Monday, November 28, 2011

The Countdown

For the first time, we're visiting a church that observes Advent. It began yesterday, and for the rest of the month, we'll be counting down to Christmas.

I kind of like it.

The topic of yesterday's sermon was uncertainty, which I thought was an odd choice. We know without a doubt that in less than a month it will be December 25.

But as he spoke, I changed my mind. My little daughters are waiting to see their first snowfall. The weather lady said it might happen tomorrow night, but it could be Wednesday.

They're also waiting to see what Santa will bring them. And you know the song, a lot of that depends on how they act. (As if.)

As for writing, we face uncertainty from start to finish. Is this idea any good? Is this query any good? Will I ever finish revising this MS? Will I ever find an agent? Will I ever get a book deal? Will anyone besides my mom buy it if I do? Will I ever write another book? Will it be as good as that last one? And so on.

The point yesterday was that one's faith is strongest in times of uncertainty. That made me laugh (internally, of course) thinking of all the prayers said at those times.

I pray a lot regardless, so for me it seems uncertainty brings out my inner control freak. I start trying to do everything I can to make whatever it is happen. Right now.

Patience is hard for me. I don't even like making my daughters (or husband) wait to open gifts I've bought them. Christmas typically starts around the 23rd at our house--or sooner!--because Mommy just can't stand it anymore.

So we're all in this time of waiting and expectation, and things are very uncertain everywhere. How do you guys deal with times like these?

My youngest said she likes to daydream to make the time pass quicker. I agree with her. Maybe it's time to start another book...

Have a great week, reader- and writer-friends! Til Thursday~ <3

32 comments:

Laura Pauling said...

My son goes absolutely bonkers waiting for Christmas. I told him the reality is fleeing but enjoying the anticipation is way better and lasts longer!

Sarah said...

Uncertainty is one of the more painful, difficult and CERTAIN aspects of humanity. We all have to deal with it. I've gotten a little better at it in recent years, but I'll tell ya--being on sub is possibly one of the harder things I've done, so maybe I need to work on it a little more.

Stephen Tremp said...

I manage rather than control, so I think this helps with uncertainty. Blessed are the flexible is my motto. Do uncertainty is not that much of a problem and I'm able to move forward and plan things. Hope this helps!

Pat Hatt said...

I just find other stuff to do to occupy my time. Or more than likely, I just get whatever it is done, so it's out of my hair and that is that. Like your idea on starting christmas on the 23rd, you should spread that around more..haha

Ginger said...

I don't know about one's faith being the strongest during times of uncertainty. Those times one's faith just goes on a yo-yo. He loves me, He loves me not :)

I missed Mass yesterday so thanks for sharing :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm the same way about uncertainty. I tend to dwell on it more than I should, instead of focusing on things I do have control over.

My kids would love it if Christmas started on the 23rd. They get to open their presents from their oma and opa on Dec 24th. That's when my in laws celebrate christmas (because they're from Germany). After that, my husband phones his parents so the kids can say thanks. My kids have complained yet about that arrangement.

Vicki Rocho said...

I become the anti-control freak. Usually I distract myself because I WILL drive myself up one wall and down another thinking about "IT". Reading a great book helps (the hours just slip away). It's also a great time to repaint a room...the hours slip away AND when you're done you're too tired to think about anything. hahaha

Old Kitty said...

Oh LTM! It's the 25th!! or at the very latest, midnight on the 24th! LOL!!

Oh but seriously!! I think 20 years ago patience for me was a dirty word. These days in my ahem, twilight years, I'm a bit more zen and more down to earth. I still dream of having a story win a big competition - lol! - but it's not such a big deal now.

Age!! I love growing old! Take care
x

Bish Denham said...

Patience has always been one of my greatest strengths. Even as a kid. I knew if I waited there would be a wonderful reward for me and I was rarely disappointed. To this day if there's a surprise, I don't want to know about it. I want the surprise! I think about how wonderful it will be when I get open the present...I guess I love the anticipation, the excitement.

Lydia Kang said...

I deal with uncertainty by distracting myself. Think of other things, work on other projects. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't!

Jessica Bell said...

I actually don't have much patience and whenever I need to wait for something to evolve I always end up making more work for myself by starting new projects ... as you probably already know :)

Elle Strauss said...

I'm actually finding it hard to even think about Christmas yet. We lit the first candle in church yesterday, too, but at home I can't wrap my head around it. My second son is born on Dec 6 and so in our family the Christmas holiday started Dec 7 (getting the tree, etc.) Even though he doesn't live at home anymore, I'm still conditioned that way.

N. R. Williams said...

My birthday is the 18th, so when the girls were growing up, I allowed them one gift on my birthday, one on Christmas Eve and the rest Christmas morning.

One of my favorite songs is, I surrender all. When life takes a turn that is troubling or someone does something you just don't understand, I've learned that my own opinion is often the worst thing. So I sing that song and release the fears to Him.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, Fantasy Author

walk2write said...

