27 January 2012

Standing at the Crossroads by Jess Witkins

It’s been a week of life lessons. I’m hoping Gary won’t mind my commandeering of his blog to share one of them with you. But you shouldn't miss the eloquence of what I imagine to be his soothing baritone voice. You can find him safe and sound talking about wizards and magicians at Jenny Hansen's blog. It’s another edition of the Life List Club and we’re hoping you’ll join us on our tales of inspiration and honest mistakes. Share with us your own, we all love hanging out in the comment boxes, so please feel free to chat and know you’ve got support from us!

This past week I’ve been on the last of my remaining vacation days for the fiscal calendar. I had hoped the time off would result in incredibly productive writing time. I mean I intended 8 hour days of writing non-stop, complete chapters coming to fruition! Well, if I wanted that to happen, I shouldn’t have gone home.

What I should’ve done is found a little corner in the library and hid out with my laptop, a can of Pringles, a water bottle, and my gloves with rubber on the fingers so I can type and still keep warm when they turn the heat off for the night!

Shhh!  I’m doing research!

Instead, my time was otherwise spent with family activities. And you know what, I don’t often see my family, so I think it’s ok. I attended my 3 year old niece’s princess-themed birthday party, Church service with my dad, helped babysit my niece for a day, took mom out for coffee and a movie, and forgive me, used my spare time to take a bath. I LOVE BATHS! And at my house, I live with all boys, so I will not set a TOE in that tub!

Ok, back to the life lessons! I promise I learned more than what a properly clean bathroom looks like. Honestly, I feel like this whole week has been one of those times when life sends you sign after sign after sign alerting you to the direction and path your life is on. First, it was dealing with my newly damaged car and rearranging when I can take it in to the garage to get it fixed, cause I had to drive it home first and it felt like a long 3 hours with no cruise control and all the bigger cars sloshing muddy snow in my windshield. Then it was the pastor’s lesson in Church with my Dad, on how can we demonstrate audacious faith in times of difficulty? Then it was watching a toddler for a day, which was fun, but completely wiped me out. And I took the drives around town with my parents as a chance to ask them what the hardest things they had overcome in their lives were. The main message I kept hearing was this: crossroads. Everyone has them, and it’s not always easy to know the next step.

Whether it’s looking at your finances with eyes of disbelief, or finding yourself craving something more in life but unsure of how to proceed, or teaching a toddler good manners from bad, or hearing for the first time how the harsh realities of a marriage, a parent dying, and an illness can all alter your life. Yes, I was learning a lot.

I haven’t yet shaped all these lessons into a resulting answer for my life, but I can feel it coming. I am at a crossroads. I have sat idle too long waiting for life to happen, and pretty soon I’ll be making tough, but necessary decisions about the direction my life should head.

What have you learned this week? What crossroads are you facing in your life right now? I know this year would be even more difficult for me without the encouraging voices of the LLC members cheering me on. Who’s keeping you accountable? Are you like me and realize you need help? Then I’ll see you in the comments, friend!

Bio: Jess Witkins claims the title Perseverance Expert. She grew up in a small Wisconsin town as the much younger youngest sibling of four, she’s witnessed the paranormal, jumped out of a plane, worked in retail, traveled to exotic locations like Italy, Ireland, and Shipshewana, Indiana, and she’s eaten bologna and lived to tell about it! She deals with it all and writes about it! Come along on her midwest adventures; Witkins promises to keep it honest and entertaining. Go ahead, SUBSCRIBE, you know you want to. 
Follow Jess Witkins on Twitter: @jesswitkins


  1. Being young and at a crossroads can be an anxious time, but also an exciting one. You have choices you haven't tested yet...unlimited possibilities. But how do you decide which one is right for you. Take time to get to know yourself-the real you - and the answer will come. At any age a crossroads can stop you in your tracks, but the older you are, the more experienced at recognizing and dealing with them you are. My most recent crossroad was in 2007 when I had to figure out how to find the man of my dreams. I realized I had to be content with myself and my current situation, had to be happy with where I was even if i never met Mr Right. 3 months later he walked into my life. Magic!

  2. Aww, lovely story Marcia. I'll try to be patient, but you all know it's not my forte. I fear my impatience is growing into a nice form of anxiety. Big changes ahead, I feel em comin!

  3. they never stop - those crossroads- patience sometimes comes with age:) life goes on -the one great thing I learned decades ago (sometimes thats how long it takes to see!) that most stuff you think was a mistake/wrongchoice/a what if/a if only, turns out to have good/as good consequesnces if you're prepared to look outside the box we try and put ourselves into

    good luck with this crossroad coming up

  4. Thanks for sharing, Jess. Sometimes being squeezed into a corner makes us assess where we are and forces us to make decisions that are outside of our comfort zone. If we're lucky, these decisions can initiate the change that is right path for us.

  5. I could really relate to this one, Jess. For me, the crossroads has been reconnecting with family during my grandfather's passing and then jumping back to the reality of the start of a new semester at work. Looking at life through the eyes of a generation much older than me, then turning around and seeing it through one much younger, has given me pause for lots and lots of reflection : ).

  6. Well do I know the crossroads. Often I have come to them....hmmm...don't know how Yoda snuck in there. LOL. Seriously though I have those crossroad moments a lot, or so it seems. Trying to balance a family, writing, life, and everything is such challenge. All we can do is just choose a path. We can think about it for a while but not too long...otherwise we risk nutting up. :D

  7. Jess,

    I firmly believe that "if you build it, IT will come." That could be: building YOURSELF so you're ready for a romance, or building a platform so you're ready to sell a book, or training so you're fit to run a marathon.

    I'm not all that patient so this has been a hard lesson for me. But my lesson this week, as I crossed FOUR goals off my Life List is that if I take baby steps, the big goals will happen.

    It's all a work in progress though. :-)

  8. Crossroads can definitely be scary, because we (or at least, I...) worry I'll make the wrong decision. There isn't any way to know which direction is the right one, and I think we just have to have the faith that we will do all right in the future. One thing I learned this week... How to let some of the pressure I put on myself go, and to be satisfied with what I get done, instead of beating myself up for what I didn't! Hopefully that will carry over to next week! :)

  9. @Alberta Patience is going to be my biggest friend and obstacle! But I hear ya!

    @Gary Thanks for hosting me and sharing your kind words. You always have a lesson of grace in your comments and I hope you know how wonderful that is.

    @Hawleyville (Pam) Again, the similarities. LOL. Thank you for always sharing your journey in your blog, I think a lot of us identify with you because of that. You are courageous!

    @Sonia (Yoda) True advice, you have. ;) You are another example of perseverance in my book. I hope to get as knowledgable about the craft someday as you.

    @Jenny I keep trying to boot camp myself up. I will slow down and make some baby step goals. I promise, I'll try it.

    @Lara I think your advice goes hand in hand with Jenny's because it requires me to slow down. Thank you and good luck into the next week!


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