She’s always there to greet me when I get home, usually running out of the garage in stocking feet celebrating the best part of both of our days. She is always calling my name, kissing my cheek, sneaking into bed in the middle of the night to take her half of my pillow.

She’s my little girl, my princess and I don’t have the energy or inclination to argue the gender politics of it. She just is. I look at her and it’s all I can think of- she is nothing short of a treasure to me. She makes me soft where I am hard, hard when I have gotten soft. She lightens me, elevates me. My daughter, but also, my wish- all the wishes I never knew I had. 

I don’t love her more than I love my sons. She’s not my favorite, my preferred or better in any way. And she’s far from perfect. But she’s, well, she’s just different.

It had been a long week. Five or six projects coming at the same time, unexpected and ill-afforded travel, I haven’t been sleeping well. All she wanted was time with me, for me to take her to the community center to go swimming and climb the rock wall. Just us, her and her daddy. How could I say no? 

It didn’t matter that I hadn’t slept and had been up worrying. It didn’t matter that my work day was hectic or that accidents meant it took me almost two hours to get home. All that mattered was that I was there and I would keep my promise. 

I was quiet, she asked if I was tired. It didn’t matter that my head was elsewhere. I promised I would go. And so I did.

“Look at me daddy!” She shouted to me just a step from the top of the rock wall- the highest she’s ever climbed. The ice began to crack, like the smile on my face.

“I’m going to splash you!” She said in the pool and her million watt smile was like sunlight in the darkest parts of my brain, my heart, my mood.

“I love you daddy,” she says as we towel off. And suddenly I realize the other stuff was gone. I tell her five more minutes and she runs back into the pool, giggling, laughing, screaming, looking back over her shoulder at me as I pull out my phone and start to write this.

It won’t always be like this. Some day she’ll move on. I won’t be daddy, but dad. She won’t want me, won’t greet me at my car, won’t shout for me to look or watch. There will be other men in her life, other people she can’t wait to see. 

But not today. Not right now. Not this minute.

No, right now she’s my princess and I’m her daddy.

Right now, she’s my little girl.

Do you ever have that feeling- the one where you can be in the middle of a completely familiar situation (dinner with your family or friends, say) and suddenly, and without warning, you have no idea where you are? You don’t recognize the people around you, you don’t recognize your surroundings. Or, you do, but they don’t feel familiar at all.

That happens to me more often than I’d like to admit. Maybe it’s my ADD, maybe I’m just innately self-centered, maybe I’m just flighty, but it happens. At least once a month. It’s the opposite of deja-vu. It’s the opposite of recognition.

I haven’t been traveling as much this year. Maybe with same frequency, but certainly not with the same kind of duration. Day trips. Single nighters. Here and there and everywhere. Familiar places for the most part.

The other morning, I was standing in the security line at the airport, a place I visit as frequently as the barber shop, and I had one of those moments. I couldn’t recognize where I was, couldn’t remember how I had gotten there. 

Then again, standing in the kitchen with my wife, talking about the kids’ schedule. I looked at her and it was like I was seeing her for the first time. The woman I have loved with every ounce of me for twenty years and it was like discovering her all over again.

I suffer from these moments, these instances of what Vonnegut might call being “unstuck in time.” I suffer then, but also look forward to them, relish them. Why? Because as uncomfortable as the moment is, it also creates an opportunity to see the familiar in a whole new way- to realize how lucky I am to see the way my wife’s face with fresh eyes; how lucky I am to be able to move throughout the world as often as I do.

I don’t wish the instantaneous feeling of disconnectedness these little time leaps entail on anyone, but I do think it’s easy to get stuck in looking without seeing, in being with someone or in a place without experiencing them. And I’m glad for those little out of life experiences, just for shaking things up.

I won’t be overly dramatic and say that I fell in love all over again with my wife the other day, but for a second the way I feel, which gets a little blurry and indistinct with time and familiarity was freshened up and given a fresh edge.

I loved that.

