This morning, two pictures danced around hazily in my awakening consciousness. As they came in focus I smiled, and figured I’d share them with fellow slicers.
Scene One : Gasp, pant, gasp. You crawl on your hands and knees, chaffing them on the asphalt. Your hair hangs in damp tendrils, clinging to the side of your face. The finish line is but inches ahead. Sweaty clothes stick to your underarms. You breathe heavily, your heart pounding forcefully.
“I can do it,” you tell yourself. “I’m almost there. Just a little further and I can rest a bit! (At least until Tuesday rolls around) With your last ounce of willpower you slowly drag your battered self past the line. Your body, still here, is your trophy of success. Your experience along the way is your legacy.
Scene Two: “ Whoo hooo! This is it. I did it! I knew I could do it. I knew it!” Running the last few steps, you feel the ticker tape break across your body and watch it flail in the breeze. You raise your arms up in exaltation and throw your head back. Your heart beats ecstatically and you suck in the smell of success through your nose. As you do, your chest swells, your body is light, and you, at least until next Tuesday, are done.
If you are like me, you may have experienced bit of both these scenarios along this 31-day slicer journey. Especially if it was your first time. Especially today! Each of us was in a race with ourselves. Committing to this challenge, none of us knew what lay ahead in our murky future. Birthdays, sickness, school concerts, trips to the hospital, some events were planned; some were inevitable.
Everyday the devil and my conscience had a shoulder conversation that went something like this. Sometimes the devil seemed to be winning and sometimes my conscience.
Devil: (Always first- Slyly) You know, no one’s going to give two hoots if you finish this. Why don’t you just rest this morning? You worked really hard and should be able to sleep in.
Conscience: (Huffily) Yes, well other people have worked really hard, too, and they didn’t give up. Give it one more day.
Devil: (Shrewdly) There’s too much on your plate. Think of all the things you’re going through right now. You shouldn’t feel obligated to do this.
Conscience: (Standing firm) Stuff! If you just hang in there you can do this. Go for it.
Devil: (Insidiously) You only got one comment last night. No one cares. Why are you doing this?
Conscience: (Hanging Tough) It doesn’t matter. I am doing this as much for myself as anyone else.
Devil: (Cunningly) Come on, what are you trying to prove? You’ve never been a writer. Why start now?
Conscience: (Ideally) You are setting an example. Keep it up. How can you expect your students to slice every day if you don’t?
So here we are at the end of our 31-day journey. If you were like me, your conscience triumphed, and you have a great sense of well-being. You might want, like me, to edit and revise some of your slices, maybe changing them all together. Think of the lessons you might model for your students through your own writing! Like me, you probably learned a TON about yourself, others, and your writing.
You may not be like me, and have finished anyway. If that’s the case, more power to you, because diversity is what make the world a beautiful place.
All in all, slicing everyday was a great experience. However, I have to admit I am glad Tuesday is still seven days away!