Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Against the Ropes

I thought I wouldn't but in the end I did join Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group. Sorry for the late post but I just returned from a trip and only now got internet available. Besides, it has been quite an hectic week. You'll see why.



The days of the year I dread the most have passed. My greatest headache every year starts on December 24th and lasts until the 31st. Those who know me real good have related me to some lost family member of the Grinch and Scrooge together. So many times I've asked the High Powers why they can't let me go into hibernation mode on the 23th and wake up on January 1st.

"Why, oh God, why can't I just block the Dragon Cave, turn off the lights and pretend I'm not here?"

There's a popular saying where I come from. "Dios no cumple antojos ni endereza jorobados." The literal translation would be "God does not grant cravings or straightens hunchbacks." The message is basically God does not exist to do your homework. No, really?

For more years than I care to remember I had focused my mind, my heart and my whole being in just bearing it. Let Christmas be Christmas and me being there without being there. I became a master of stealth techniques. I could be part of the furniture and my mind could go into deep meditation about the year that was ending and my future goals to accomplish. 

I have read more during the second semester of 2012 than in the last 5 years. I was trying to become a professional writer -Nevermind I have no idea whatsoever what that means exactly-. Somewhere I read the best source of inspiration was not found behind the closed doors of your house but in the world outside. I also read somewhere else that in order to avoid Alzheimer and all the brain related problems that comes with age you should follow a few easy rules. One of them was around the lines of stop focusing in oneself and socialize.

I decided I certainly want inspiration and I most certainly do not want Alzheimer.... and Christmas, Christmas time was here. Could I take the challenge? But of course. Dragon is always up for challenges!  So I put the Scrooge Grinch coat aside, dressed the dwarves with Elves' suits, tied a jingling bell in my tail and even practiced the Ho-ho-ho smile. I sang carols for warming up. Practiced 2000 push-ups saying "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year". Yes, I was going to make the best Holiday dragon. 

My equipment for this mission was at its best. The past doesn't matter. Now is the only thing that matters. You write your life each instant. You can be as happy as you choose to be. Mind controls the brain. Time for inspiration, time to open the heart, time for renovation. 

Has it ever happened to you that you plan a perfect date, or a perfect meal or a perfect something and then something goes wrong and it starts a chain reaction, until all you have in your hands is a perfect mess? Christmas wasn't that bad, but after the 26th I was reminded over and over again of every single reason why I came to dread and hate this time of the year in the first place. 

But hey! it's all about determination. When I get hit in the cheek, I put the other. The problem is when I get hit in the mouth, well... since I only have one, I think of putting something else, like dagger sharp teeth or claws. But it was Christmas, and I had written a beautiful post about never giving up and stuff. I had to stand to my dragon word or I would feel false. 

I endured with my widest sneer, er... smile. I was so deeply focused on getting through this without pulling the "stealth master trick" that I didn't have time to make any resolutions or think about the year that was ending or on any New Year plans or expectations. I was living the now, INDEED. And just when I was feeling like this was enough for the next one hundred years, I tried to decompress by watching a movie: Real Steel.

Who doesn't get goosebumps at those great scenes of a fighting or boxing movie (be it Real Steel or Rocky IV) when the protagonist is all but broken but suddenly gets the strength needed  to defeat the apparently invincible enemy? We get all excited and cheer for the champion and feel all inspired to prove our courage in memorable ways.

Have you ever felt your inner self, your essence, your very core is cracking down at certain tasks, challenges, missions you have undertaken? Have you felt you are losing the fight even when you have tried your best? I have, many times along my dragon life, in many arenas.

It's so tempting to drop the towel then. SO tempting. Mostly when we do have all the good reasons to do it; the fear, the pain, the anger, the defeat, the lack of answers and options, the odds against us. It seems the Higher Powers are speaking to us loud and clear: Step back, quit, just forget it.

This season didn't have the success I expected but I am still trying next year. I will not get down the ring. Why? Because the greatest victories are the result of the hardest fights. A great tenor is not applauded for clearing his throat. A great writer is not praised for writing "Dear Sirs,". 

If you really want to get that glorious triumph that makes your skin crawl with goosebumps, you need to stand up and get your soul to fight when you think your heart cannot take anymore. It is far easier to watch a movie than to try that kind of heroism in your real life with your real aches and challenges -whatever they might be- but sparing the pain won't get you closer to your goals. 

Today is the second day of 2013 and the only resolution I could come up with is: Stay in the Ring.



38 comments:

  1. Wow. LOVED this. Best resolution I've ever heard. And--given life--one of the most fitting. Awesome post!!!

    And I'm glad you made it through the holidays basically unscathed...