So if we are ever together and it seems like I’m a million miles away, if I shake my head slightly and widen my eyes, please understand, I’m seeing you in a whole new way and am still glad to be with you.

I’ve really let time get away from me lately. Work, family, family work – I have a million excuses, but just let me say sorry. But, just because I haven’t been writing here doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing. I’ve finished my first two books of the year – two novels! – and will be (hopefully) releasing them for sale on Amazon beginning May 1. 
But, just to prove that I’ve been busy, I’m posting chapter one of “The Red-Eyed Monster Bass,” a chapter book for kids in the 10-13 year-old range based on stories I told my son, Dylan, when we visited my parents Up North last summer. Read it, let me know what you think. I’ve always wanted to write books for this age, because it was at about this age that I discovered Gary Paulsen’s “Hatchet” and became a reader myself. 
I’ll try to get back to more regular writing here next week – we’ve got a lot to catch up on – but in the mean time, without further ado, here’s chapter one of my first novel.
-Thanks

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one.

The old man reached up to the lantern strapped around his favorite old fishing hat and flicked the switch on. The pitch dark evening was suddenly shattered by the light, making it impossible to see anything outside of the focused beam. The rough outline of the trees on shore, the silhouette of the island on the other end of the small lake, even the edges of his old canoe suddenly vanished, leaving only his hands, the translucent line and the tiny eye of the hook. His fingers trembled slightly as he squinted his eyes in concentration, trying to thread the fishing line through the hook as he had done thousands of times over the course of his life. In the darkness surrounding him, the sounds of the woods seemed amplified as they traveled across the still water to him sitting in his tiny boat and his fingers moved skillfully to fasten the lure to the end of his line.

“Tonight is the night,” he said out loud, though there was no one else in the boat and no signs of anyone on shore. “Tonight is the night. Tonight is the night.” He repeated over again as his fingers tightened the knot. His voice was neither excited nor scared. It was quiet, old, certain in his belief that after decades of searching, tonight he would finally land his prey, would finally bring to an end the quest he had begun as a young boy stalking these waters with his father.

Over the years, this nightly ritual had taken on a special meaning. It was more than simply fishing. It was pursuit. He was after a fish, but not just any fish – the fish that had been the topic of conversations around campfires, in restaurants and at the bait shop for nearly a century. It was more than a fish. It was a legend – a creature so famous in this corner of the north woods that nearly everyone who had ever visited knew it by reputation, though few, if any, had seen it and lived to tell the tale.

All fishermen tell stories. Every person who has ever baited a hook will tell you about the monster they nearly landed, the pike that nearly sunk their boat, the perch that broke the state record, but got away just before the fisherman could get it in the net. But this fish was different. It was specific. It was special. No one could say exactly how big it was, though everyone knew there had never been one like it. No one could say for sure exactly where it lived, other than in the little Lake in the Woods. No one could say how they had nearly caught it, because no one ever had.

But how could it be that such a creature could exist? How could it be that a fish no one had caught or even seen for certain could be the topic of such uncertain certainty? How could a single fish become a legend that everyone knew, but no one had experienced? It was the eye. A fisherman only had to mention the giant red eye and everyone knew exactly the fish he was talking about. 

The old man had been after this particular fish for almost his entire life and hadn’t so much as felt its tug on the end of his line. But there was something different about this night, something special. He was certain that this would be the night when his luck would change, when his pole would bend and he’d fight with everything he had to prove the legends were more than legend, that stories were all true.

This night, unlike all the hundreds, thousands of others, the old man would catch the Red-Eyed Monster Bass and he, too, would become a legend, mentioned in the same breath as the fish that had captured the imagination of generations of fisherman who had soaked a line in this small lake way up north in the woods.

