Sometimes you just say ‘Oh, Well’

I think an excellent morning prayer is, “Whatever,” and a good night time prayer is, “Oh, well.”. ~ Anne Lamott

Once again, Lamott comes to the rescue. Sometimes just a single word or two helps to simplify and figure things out.

I have been struggling to write anything. I can barely put together this sentence without hitting the backspace key. I’ve received encouragement the last week from a couple of people who told me to write. That—in addition to a well-intended, yet semi-threatening command to stay on task from a concerned reporter I know (she knows who she is)—was enough for me. And so I am.


Whatever you “do,” there are peaks and valleys of doing, then not doing. Right? If that resonates, please tell me I’m not alone here. I need some validation.

Failure is friendly; nobody wants to be alone in it.

As far as I can tell, which falls right in line with an essay I just read about being unproductive, my failure comes from what it always comes from: fear. She also throws in paralysis and perfectionism, both logical culprits.

The writer wrote, “At my worst, I am flighty and frazzled. I spend far more time thinking about how I want to do something than I do actually doing it. I doubt every choice I make, every thought that flits across my mind.”

That fits. Again, I’m not the only one, right?

Looking back on things I’ve written, with the power of hindsight finally on my side, I cringe at how overly confident I was on things I actually didn’t know that much about. This makes me very afraid of writing anything I currently think I know. It’s time I admit I’m not as smart as I think I am.

See above: “I spend far more time thinking about how I want to do something than I do actually doing it.”

Maybe my failure comes from laziness. The spoken essay I mentioned above touched on the difference between being lazy and being afraid. I like to think fear is the big one, but I suspect I may be a little lazy too.

My failure could also come from preoccupation. Anne Lamott also said, “Never give up…don’t quit before the miracle.” This is where I am, in the middle of my own little miracle because sometimes if you keep plowing ahead, life rolls on and actually takes you where you need to go. Miracles turn your heart inside out and your life upside down. It’s takes you over and throws prioritization out the window. All good things, but a shake-up none-the-less.

Maybe my failure comes from planning. Namely the five year plan I wrote up a year ago. I made colorful lists with bullets in front of each entry. I had it figured out in the form of categories and checkboxes. I like lists and will continue to make them, but for a second I forgot that “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”

Or maybe I’m not failing at all, but forgetting there’s a season and purpose for everything under the sun. And we’re supposed to stick that out.

Or maybe, just…oh, well.

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