In uncertain times, I like to keep things neat and in order. It's a habit my mom passed along, part of my German heritage, I guess. Somehow my brain functions better (more logically) when things around me aren't in chaos. Oddly enough, though, my writing improves when everything is a mess, even emotionally.

I'm glad to know that you pray a lot. A lot of writers won't admit to being spiritual, or if they do it's for something trendy. I like that idea of advent. Anticipation is a key ingredient to a happy, energetic life. It keeps one from being apathetic and complacent.

Jolene Perry said...

Lots and Lots of deep breaths . . . lol

Hart Johnson said...

So interesting what different animals we can be, eh? I don't like uncertainty at all on huge stuff--I will take a sure thing that is less desirable over a less sure thing I want more. But when I KNOW good stuff is coming, I actually prefer the anticipation to knowing. I like to WAIT on presents. I'd draw them out for a week after Christmas if anyone would let me. And I seem to do okay with the writing waiting, provided I keep busy.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Leigh .. it's good conditioning to wait - but on the other hand also good for the girls to get something they can enjoy and appreciate before the other gifts arrive.

I like the Minister's sermon title -Uncertainty .. when will winter come etc (for us here in the UK) .. thankfully I seem to adapt quite easily now-a-days .. enjoy the Christmas build up - bet the girls will .. cheers Hilary

erica and christy said...

Not only are my kids waiting for Christmas this year, but the birth of their baby brother...Dec 21st is the day! The days seem to fly by in our house, so we don't have time to feel impatient. At least I don't, and my kids seem preoccupied too. (Except when they KNEW I went shopping. Then my 3 year old was all "I want my presents NOW!" and it took a while to get that out of his system! Our priest talked about making time/filling time with extra prayers before Christmas. So, I should be making extra time for that. Maybe in the shower.... Christy

Jen Daiker said...

Daydreaming is an excellent answer! I use it often, after all I'm passing time on all positive thoughts rather than whining about what isn't here! Smart little ones you have!

DEZMOND said...

I'm a total atheist and I've never been to a church :) but Hungarian people in my city have Advent, so I heard about it although I'm not sure what it is.
Me likes the first (And every other) snowfall and the festive atmosphere, even though the festive atmosphere isn't the same without the consumer's society touch like in USA. I love the bling bling of USA Christmas :)

LTM said...

@Laura--I think that's what I like about the whole Advent ritual. It really focuses you on the meaning and the anticipation of what's coming, rather than letting it get lost in all the preparation and gift buying. :o) <3

@Ginger--You're very welcome! I find my faith is always constant. I just get a little OCD... LOL! :D

M Pax said...

I've been feeling that uncertainty lately.

I'm hoping the snow holds off this year, so far ... but it won't last. :)

Liz Fichera said...

There's always uncertainty but I think you can steps to make things more cetain, regardless of what you want to accomplish. I think the important thing is that you keep pushing forward.

Regarding Christmas, I am so with you on that. I have no patience when it comes to cool presents. :)

Lynda R Young said...

yep, patience is hard for me too so I can relate. Learning to trust, prayers and sitting still in God's presence helps the most.

Tracy Jo said...

I have that same "inner control freak" - you should have heard the prayers and bargaining I did while Mom just had her back surgery. When I feel my freak comin on...I take a deep breath and remember to live in the moment.(By the way, much easier said than done for me BUT I try) :-)

LTM said...

@Liz--it helps. It doesn't make it perfect, but you're right. It does help. *sigh* clearly I need more work. :D <3

Theresa Milstein said...

How do I deal with uncertain times? I worry.

I used to be Catholic, but converted to Judaism. My kids get their gifts over 8 days. I have to say that it makes things much calmer than how I remember Christmas presents as a kid. It used to be all that anticipation leading up to the big day, the present orgy, and then the deflation that night and the next day. I like the fun spread out.

Or maybe I'm just old...

Carolyn Abiad said...

Lol - you know we're already playing with our gifts. Skyrim! Uncharted! Haven't opened Assassin's Creed yet. We'll open some smaller gifts on the day, but Santa doesn't visit here on the 25th anymore.

Pk Hrezo said...

I've been wondering how your submission process is going. Still waiting, I take it? *bites nails*
Patience and I have never been friends, as hard as I try to be nice to her, she always kicks me when I'm down. :(
Faith, however, is a very good friend of mine. I rely on her always, and she gets me thru.
You are so funny with the early gifts! I get that way too sometimes... the excitement is just too much to bear! We are all decorated and in the spirit already. Send some of that snow down here to FL!

Talli Roland said...

Uncertainty drives me crazy, and this past year I've spent much of it in a tizzy of anxiety because of it! Now, I'm trying to realise I can't constantly function in that state of high alert and I need to get a grip and worry only about what I can control. Sigh. Easier said than done.

LTM said...

@PK--well, the snow was mostly slush, but I'll send you some! :D As for subs, there've been some developments, another MS finished and to agent, but the process is so slow... :p As for Christmas, need some. Right this very minute. Maybe we'll start opening even earlier--LOL! <3 ((hugs))

Matthew MacNish said...

I do most of my praying on airplanes, asking god to please let me survive the flight.