He selected his best lure, one that had caught hundreds of fish over more than 20 years. He’d designed it himself. It was a combination of a Ballistic Bass Bomber and Silver Shimmer Spoon. He’d made more than a hundred prototypes out in the garage, hunched over his work bench, before he’d gotten this one just right. It was his lucky lure and this night, more than any other, he wanted luck on his side. So, he put an extra twist in the knot to make sure it held tight and reached up to turn off his headlamp. The light made him blind to anything more than fifteen feet away or outside of the beam. He knew precisely where he wanted to cast, so he sat in the quiet night for more than ten minutes to let his old eyes readjust to the dark. As they did, the world slowly came alive. Above him, millions of stars shimmered in the midnight sky. The moon, high up and off to his left, cast its beams across the whole of the lake, making it possible for him to, once again, make out the shoreline, the trees, the island on the other side of the lake.

He waited ten minutes more, giving his eyes time to adjust and his mind time to settle. Moving around in the small canoe while he searched for his lucky lure had sent ripples across the surface of the water. He waited to be sure the lake was still and calm, that anything – any fish – he may have disturbed had settled back into its hole, back into its sleep. He wanted his cast – one perfect cast – to be a sneak attack, so he said nothing, didn’t move, just sat still, becoming part of the lake, part of the water, part of the night itself.

Twenty minutes after he had flicked his headlamp off, it was time. He moved slowly, not wanting to rock the small boat, and carefully. His net rested on his lap. His tackle box was secure under the front seat of the canoe. His life jacket was cinched tight across his chest. He tugged gently on the brim of his favorite fishing cap, settling it into its familiar, comfortable space and, just as gently, slowly and smoothly flipped open the the gait on his reel and raised his trusty rod high into the sky behind him. He and the pole were one in the same. It was his lucky pole, the one he’d won countless fishing contests with over the years, his lucky lure, his lucky night, he hoped.

In a smooth, practiced, patient motion he flipped his wrist forward, pointing the tip of his pole directly toward the spot where he aimed. The sound of fishing line pulling from the reel and through the eyes of the pole hushed into the night. The lure, the one he’d worked so hard to perfect, rang gently as it toppled through the still air and he waited for the small splash to indicate he had hit his mark. But the splash never came.

The water exploded just before he calculated the lure should land. It was coming from the direction of his cast. Something big, something massive and powerful had leapt from the water and taken his lure from the air. It landed in crash that send three-foot waves out and across the surface, rocking his tiny canoe to the brink of being overturned. By instinct, he reeled and tugged the tip of the rod up to set his hook, but the rod would not rise, instead, it bowed deeply toward the surface like a performer at the end of a show. The weight, the power, hunched the old man forward and he could tell his lure was being carried down to the bottom of the lake.

This is it, he thought. This was the Red-Eyed Monster Bass. After a lifetime spent searching, it was finally on the end of his line and the powerful beast was completely in control. The drag on his reel fought back, but still the fish took line. Down, down and then out across the lake, nearly pulling the rod from the old man’s weathered, strong hands. He held tight as the fish made its run, pulling the canoe backwards with such force that the old man had to lean backward to avoid being pulled out of the seat. Wind and spray pelted the old man’s face as the canoe picked up speed. The fish returned to the surface, it’s top fin sticking out into the night air and the old man could barely make it out as water was kicked up into his face by the massive swishing tail. He held tight, held on with every ounce of his strength as the canoe was dragged across the water toward the distant island and his muscles began to burn from the power on the other end. The fish dodged and darted, weaved and wandered, covering the width of the lake in seconds, which would take the old man and his electric motor fifteen minutes or more to cross.

But even as it zigged and zagged, the fish’s direction seemed pointed toward the island, the small uninhabited chunk of land at the other end of the lake. After more than ten minutes, the fish seemed to be gaining strength. Was this a fish at all? Or was it a whale or some other kind of giant beast? The old man had little time to wonder. He concentrated every thought, every shred of strength he had into holding onto the pole for dear life. The island drew closer and closer.

