You know that still, small voice we all have in our heads?

Yeah. Notsomuch.

Mine decided to shout at me over the last 36 hours.

And I’m so glad it did.

Once or twice a week, I get together for an early morning Starbuck’s with my VIP Julie. We talk about our kids, her husband, my writing, life, God, coffee, cooking, the weather… we talk and talk and talk and when we’re done… well, we’re never done. So we get together often. At least we try.

Last week we each cancelled so Monday was going to be our first Girl Talk Time in two weeks. You know we were chompin’ at the bit to meet up with over 300 hours of what I like to call “shtuff” to talk about. We usually have less than an hour and that wasn’t enough so we set another meet up for yesterday.

But when yesterday came, my heart wasn’t in it. I really just wanted to cancel. But then I’d miss hearing how this story ended or that one began and all the in-betweens. So I sent her a text. We have it down to a science. One sends “Starbucks?” and the other replies either “Yup” or “Can’t”. We save the rest for the face-to-face chat. Yesterday, I initiated. And to my surprise and relief, her response was the negative. She forgot she had another appointment, so we rescheduled.

I was relieved. Because I really was tired. And had errands to do. So this worked out fine for me. And I didn’t feel let down. The fact that I made the effort even when I didn’t really want to, made me feel better. I heard that still, small voice get louder. I heard it cheerfully say, “At least you tried!”

Today I had grand plans to leave resumes all over town. Due to a minor comedy of errors my schedule went kablooey (technical term, that is!) and I was only able to drop one.

There it was again. “At least you tried!” I felt good about my efforts. Even if it doesn’t show. Even if I’m still unemployed. Even if potential employers aren’t looking at my resume this evening. At least I tried. And in that, I find satisfaction and completion. I can’t make anyone hire me. But at least I can get noticed.

It’s the same thing with my writing. I may not be a Nobel prize winning poet. I’m okay with that. Maybe my books won’t sell in the millions and buy me a mansion. While that would be okay with me, it’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t happen. It’s not the end.

And that’s when it hit me. It’s not so much crossing the finish line that defines a person. It’s how we get there that counts. I have a brand new understanding of being told that adage as a kid, “It’s not whether you win or lose. It’s how you play the game.” I never truly got that before. But now I do.

And I’m determined to play hard and authentic and genuinely. I’m determined to play the game.

Because the end result just means there’s a new goal. It never really means the end. So why not make the most out of getting there? I can’t even start the race if I don’t get out of bed. So I have to at least try.

I’ll never be published if I don’t write the book.
I’ll never find a day job if I don’t go out and look.
… well, I didn’t mean for that to rhyme, but as long as I’m at it, here’s a new one.
I’ll call it Journey:

If I fail, I learn from mistakes.
If I win, the glories I’ll take.
Step One is to plan.
Step Two is to try.

Okay, seriously. I can’t seem to focus enough to finish this great little inspirational poem right now. But you know what’s going through my head?

No joke.

You got it.

At least I tried.

And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!

Why I Cry for TJ Lane
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