Writing Tip #68: Mr. Jingles (Confidence)

Wake up with it. When the baby cries and the monitor lights up. When the toddler jumps in bed or the dog barks downstairs. When the alarm goes off playing your favorite Sonny and Cher song. When the daylight slips in and slivers over your bed. Whatever way you wake up, you need to wake up with it by your side.

Carry it to work. In the car and in the talk shows you listen to on the radio or in the silence. Tuck it in your coat pocket. Clutch it the same way you hold your car keys or your child’s hand as they cross the street on the way to preschool.

Hide it when others come around. Bury it when others joke about “that thing you do.” Don’t unpack it when people ask to try and understand. Let it hear the praise and let it soak in. But keep it away from those who don’t get it and don’t believe.

Place it on your desk in plain view during those tough times. When the business rears its ugly little head. When the doors get shut. When the silence gets to you. When the silly little fools get their way. When you feel like it never existed and it’s going to slowly begin to fade away. Hold it like a paperweight in your hand. Squeeze it like a stress reliever. Sip it like a cup of Starbucks coffee. Embrace it and don’t let it go.

Keep it small. Don’t let it grow too big. You of course can’t ever see this happening to your tiny little friend, a cute little creature like the sweet little mouse in The Green Mile. You remember what happened to Mr. Jingles, right? And nobody will be there to fix him, either. So you think. So you assume. But if you don’t watch out, that little creature might become bloated and need its own room and then eventually need to move out into its own house. If you don’t be careful, that little buddy can turn into an uncontrollable beast.

Always remember that it belongs to you and only you. It knows where you’ve been and how long and hard you’ve worked. It would love to share this and sing your praises but you know it’s better for it to stay quiet. To stay still and by your side.

Sometimes you forget about it when life is hectic and crazy. Sometimes it seems to disappear when you’re worrying or waiting or wondering. But then you’ll find yourself there listening to music and remembering or writing and feeling or daydreaming or nightpondering. And at that point it will come out of the shadows and it will smile. And you will know. You will know and remember and you’ll keep going.

The day will come to an end and regardless of what’s happened and who you’ve spoken with or touched or laughed or cried with, the silent night will come and you’ll find that it’s still there. Waiting. Watching. Urging you on. Championing you in the only way it can.

Kiss it good night and keep it by your side.

Tomorrow is another day, and you’ll need it again.

And again.

And again.

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