“He’s going to wreck me,” the old man said out loud. “He’s going to crash me right into the rocks.” There were legends about this, legends about the bass that could sink boats, the fisherman in them never to be seen again. Suddenly, the old man wondered if he had gone too far, if, in his chase of this particular fish, he had put his own life in danger. Fear began to creep in, worry, but still he held on. The island drew closer and closer. His palms began to sweat. Closer and closer. His back began to scream in pain. Closer and closer as the water and wind spit in his face. Closer and closer until…

Just before the old man thought he would make contact, just before he thought his boat would be run into the rocks, his line went slack, his pole straightened and the small canoe stopped dead in its tracks. The violence, the power of the previous minutes ceased just as suddenly as it had begun and the night was once again still. The surface of the water settled into glasslike stillness and it was all over.

Realizing for the first time that he was out of breath, the old man drew one trembling hand off the handle of his pole and up to the switch on his headlamp. He turned it on and saw just how close he had come to certain danger. Ten feet in front of him was a large rock, mostly submerged, but jutting jaggedly up out of the water. His hands trembled greatly, his breath came in short bursts and he tried to settle himself from what had just happened.

After a moment, reality set in. He had just hooked into the Monster but it had gotten away. He began reeling in his line, which was limp and weightless. His lucky lure was gone, the end of the line tattered and frayed, dangled in the night air. It took several minutes for him to calm down, to regain himself. There was no point in tying on another lure. The night was done. He stowed his rod, unfastened the top buckle on his life jacket and lowered the small electric motor into the water for the long, slow trip back across the lake. He had gotten so close, closer than anyone ever had and, yet, he was going home empty handed, without even his lucky lure.

The small electric motor hummed as it picked up the little bit of speed it was capable of, pushing the old canoe across the surface of the lake. He could hear the waves lapping against the bow and knew where to go by heart. Another fisherman’s story, he thought. Another tall tale to tell at the bait shop or the diner over his morning coffee. Another legend to add to the long list of legends that centered on this particular fish. How would he tell it? And could he even be certain it was the Red-Eyed Monster Bass? He felt cheated knowing that he was left with nothing but some assumptions. He was nearly to the other side of the lake, to the ramp where he would load his canoe back onto its trailer for the drive back to his cabin up the hill when a strange feeling came over him. It wasn’t the sense of loss or the sadness that comes with a near miss. It was something else entirely, something darker and more unsettling.

He felt like he was being watched.

The old man eased back the throttle of the electric motor and his canoe came to a stop twenty feet off shore. He took a deep breath and scanned the shoreline for signs of life in the beam of his headlamp – a person, a bear, a moose. He was increasingly convinced that someone or some thing was looking at him, studying him.

“Hello?” The old man called out. He’d never been afraid in the woods before. These woods, this lake were like second nature to him. He’d always felt comfortable there. But feeling like he was being watched made his heart race and quickened his breath. “Hello?” he called out again. “Is someone there?” There was no reply, just the quiet still of the north woods night.

That’s when he heard it, a tiny swish in the water coming from behind him. Barely more than a whisper, but he knew it was there, knew it was real, knew what had caused it. He turned his head slowly, carefully, without rocking his small boat and searched the surface of the water with his focused beam of light. That’s when he saw it, just below the surface and less than five feet away – a giant, unblinking red eye. It was the size of a dinner plate and he could tell it was focused directly on him. It remained still, didn’t move an inch for nearly a minute and for that minute, they stared at each other as predator and prey. But it was the first time in the old man’s life that he was not sure which one was which. He had always felt like the predator, as nearly every fisherman does. But in that moment, on that night, sitting in his tiny boat and confronted with the unflinching gaze of a giant red eye, he thought the roles might be reversed. He knew, in fact, that he was the prey.

His entire body trembled, shook with fear. He didn’t breath, didn’t move. Didn’t, couldn’t do a thing. He just looked at the eye, which stared at him from just below the surface. It moved slightly and there was a flash of silver as something came out of the water, a sting as it latched onto his arm. He screamed and looked down to see his lucky lure, the cross between a Ballistic Bass Bomber and Silver Shimmer Spoon he had made himself embedded in his skin. He turned back quickly, but the eye was gone. Panic set in and he turned at the sound of the water exploding to see the massive form – as big as a car – of the monster fish arc through the air and back into the water with a crash.

