See it now? See what it says?
It say's Winner!(Please note that "winning" NaNoWriMo is very much like completing a marathon. It does not matter who got it done first, or who wrote the best story out of all of the stories written. It's personal. Finishing a marathon is Winning in and of itself. NaNoWriMo is very much the same thing-- "Winning" = "Finishing.")
So, I did it! I won! I finished!
I wrote a novel this month.
I actually typed in the words, The End.
My word count is currently at 52,730.
I am crazy, giddy, happy.
I feel like I should have an Academy Award speech. Essie suggested this one:
"I'd like to thank the Academy and the Public Schools of America" for educating my children and giving me uninterrupted hours of peace and quiet each morning to write.
It's so true.
As sappy and formulaic as this might sound, this entire process has resulted in so much more than just writing an entire novel.
I'm not sure if people who have not been a stay at home mom or who do not parent a small army of children will understand this, but I know for certain that those of us who find themselves in this role can understand this.
For years, I have put pretty much ALL of me into raising my family. Which is something I wholeheartedly love and have chosen to do.
Looking back, I would not have done any of it differently. I love being a Mom. I don't feel like I was robbed or cheated of myself in those early years. I mean, a lot of those hours were spent merely keeping the little rugrats alive (especially Paloma! Man, that kid had a wild streak and seemed like she was born with the tattoo "Death Wish" written over her fearless little heart.) I certainly don't regret those keeping-'em-alive hours I gave.
I loved the hours spent nurturing my children into the people they are today. In turning my house into a home. I don't regret those hours either. Truth be told, I don't even mind when I think of all those house I spent in doing the unglamorous work of cleaning up after sick kids, healthy kids, kids-who-could-turn-out-dirty-laundry-like-they-were-Oompa-Loompas-churning-chocolate.
It's all part of the Motherhood territory. And I'm okay with that.
As my children age, and need my immediate supervision less and less, and demand so much less of me on a day-by-day basis (oh the joy of children who got their own snowpants on going out to play in the snow!), I find that I now have things within me to fill. I have time to work on myself.
When I put my children in public school this year, a huge part of my intent was two-fold: One) I needed time to rest and heal my battered self from the summer and life as a trauma mama. Because, the honest-to-goodness truth of it is that parenting children with trauma and attachment issues takes a HUGE toll on a mother.
Two) I needed to Reclaim Myself, both as a woman whose children are growing and becoming adults who now is finding time and freedom, and as a woman who has had trauma (not my children, mind you, but the actual toll that comes from living with severe trauma around the clock) has done to chip away at my self.
Writing a novel, 'winning' NaNoWriMo, has awarded me with something far bigger than a novel: this process has been about me Reclaiming Myself.
My creative energies.
Parts of me that I did not connect with or utilize for years now.
I feel so very alive. I feel the electric charge that one feels when they are surrounding themselves with their creative powers.
This has been a marathon of sorts for my spirit. To know that I can stick with it, keep going, try new things. Work through the 'stuck times.' It's all been good.
So very, very good.