Peering Over the Edge

I've thought about it every day for more than five years. Every hour of every day. It's the first thing I think about when I wake up. The thing I mull over as I go to sleep.  
A project that has possessed me. Paralyzed me. Even when I wasn't working on it, even when I have avoided touching it for months at a stretch, it still intruded on every moment. Nagging.
Almost twelve months ago I gave myself a deadline–I would lay this thing to rest in 2009. 
Panic started to set in sometime in July. 
Frantic, all-night sessions in October. 
Long, glassy-eyed periods in November where I couldn't focus on a single thing my children were saying to me unless they spit it out in one coherent sentence, and quickly. 
And when, on the 30th of December,  I held finally held the thing in my hands, ready to inscribe that one final touch–I could scarcely hold the pen. "I can't do it," I said.
My husband rolled his eyes. "Yes you can. I've seen you sign your name a million times."
He's right. Between the flood of paperwork six children in the public school system generate and signing kids in and out of my care and filing government forms every day, my signature has emaciated itself from nineteen letters to something like three. A "K" at the beginning, a "t" at the end, with a wobble between the two.
But this is different. Should I really use my "ask me if I care, Uncle Sam" signature on something that has taken five years to create?
In the end, I have no other choice. I barely tremble out the muddle of letters in between the K and T. And it is done. 
Here it is, the next day and the thing has gone. It feels like it never existed. My brain has become unfastened with nothing to weigh it down. I read five novels in 24 hours and took a shower so hot the walls began to stream and the bathroom ceiling dripped. 
And I find myself groping for the next project, clawing away at the slope of my days for such an all-consuming anchor as that has been. Dreading its demands but needing it like food or air or affection. 
And look. It's 2010. Here we go. Again.

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9 responses to “Peering Over the Edge

  • Karen

    You're awesome. Whatever that project was, I wish you every success! It wasn't sending out a Christmas card, was it? LOL. And I totally identify with the reading 5 novels in 24 hours. Sometimes you just gotta cleanse the palette. I've been reading like a maniac lately as well, but I don't know that I've ever done 5 in 24 hours.The other thing I do when I get like that is to cook massive amounts of food and then invite people over to eat it.

  • Jayne Crook

    Yeah! Much success to you. Nice work. Nice work.

  • Kimber

    Ha! No, not the cards. (Although I do have one left that never made it to the mailbox…) It was a writing project. A very looooong writing project. I'm hoping I learned enough in the last five years that the next one will be a significantly shorter process.

  • Karen

    Maybe reading mine inspired you to finish yours? I hope so. And best of luck, keep me posted!

  • angie

    It's not gone. It's still on my computer. It's wonderful. You're awesome. You did it! Now do another one. Quick. I want something else to read :o)

  • Margy

    Wow. Quite the journey. Congrats!

  • Kimber

    Thank you–I've taken a page from your recent post, today–trying to make sense of my files/bills/twelve months of paperwork for a small business. Sigh.

  • Kara

    YAY! YAY! YAY! It's finished!!!! WAHOO!!!

  • Mandy

    I can relate…in a sewing way. I have felt so lost the past couple of weeks not having any projects that HAD to get done. I've been so busy preparing for craft sales and my etsy shop and Christmas presents and cresting hockey jersey's for my husband's work…that now that it is all done and everything is caught up…I'm not sure what to do with the extra time. I picked up two novels at the library today. I figured I'd start reading again now that I have a little extra time and I started making a list of things that I want to create next…it's getting long.PLEASE let me know when I can get my hands on yours! I loved it so much I want to have it, to share it, to tell everyone I know about it.

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