Twitter@sheilagood, and Contently.

Let Me Buy You a Cup of Coffee

DAILY PROMPT: Good Tidings
Present-day you meets 10-years-ago you for coffee. Share with your younger self the most challenging thing, the most rewarding thing, and the most fun thing they have to look forward to.

The younger woman stood hesitantly in the open door. I studied her fair, unblemished complexion, her long, thick, strawberry-blond hair, and felt a twinge of grief for the lost years of my youth.  Her eyes widen in surprise and apprehension as ours locked.

I stood to greet her, “Thank you for coming,” I said.

She pulled out a chair. “A bit creepy but,” she shrugged, “As they say, Curiosity killed the cat.”

“Coffee?”

“Don’t drink coffee but I’ll take an iced tea.”

Surprised she hadn’t come in with a sweet tea in her hand, I turned toward the bar. “Be right back,” I said, remembering the large cup of tea I carried for years like a pacifier.

“God I love this stuff,” she said taking a long, satisfying sip. “Sooo, this is how I’m going to look in ten years?”

“Hope you’re not disappointed,” I said, swallowing the coffee and temptation to pull out my compact. “I do try to keep my appearance appealing.” Even at this old age, I wanted to add.

She shook her head, extending her hand as if to grab back her words. “Oh Lord no, I didn’t mean you looked bad,” she said stumbling over her words. “I meant you look great for a woman your age. I’m glad to know wrinkles don’t run in the family.”

My face heated up under her scrutiny. A woman of my age? Great.

Her eyes narrowed behind the straw. “You don’t do Botox do you?”

I laughed feeling the tension release. “Not yet, but I’m evaluating its merits.”

Leaning back, she crossed her arms. “So how does this work? You give me the lowdown on my future, how to avoid mistakes, get rich, marry the right man, what?”

“No, wish I could. Those decisions have already been written into history. As they say,” I couldn’t resist mimicking her own sarcasm, “That ship has sailed.”

“Then what’s the point of this little tête-à-tête?”

“Give you a heads up, help you learn from my mistakes, I don’t know. I guess it was a chance offered I couldn’t refuse either.”

She sat her tea down and stared at me.  “Well me, what will my life be like? I guess you’re gonna tell time flies, smell the roses, that sort of thing.”

I shrugged, “It’s true, time does fly. In the blink of an eye, you’ll be this grey-haired woman you’re staring at in with skepticism. I can’t tell you what your life will become. I can, however, share three things: the most challenging, most rewarding, and the most fun thing you have to look forward over the next ten years. Interested?”

She rolled her eyes, “Okay great, hit me.”

No wonder mom hated me rolling my eyes. I swallowed my annoyance. “I don’t have all the answers, but I can start by sharing your most rewarding experience.” I smiled at the memory. “When you hold your first grandchild.”

She leaned forward, her mouth open in surprise. “I’ll be a grandmother? Boy or girl?”

“I won’t reveal that surprise but I’ll tell you, to hold your first grandchild is amazing. Watching them grow, spoiling them, feeling such unconditional love and hearing them call you Nana,” My eyes pooled with tears, “Is incredible.”

“Not sure I wanna be called Nana and definitely NOT grandma, but I’m sure I can come up with something that doesn’t scream old.” 

I laughed and took a swig of cold coffee. Grimacing, I pushed it aside. “You’ll love Nana,” I said. I reached across touching her hand. “Grandkids are wonderful, but you’re gonna face some tough challenges too, prepare yourself.”

Her brow wrinkled in concern. “Why, what happens?”

My voice broke.  “You’ll lose someone very close to you.”

A look akin to fear clouded her eyes and she drew her hand away. “Who?”

I shook my head. “That I can’t tell you but it will be hard. It will happen quickly and nothing you do will change the outcome. This loss will shatter your foundation, make you question God, your faith, and shake your trust in people.”

Her chest heaved with anger and anxiety. “Why would you tell me such horrible shit?”

“Because I want you to enjoy the moments. Catalog memories and fortify your faith. It will get you through the darkest days.”

“You said one of the most…”

“Oh, there’ll be others, but mostly it’s life. Shit happens.” I glanced at my watch. Time was almost over and I didn’t want to leave her anxious, fearful of her future.  “Look, I didn’t mean to upset you. Don’t dwell on the negatives. You’ll have many happy, fun and treasured times ahead, focus on those.”

She let out a breath and picked up her tea. “Good to know my life isn’t going to be all doom and gloom.”

“Not at all. Besides the fun times you  share with your daughters and grandchildren, the most fun thing you will do is something you will write on a bucket list.”

“Oh my God, I’m already writing a bucket list? Jesus, what aren’t you telling?”

I burst out laughing. “Oh lots, but you’re gonna love this one. The most fun thing you can look forward to is a ten-day trip to Paris with your daughter.”

Her excited exclamation resonated throughout the coffee shop. “Holy shit! Really? I’ve always wanted to go to Paris. In fact, I told my husband, I swear, before I die I will go to Paris, with or without you.”

“I know you did and you will. It will be the trip of a lifetime. The two of you will have so much fun. This trip will create the kind of memories that feed your soul, I promise.”

She sat back, a dreamy look on her face. “Wow, Paris.”

I scooted my chair back, rising.

She jumped up knocking her chair over and grabbed my arm. “Wait, please don’t go. I want to, no I need to hear more, please.”

I patted her hand, leaned in and brush the younger cheek of myself with a kiss. “I’m sorry, I can’t and besides there isn’t enough time to tell you all the crooks and turns life has in store for you. Remember, you’re a smart, independent woman with a tremendous capacity to love. You don’t always show it, most people don’t, but I’m giving you a heads up. Learn.”

I gave her a hug, lingering a bit before whispering in her ear, “Stay true to yourself, hold fast to your faith and you will have a good life.” I released her and walked to the door, looking back one last time. She at the table checking her watch. Her best friend hurried through the door saying, “I know, I know I’m late. I’m sorry I couldn’t help it.”

Sheila laughed and shook her head. “You realize one of these days I’m not gonna wait on your ass.”

I exited to their laughter.