Once again, I’m in the middle of having no idea how my life will go in the near future. John’s job in New Zealand is over, and we are waiting to find out where we will live next. He’s interviewed all over the world, from Seattle to Stockholm, so we could end up anywhere. Meanwhile, we’re living out of four suitcases and guest room-hopping in Southern California.
Does that sound romantic? One of my friends said it did with a smile and a sigh. Consider it more deeply. I can’t make plans. I have no place to call home. I don’t have a recipe box or my usual kitchen appliances to cook what I’m used to eating. I don’t know how many groceries to buy because I don’t know if I’ll have to give them away soon if I buy too much. (We gave away over $500 of groceries when John got his last job because we didn’t know we’d be moving out of the country.) I can’t even buy many gifts because some would be too big to move, or would have the wrong type of electricity if we moved out of the country again.
Of course there are lots of positives as well! I’ve lived in other countries and seen beautiful lands and made amazing friends all over the world. I’ve seen my home country from different perspectives, which has helped me to understand the world a little better. I’ve eaten different foods and participated in different activities that I never would’ve known about.
But running a business as you constantly pack and unpack and move and move again is very difficult. A single move may cause you to have to pause your work temporarily, or work only on a laptop for a few weeks. But I’ve moved three times in the last year. (Hear my ginormous sigh.) When your life gets uprooted often enough, you may consider quitting and doing something else that you hope won’t be so difficult.
When I started writing this, I temporarily named the article, “Never Give Up, Never Surrender” because I love the movie Galaxy Quest. But I remembered a zippered pouch my husband gave me with a Winston Churchill quote on it, “Never, never, never give up” so I did a little research to share that with you as well.
What he actually said was:
Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
Any of us can use those words to strengthen ourselves against what pushes at us, what seems to be attacking us. Never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Sound advice.
But it was another section of Churchill’s speech that made me decide to write this for you. Listen to this:
You cannot tell from appearances how things will go. Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are; yet without imagination not much can be done. Those people who are imaginative see many more dangers than perhaps exist; certainly many more than will happen; but then they must also pray to be given that extra courage to carry this far-reaching imagination.
He doesn’t say more on this, but segues into the “never give in” part of his speech. [You can read the text of the speech here (with two added paragraphs that aren’t in the audio) or listen to it here.] But it made me think. Yes, we imaginative, creative types see so many possibilities in the world. We see kind people and angry people and imagine them to be life-givers and destroyers. We see beauty and ugliness and we imagine them to be fleeting and forever.
We can create a new future just with our imaginations. But what will we choose to create? Something life-giving or something destructive?
Today, I’m tired. Bone tired. Soul tired. I don’t know how to have the strength to get through the next few months. But I don’t have to get through the next few months. I don’t have to decide now whether I believe the near future will be a blessing or a curse. I only have to decide what to do and how to feel now. In today’s box.
In today’s box, I only have to post this blog, go to church, and move to another friend’s guest room. In today’s box, I only have to buy groceries for the next few days. In today’s box, I only have to try to relax and enjoy a Sunday afternoon. Tomorrow I will figure out what is in the new “today’s box.”
Even Jesus preached this wisdom when He said, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)
I suspect that an upcoming “today’s box” will include looking for a substitute teaching job, something that can be started and stopped with a moment’s notice. Will I give in to the impulse to quit trying to make this writing business work? It’s tempting.
But I can use my imagination to see the world being a better place when people read my fun, encouraging, uplifting stories. I can imagine other writers being inspired by me to not quit when they listen to my podcast, read my nonfiction books and articles, and listen to me teach them what I know.
And I can imagine myself choosing each day to believe more in the good than the bad. I can believe more that we can make the world a better place, not allowing my imagination to see the world sucking the life out of me.
We have more power than we realize. We must use it. To encourage ourselves, to encourage others, to choose not to quit trying to make the world a little brighter because of what we do and who we are.
Decide with me today – never give in.
Kitty Bucholtz decided to combine her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. She writes romantic comedy and superhero urban fantasy, often with an inspirational element woven in. WRITE NOW! Workshop, her website where she teaches and offers advice on self-publishing and time management, is under renovation. Look for the new website near the end of 2017!
I’m tired just reading about moving three times in one year!
1. It’s a very good think that you have such a upbeat personality.
2. John is really lucky to have you.
3. You guys need one of those tiny homes on wheels. One you can park at a friends when you fly to Stockholm for two years, but is available when you come back and have another job in Seattle–where you could drive it. (But holly cow–Stockholm!)
4. Don’t give up your writing even if you get that subtitute teacher job. You can write anywhere even if it’s while you’re eating your PBJ during lunch period.
5. Galaxy Quest and Winston Churchill in the same post–that takes talent, and it made me smile.