Leave Stronger Than You Came
by Francine Puckly
“We can’t control the fact that we’re going to leave here today older than when we arrived. But what we can control is that we will leave here stronger.”
This little gem of wisdom came from a friend’s Spinning® instructor. His words have become my mantra, guiding me as I attempt to regain internal and external balance and strength in the many roles I play each day. While I want to crawl into bed each night being physically stronger than when I awoke, I also want to be a stronger writer.
To be sure, physical exercise has regained its place of priority in my life, because I've realized I cannot sustain my writing schedule without it. It took me months without a regular exercise regiment to acknowledge that. I walk long distances each morning, resulting in a stronger body, true, but also a stronger, clearer mind.
With that stronger, clearer mind, I can point my energy toward seeking out the skills I need to complete projects. Last weekend I attended the NESCBWI spring conference. New experiences, new topics, and new approaches. I came away with an arsenal of tools to rejuvenate and strengthen my writing--my arms laden with books and my brain sloshing with information to outline my manuscript, query the next agent, and convert my novel-in-progress to Scrivener.
Besides acquiring skills, conferences provide the opportunity to be richly supported by the people around me. By now, you know how important my 24 Carrot Writing peeps are to me. I leave our monthly check-ins older, yes, but also rejuvenated from the various tidbits of craft information we share.
As each minute passes, I’m aging. I will finish this blog older than when I started writing it. And I can’t control that. But I can make sure that with each passing hour, each passing day, each passing event in which I partake, I leave those experiences stronger.
So, yes, we will finish today older than when we started. But the most important thing is that we must leave stronger!
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