Letting go is not my strong suit. For example, I'm still driving the first car I bought with my own money. Now, I'm not a car person. I never have been. The main thing I like about my current car is that it starts every time, and fills up for about $30 a gallon, (something I do every three weeks or so). So, we've got a low-maintenance synergy thing going on, and it's been working.
But lately...I've been wondering. What do heated leather seats feel like? How would it be to not fret every time it snows? Is it time to sign the Do Not Resuscitate order?
"Mom, your car smells funny," says my daughter one day (as she was eating and dropping popcorn in equal amounts in the back seat).
"I know," I say, "but it's the car I brought you home from the hospital in!"
"Mom, your car is so small," says my son, complaining that I cannot take his friend home with us from a birthday party.
"I know," I say, "but we can fit into almost any parking spot!"
The fact that money does not grow on trees aside, I wonder why I'm so attached to this little, smelly vehicle.
I wonder the same thing about a little picture book manuscript that has been traveling around with me for two years. After it's 12th revision and 5th rejection, it's starting to get a little smelly.
"Not everything gets published," says one of my critique group members.
I know, but it's the story that started me on this path, I think.
"Maybe you could re-work this for a parent's magazine," says an editor.
I know, but if I could just (grunt) make it (grunt) fit (grunt) here, I think.
I know there is a difference between giving up and letting go. But I worry: if I let go of this manuscript, am I giving up on my dream? And if I let go of this old car, am I giving up my link to the younger me, that part of my life that could still be called 'new' (new job, new mother, new wife)...?
Maybe I'll take that manuscript out for just one more spin before I admit to myself that the silence I'm hearing is the "click" of an ignition failure. If I can get past this, I bet I'll love those leather seats!