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    1. Thank you Tamara. :) Yes, distressed but in one piece. Now I need a vacation from the vacation, hehehe

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  2. You can be as happy as you want.
    December 24 and 25 are two of my favorite days - I will celebrate for you next year.
    The soul and spirit are strong. Fight hard, my friend.

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    1. Great! Then I'll send the well-wishers right to your front door :D That's like the best gift EVER. hahaha. Thanks for the cheering. :)

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  3. This is a great resolution! Real Steel is frequently played in our house since it's one of my son Jude's favorite movies.

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    1. I'll put it in my wish list this year. :)

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  4. I love Christmas, but I have found when I raise my expectations too high, I would get frustrated. Best of luck in 2013. May all your goals and dreams start to come true!

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    1. Thank you Elizabeth. Let's work hard to it. :)

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  5. Hate I missed the dwarves wearing elf suits, not to mention the tail bell. ;-)

    Sometimes, staying in the ring requires more courage than anything else. Even dragons must rise to the challenge sometimes. Sir Jeff applauds Father Dragon's courage!

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    1. I promised to burn the dwarves' pictures if they burn my picture with the bell. What happens in the Dragon Cave stays in the Dragon Cave. We'll invite you next year if you bring something silly to wear too. ;)

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  6. Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement to truly fight for what we want. It's not easy, you're so right. I'll join Jeff in a standing ovation for courage, for humor, for wise insight.

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    1. Thank you very much Julie. Well, if we don't win at least we'll be together to pass on the bandages and the aspirins. ;)

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  7. "You write your life each instant." I love it. Great post.

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  8. "Stay in the ring." <-----Such inspiration. LOVED this post!!!

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    1. Thank you, Morgan. I'm realizing the trip worked. Inspiration did come out of it. That's great. :D

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  9. Yes! Some of the most rewarding things in life require commitment, tenacity, and perspiration. I'm staying in the ring too!

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  10. I like that! "Stay in the Ring."

    As fiction writers we put our characters thru a ton of adversity to bring out the best of them. Real life is like that, especially for writers. Let's see what we're made of. Bring it on, world. I'll go down fighting. ;)

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    1. So many strong spirits here! It's encouraging. Thanks. :D

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  11. Wow! This post built up to a poweful punch! "Stay in the ring."
    Thank you.

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    1. Thank you for reading and welcome to the Dragon Cave, Tyrean. :)

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  12. "Stay in the ring." Such a great resolution!!

    I do know what you mean about being more social. It's one of the things I'm trying to work on this year instead of being content with sitting in the corner watching. :)

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    1. Ah, so you've been practicing stealth techniques as well? :)

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  13. This just gave me an idea - a homework god. What middle grader wouldn't trade their little brother or sister for that? Great post! Never give up - never surrender! :)

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    1. Hahaha. Thanks David and Welcome to the Dragon Cave.

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  14. What an excellent post! I loved your quotes and am taking some of them away with me. Awesome visual aids! You can't fail with a Rocky reference. Great to meet you.

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    1. Thank you. I'm glad you liked it and Welcome to the Dragon Cave. :D

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  15. Great IWSG post! Stay in the ring, indeed. I like it. This year will be full of hardships, but I will certainly be fighting my way through them. Even if I had a choice, I'd fight.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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    1. And we'll be cheering for you along the year (dragon and dwarves) :D

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  16. Anything is better than giving up. Good for you!
    Thanks for visiting my blog. :)
    IWSG #137 until Alex culls the list again.

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  17. We'll be seeing each other then. Thanks for the comment, Melissa. :)

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  18. First of all, very nice to meet you, Al. Happy IWSG. Secondly, my favourite day of the year is December 26th. I probably don't have to mention why. I think the important thing to remember is we got through another Christmas--YAY!

    Looking forward to hearing more from you, Al. Happy New Year. Happy God Homework. And Happy IWSG.

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    1. Nice to meet you too Joylene. We'll certain hear more about each other. Thank you and good vibe back at you. :)

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  19. I hate that chain reaction thing. Once it starts I usually give it over and either sit down to read, go for a hike (avoiding cliff edges) or pull the sheets over my head and sleep until I hear that chain snap.

    Happy enero!

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    1. HAHAHA. Hiking sounds good. I must remember the cliff thing, though. Happy enero to you too. :D

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  20. I really like your way with words.

    Good luck with staying in the ring! You'll make it. Dragons are tough. ;-)

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    1. Thank you for your comment and support, Misha. :)

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