Get on Your Grind


December 3, 2011
Kimberly Collins
Staff Columnist
A Slice of Wisdom

I found myself sitting in a puddle of self pity one day ashamed that the more of what I wanted and what I envisioned for myself had not manifested. My daughter asked me what was wrong. I told her I was stuck and that I should be doing more. She suggested I start doing my SOAR retreats and other workshops. I had to admit that after taking time away to complete my masters I had fallen off track. She then pointed to some of my friends in the writing world who were doing their thing and asked me why I wasn’t doing my poetry and putting my writing out into the world. I shrugged my shoulders. By this time she had lost patience with me. “They are doing what they are doing, because they are on their grind. Mommy you need to get on your grind!” I blinked and wondered: “who was this child impersonating — an adult?  And what does she know?”

Nothing will rock you out of a self pitying stupor like your own child’s voice. Her voice gets my attention, because she knows me so well. Who else has had the privilege of knowing me from the inside out? To try and fool her is the same as trying to fool myself — only worse — because she talks back loud enough for me to hear and is harder to ignore. It is as if she shook me from a coma, her words reverberating over me, daring me to open my eyes to possibilities.  I had to admit I shut some doors and dared not peak into other doors — too afraid that the task might be too daunting. There was also the thought that some doors were time sensitive, and I just waited too long.

My daughter’s words jarred me, because she forced me to face the fact that I was the only one locking the doors. Time was just an excuse to not move. I am surrounded by people who defy the constraints of time. I have a friend in his late 40s who feels after spending time in prison that he has just started living.  He is making the most of his time achieving literary feats. I have another friend who just became a grandmother and has decided to go back to school and start a baking career. Neither he nor she is listening to time grind by while they go about their work.

When you are on your grind, you don’t have time to shop for excuses, because you are too busy doing the work. The work feels harder when you feel like you are working, but it’s not getting you what you want. It is frustrating trying to figure out what it will take to make that rejection letter turn into acceptance or what new thing you need to do to revive your energy and imagination. I admit it is my impatience that brings my mobility to a grinding halt.

As I sit on the precipice of another year, I wonder if I am clear about what I want or if I’m hiding in a time warp. My child’s voice echoes in my ear, “ If you are clear then why don’t you move?” It’s at times like these that I know the Most High sees and hears my impatience and feels my inner battle to have the courage to listen and to move when the Most High says to move. I know the Most High gave me my daughter, who is a light that shines so bright I have to blink away from her glare. I shade my eyes from the shame of my daughter seeing me show up as less. She breathes new life into me to imagine new ways to be about the business of getting to the best of me by getting’ on my grind.


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