This was a hard weekend for me. Yesterday, for the very first time, one of my kids left for sleep-away camp. I’m not nervous for her at all, in fact I’m overcome and happy for her to get to experience this, but she’s never been away for this long and the “letting go” without the constant worry is stressful. Thankfully, they already posted a photo of her on their site and I got to see her smiling face. That made it all a bit easier.
But then today, kid #2 started a new day camp. The previous one they were at went smoothly, but they wanted to try something new, so we did. I know there are aspects of this new camp that might not jive entirely with his personality, so I worried all this morning getting him on the bus. In fact, once he left I freaked a little. “Did I pack his bathing suit? Did he have his water bottle? Will he lose his glasses?”
Letting go is hard. I find that in all aspects of my life, especially with my writing. Once a book is finished, edited, proofread, I have to push and convince myself to “let it go.” Release it to the world, for good or bad. But, it’s so hard. I know so many people who are perfectionists and it’s the reason they don’t publish. They can’t give themselves the permission to not be perfect.
I just “let go” my horror anthology RICKET ROW. It’s a collection of tales I compiled for the past twenty years. Many of these stories got very close to getting into magazines so I thought people would enjoy them. For some reason, this anthology was easier to let go than some of my novels. Maybe because I had a few beta readers who enjoyed them first and I wasn’t as self-conscious because I felt a little less pressure about their time. With an anthology their investment in each tale is a whole lot less than a whole novel.
So for this post, I want to leave everyone with this thought. “Letting go is hard” but it’s a fact of life. We lose loved ones, we send our children off to great adventures, we lose our glasses, we say things we sometimes wish we didn’t say. Harping, worrying and dwelling on certain thoughts and not “letting them go” won’t help us if the thoughts are negative. Remember our loved ones and keep their memories close, but give yourself the permission to move on. Let your children fly, don’t worry about material things you lose – they can be replaced.
Hopefully this is not all easier said then done, and I’ll follow my own advice.