My cell phone vibrates against my hip. I grab it and look down. “We haven’t seen you in Inner Circle,” the leader of my writing group messages me. “Everything ok?”

 

Fear creeps in, my chest tightens and my breathing contracts.

 

I knew my absence wouldn’t go unnoticed. The one who has taken over our Zoom meetings is big on holding us accountable with our writing. How do I respond?

 

I’ve talked about this ad nauseam with one of the guys. I’ve even started to write about the negative beliefs that keep popping up in my mind. On one hand, I know they aren’t true, and yet, on the other, I’ve had writers block for the last four months. I can’t seem to get into the groove. Do I tell her the truth?

 

I hesitantly respond, my fingers slowly spelling out each word. “I      feel       like     a     fraud.”

 

My finger hovers over the send button. Why am I so uncomfortable letting her know what’s going on? I take a deep breath and push send anyway.

 

“What?!?” she quickly texts back.

 

“Most people in our group are writing memoirs. I never had the intention to write a memoir. I used the writing time to work on my blog when we were forced to shelter in place. Later, it became a safe community of people I enjoy hanging out with. I haven’t written anything for months.”

 

Her response is practically instantaneous. She must be using a computer. “I lead our writing group and I haven’t worked on my book in months. With the move, being relocated for a bit due to the fires, and now finally moving into our house, I have felt really unsettled. I also got to a point in my book where my plan for the last 30% of it wasn’t at all inspiring me. I finally just gave myself permission to shelf it for a bit, knowing I will come back to it. I work on writing content for my Masterclass and other stuff. Sometimes I write articles or encouraging content for my newsletter subscribers. Do you think I’m a fraud and I don’t belong in our writing group? Do you think I’m a fraud and I don’t belong there? I’m going to go ahead and guess that you emphatically said ‘nooooooooo, of course not!’ Same goes for you, my friend. If writing calls to you or any kind of creativity and if this group feels like ‘home’ to you then you belong. End of story.”

 

I click on the “WOW” surprised looking emoji. Would I call her a fraud?

 

I absolutely love her writing. The book she’s working on about codependency is done in such a different and creative way. I wish it was already published.

 

“Thank you for all your kind words and being the creative spirit you are. And thank you for reaching out.”

 

A week later, I wrote The Awakening.

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I’m grateful I’ve learned how to manage arguments between my two daughters. This last one, I did not engage, acknowledged each of them so they both felt heard, and offered a solution that worked for all three of us. I did not get angry, however there was a consequence. My youngest daughter and I would not get to watch Thor, the next movie in our Marvel chronological series. I’m grateful I stood true to my word and not only did she do four hours straight of math homework sitting next to me while I was working on my Challenges, we watched Thor the following evening when she had caught up with all her assignments. I’m also grateful she agreed to do an hour yoga with me as long as I joined her in Just Dance. We only got four songs in because her sister needed last minute assistance on a project. I’m glad my daughter was accommodating and allowed me to give the time her sister requested.

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Last week I received a text from my girlfriend who brought to my attention that this month is Woman’s History Month and Monday, March 8th, is International Woman’s Day. She wanted to remind me to acknowledge and appreciate all the women in my life, then continued to list them off to me. It’s one thing to know you have a lot of close friends of the opposite sex, and it’s another to have your partner not only give each of them by name, yet do so in a way that also shows her appreciation they enrich and bring joy into her partner’s life as well.

 

I don’t believe her expectation was for me to post a blog showing my appreciation. I think she had meant for me to text a strong woman quote to my close friends followed by, “I appreciate you, Happy Inspirational Woman’s Day.” As I always tend to do, I figured I’d go one step further. Read more