Eric and the 1000 Words - Day 6
This is my sixth day in a row to write 1000 words. That’s a little presumptive of me considering that I’m currently trying to write my sixth 1000 words, but I’m going to presume success based on the last five days of being successful. I kind of hate this, especially when I remember that better writers set their word counts per day at much higher. I used to have a morning routine that involved searching facebook, reddit, facebook, reddit, and then facebook again for over an hour. Now I wake up, and check my email then I’m just bored. I’m too tired to write though. My brain isn’t fully functional this early in the morning (I know that 7 isn’t early, but my brain hasn’t figured that out). I don’t actually know in advance when my brain will be fully functional. It doesn’t seem to have a set schedule, and when it does come to me I’m usually busy doing something else. I guess this process is me trying to train my brain to do what I want when I’m ready for it, but it’s been a fight. There are posts that I want to write, but I just don’t feel the mood that I think I need to be in to write them properly. In order to avoid writing what I think I should be writing, but also meet this arbitrary requirement of writing 1000 words every day before I’m allowed to take a break, I have written about my last job (in the most boring chronological order), my last Sunday at church, a disclaimer about reading my blog, and some childhood events to help convince you that I have a mental disorder. So, I guess, here’s a story for you:
In September of 2013, the day after my birthday, I posted a note on facebook thanking everyone for their birthday wishes and made a declaration that this was my Jesus year. I know that’s kind of a weird or stupid thing to say, but to me that just meant that I was now 33 years old and I was going to do something big, obviously not as big as Jesus, but big for me. I felt like my whole life had been building up to something, and I was finally going to make it happen. I was excited. I wrote the declaration to try to motivate myself to continue, and so that anyone that read it could hold me accountable if I didn’t, not that I really believed that they would. Then I spent a month feeling pretty happy about it, and trying to figure out what I could write or what was the best plan of action to see this through. Every day that I didn’t do anything I grew a little more skeptical that I would ever do anything, but I kept forgiving myself because I still had plenty of time. I came up with a story idea and thought about it a little every day, but as November approached I didn’t want to start writing anything because maybe this would finally be the year that I participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). NaNoWriMo is a competition to write a 50,000 word fiction novel during the month of November. That’s 1,667 words per day. The novel isn’t supposed to be edited, and the only way to win is to turn in 50,000 consecutive original words. That’s it. Everyone that completes that task is a winner. It’s something that I’ve wanted to do every year since I heard about it in 2010. I’ve never done it.
In the middle of October, while I was feeling pretty happy about the plan I had for my life, my wife worriedly announced that she thought she might be pregnant. I started to feel some pretty intense anxiety and disbelief when she told me because she wasn’t supposed to be able to do that. She had had a tubal ligation in early 2012 about 6 months after our son was born. I didn’t even want to buy a test because I thought it was impossible for her to be pregnant. She bought a couple of pregnancy tests anyway and it turned out that she was, indeed, pregnant. This was some pretty depressing news for both of us. We had a plan. We had one of each, and we were finished. We were not prepared for this. We both had good jobs, but the hours had been cut way back, and there had been layoffs at the factory where we worked. We had good insurance though, and we were going to figure out how to make this work. We lived in a tiny two bedroom rental house where our 7 year old daughter, and 2 year old son were already sharing a room.
When we tried to go back to the doctor who had done the surgery, she wouldn’t see us because we owed some money from the last kid she delivered. Something had happened with our insurance where the policy changed 17 days before he was born, and we owed money that we weren’t expecting to owe. My wife had already quit her job (she took 11 months off with him) so we couldn’t pay her. I understand that she was running a business, but considering that she was the one that made a mistake, and now we have a whole new person because of it she could have taken the time to at least talk to us. A lot of the “lawyers” that I worked with thought that we should sue her (everyone that you work with is a lawyer or doctor depending on what advice they think you need at the time). I actually really considered looking into suing. Mostly because I didn’t know how we were ever going to manage taking care of another baby. Day care is pretty expensive. After not much thought though, I decided to drop the whole idea because my mother always told me that suing people is a sin. I don’t know if that’s true, but it just didn’t feel right and probably would have been a lot of work to get done. Plus, I didn’t want my new daughter to ever think that we won money because we didn’t want her.
That’s something that I try to make clear anytime I tell this to anyone. We did not expect her, and we did not in any way plan for her, but we absolutely wanted her. She is a joy. She’s one of the funniest most intelligent people that I have ever met. She makes me laugh every single day. We would probably never know that we were missing anything if we didn’t have her, but we would be missing something, something good.
We spent most of 2014 stretching our finances and living with as little as we possibly could preparing for our new child (we could have lived with less, but we didn’t know that). We knew that we were going to need more room so I contacted a realtor. My wife had always wanted to own a home, but I was resistant because I didn’t want to admit that I was going to live here forever. We found a home about 3 months before she was born, but we didn’t move in until 2 months after she was born (maybe someday I’ll write about the joys of trying to buy a house, maybe tomorrow, who knows?). We moved in 4 days before my 34th birthday. So, I guess the big thing that I was going to do during that year wasn’t writing, but instead, laying down roots and building my family. It was pretty ridiculous of me to bring up Jesus when I never even asked for HIs help, but looking back on the whole thing it’s pretty clear that He was giving it to us any way. It’s taken 36 years, but Mineral Wells has actually kind of grown on me, only kind of though. I went a little over my word count this time.