Jul 26, 2014

What If?

The question "What If?" is one I normally don’t ponder, but when the right questions are asked, that gets me thinking.

What If?

As a writer, I have the extraordinary privilege of leading two separate lives. 

My first full-time job is that of a mom.  I’m sure you don’t want me to bore you with the details about what it takes to keep a household with eight kids and two dogs cranking each day, so not to worry — I’ll be brief.

Let me just say that as monotonous as much of motherhood can be, for me, no two days are ever alike.

I can go months without having to unclog a toilet and the minute I realize my upper arms are in need of some toning, wham, I get to plunge one or two toilets a day for a week! 

Or everything in the laundry department is effortless and almost pleasant, until some kid leaves a black sharpie in his pocket, and because I neglected to check it in advance, we now all have ready-made zebra wear.

We won’t discuss what happens in the kitchen or what goes on underneath certain beds in this house. I’ll leave that to your imagination.

My other life, as a full-time writer, also entails quite a bit of repetition, but again, for me, no two writing experiences are ever the same. 

Whether I’m writing this column (which is truly my passion!), putting out a freelance piece, working on my novel or writing articles for the various magazines and news sources that I’m so grateful to work for, each time I sit down and mull over the ideas swirling around in my mind, I never know which direction it will take me.

I love that about writing!  I get to share hundreds of experiences with others using my own voice. I mold the words like a lump of clay into a finished piece of sculpture, tweaking and adjusting until I can sit back and say, “Done!”   

Even better is when readers contact me about something that’s spoken to them, or even that they might disagree with. It’s still awesome to have interaction with folks who love to read! 

My job as a mom allows me to join groups such as the PTO, fundraising and educational committees, various ministries in our church, even zany things like “girls gone giddy” — a group of my closest friends that get together to go on “adult” field trips from time to time.  

As a writer, I’m thrilled to be the part of a professional blog, The Writer’s Crate, attend workshops throughout the year, go to author talks and events, and also be part of several writing communities — with one of my favorites being The Women’s Writing Guild. 

Okay, so it’s not like being a member of the Elks or something, but I feel like the Grand Poo Bah when I’m in the company of other creative women.

One of our members recently submitted a column that really struck a chord with me.  It was “ Wouldn’t You Love To See This?” by Diana Fletcher.  I liked it so much I wanted to share it in this column, because it really would be amazing if each of us could attempt to work on just one of these questions each day.

What would it be like if everyone said please before any request, no matter how small?

What would it be like if no one stole from anyone, ever?

What if there were no bullies?

What would happen if people let other people who were in a hurry, go in front of them in a line?

What if no one yelled at children, cashiers, or anyone else?

What would it be like if people didn’t physically abuse anyone else?

What if no one sexually abused children?

What would happen if people stopped looking the other way when they witnessed something terrible?

What would happen if politicians only talked about themselves and never said bad things about anyone else?

What if no one on the radio was spewing out anger and hate and ugly things every day?

What if people stopped listening to that kind of ugliness?

What would happen if people looked out for each other as part of their daily routine?

What would happen if everyone were treated equally?

What would happen if everyone treated everyone else the way that they themselves would like to be treated?

What would happen if you tried to change just one of these things every day for the rest of your life?   I can’t change the ugliness in the world, but I can change how I live my own life, and I would love to make a difference, one “what if” at a time.

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