About a week after I signed my book deal with Jolly Fish Press the initial excitement gave way to spine-numbing fear. My husband is a numbers-guy, a practical-thinker. When I signed the contract he immediately started talking about all the numbers, the money, the details and possible problems.While I was envisioning blissfully long lines at book signings he was seeing contract disputes and planning for worse-case scenarios.
I love my husband for this – his smarts save us a lot of money, get us amazing deals and keep us grounded – but all this important, practical information scared the life out of me. Soon I was a moody mess, pushed down by worry, pressure and stress. My mind set itself on a loop of “what ifs.” What if no one buys my book? What if we forgot something in the contract? What if I do something wrong? What if my book isn’t good enough? What if no one wants to read my book?!
One day when my hubby got home from work I was…well, let’s just say not pleasant to be around. He handed me my i-Phone, earphones and running shoes and said, “Don’t come back until you can smile.”
So I walked. Fast. I walked up the steepest hill in our neighborhood and when the pavement ended at the top of that hill, I just kept going up the mountain, dust swirling around my shoes and fire burning in my thighs. I walked until my butt was sufficiently kicked and then I stopped. I turned around and looked out over the beautiful valley. Mount Timpanogos stalwart and gorgeous, the peaks kissed by thick evening sun, Utah Lake sparkling and proud, green farmland soaking in the end of the day.
Then I said, out loud, to the sage brush, “What I hell am I doing?” I was ruining it. This marvelous, amazing, glorious thing I had been dreaming of for so long – and I was ruining it by worrying. With my hands on my hips I exhaled a long breath and let it all go. I got to this point dreaming big and pushing aside my fears. It wasn’t time to stop – in fact, now that mentality is even more important. Dream big. Work hard. Push pass the fear.
I came home smiling.
Since then I have set my worry and fears aside. They’re still there, of course, but only claim a small buzz in the back of my head instead of hurricane force winds churning up my moods. I’m back to the excited, to the joy, to the this-is-so-freaking-awesome.
I’m not going to miss out on the experience worrying about the results. So I’m savoring, enjoying and basking in the light of the coolness that is a dream realized.
And if I ever get caught in the hurricane again, I know my perfect husband will hand me my running shoes.