It hasn't been the best day. Or week. Or month. Or six months for that matter. But sometimes, all it takes is one good evening to fix it all.
A few days ago, a friend suggested that I ask for help getting to a writers retreat. If you know me at all, you know that me asking for help is almost as ridiculous as me running a marathon in high heels. Unless you are my brother in law or the husband of my best friend. Then you're screwed, because you'll probably get to install appliances and stop sewage floods and pack my substantial household repeatedly for a half a dozen moves. But generally speaking, I am not one to beg.
One of the most valuable lessons I learned in my most recent failed marriage (to speak categorically), is that money is NOT bottomless, and things don't always just work themselves out. For all of the money fights that we had, somewhere along the line I learned the benefit of planning ahead and Making Good Choices, financially speaking. Gone are the days of dashing off willy-nilly to regionally located concerts, or binge shopping for blankets or jeans or shoes and assuming they will work themselves off somehow. I have learned, to some degree, priorities. Or at least that I should have some, and allocate my limited funds accordingly.
Unfortunately, this awakening came shortly before the opportunity to go to a Really Neat and Fairly Affordable little writer's retreat on the Oregon Coast. I hemmed and hawed and thought about cleaning out my bank account to make it happen. Or just wait for the magic windfall check to show up in the mail (which HAS happened, you cynics!), or some other unrealistic approach to getting what I want. This time, I stopped. And I knew that I couldn't throw down two car payments. Or one mortgage payment, or 4.5 tons of pellets, to go to a writers retreat. So when Christy suggested fundraising, and Em suggested I set up a GoFundMe account, I was kind of embarrassed and slightly apprehensive and mostly hoping that no one would notice, but I wrote about it in THIS BLOG POST.
Nothing could have prepared me for the outcome.
It wasn't just that people gave money. Although they did. And with overwhelming generosity. But it was THE PEOPLE WHO gave. The ones who shouldn't. The ones who really can't. The ones I hardly know. My own daughter in college (shame on you, Halle - it's very irresponsible). On a night when I have been fighting with the stupid phone company and the internet company and the insurance people and pretty much everyone in the world, out of the most unexpected and amazing places, $603 surfaces. Each dollar screaming in my face: "HA! DO IT NOW. YOU HAVE NO EXCUSES!" 603 reasons to succeed. To try harder. To do more. To be better. Not just at writing. But at being a person. Because even if AT&T and Century Link and My Ex Husband(s) hate me, I AM LOVED. I AM SUPPORTED. I AM IMPORTANT. And that isn't something that I spend a lot of time considering.
And then, on top of it all, somebody shows up on my porch with leftover garlic knots. It's like God just wanted to kick me while I am laying here in a sniveling pile of sweatpants and say : "take your self pity and shove it! Oh, and have some garlic knots too."
I am humbled. I am beyond grateful. I can't ever, ever thank you guys enough. But I will try. I will do my best. I will work harder. And be better. And you will all get signed copies of my first publication. Unless I write something about you under a pseudonym to avoid relational conflict, in which case you will get a signed copy of my second publication.
In the meantime, I am going to take my garlic knots and wine-from-a-box, and blubber a little bit about how great I've got it. You guys are the best.
Liv's GoFundMe page