It had been a lucky night, but not for the reason he had hoped. The old man escaped with his life and little more than a small scar on his arm from where his lure had stabbed him. That night, the predator had become the prey, the victor, the loser. That night, the fisherman lost and legend had won.

Lately, I’ve lost a little sight of what’s important. Not important as in priorities – my family, my relationships, my obligations. Not that kind of important. I’ve lost sight of the important steps I need to make and have found myself too focused on outcomes. I’ve found my mind wandering toward completed writing projects, instead of the writing itself. I’ve been focused on achieved goals instead of the incremental steps I need to take to realize that.

I’ve gotten too comfortable admiring the long-view instead of being hyper-focused on the needs in front of me.

We all have dreams. We all have things we’d like to see, do, achieve. And it’s easy to get lost in the daydream. It’s easy to get so lost in imagining yourself fitter, healthier, more productive (thanks Radiohead) and forget that fitter, healthier and more productive are all results of the things you do every day to get you there.

So, today, I’m challenging myself – and you too- to shift your focus, to change lenses and, instead, set a timer and get to work. Focus on making progress toward what you’d like to achieve instead of the achievement itself.

It’s the only way we can get where we want to be.

Make a list. Break things down. Tackle them one at a time. Go to bed tonight having accomplished five progressive steps. Wake up tomorrow and do the same thing.

Today I will set a timer four times – to write this blog, to work on a book project, to get my schedule in order and to finish a work project. I won’t set a timer, but as soon as I’m done here, I’m going to work for 10 minutes on Spanish. I’ll still make all my meetings. I’ll still get to all my commitments. And when I go home tonight, I’ll have already made today a success.

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

Let’s get to work making progress and let our dreams be what they may.

There, done. With seven minutes to spare.

We’ve got this.

Eighty-four days. Fifteen times a day. In total, I have written the phrase: “I, Craig Heimbuch, will iterate success” in my morning journal more than twelve hundred times. Every day this year, except the last two. Yesterday and today, I’ve written something else. A new mantra. A new combination of words to hypnotize myself in the morning and get me focused for the day.

I, Craig Heimbuch, will be a best-seller.

What was the impetus for the change? Well, I started the year wanting 2016 to be a more successful year than any of the others I’ve spent schlepping this big blue pebble. I wanted to manage success through small, iterative decisions taken every day. No big sweeping efforts, just a bit of work every day with the cumulative effect of achieving some goals and becoming more successful.

I suppose I started off intentionally vague. I told myself I would iterate success, but I didn’t really define what success would look like. And it seem strange that it would take me over a thousand repetitions to realize how indefinite ‘success’ is, but it did. So I began asking myself what it was, how I would define a successful change in behavior. I started thinking about the things I want – more financial stability, a better car, a shelf full of books with m name on the spine, a feeling of accomplishment, a sense of mastery, even more agency as it relates to time. I considered all the outcomes and looked for that moment of inertia, that achievement that might enable those kinds of results and, after a lot of thinking (and, yes, praying) I came up with being a best-selling author.

I know, big stretch, right? The author wants to be a best-seller. But it wasn’t always that obvious to me. In fact, I used to reject the idea as not being worth aspiration. But I’ve changed my tune. I have the right to do that right?

I’ve been taking a Masterclass with James Patterson. It’s an online course that leads you through 16 lectures and a workbook featuring Patterson and I’m kind of surprised I signed up for it, to be honest. I was never really a fan of his work. I didn’t hate it per se, but I was just enough of a snob to think it was beneath me. It’s only been by learning about his process, understanding his motivation and then researching the results that I’ve come to really admire him. Seventy-six best-sellers and living the dual-pane life of work and freedom that I, selfishly, aspire to. What’s not to admire about the guy?

But it wasn’t just Patterson. It was also a change in how I wanted to think of myself. I’m a decent writer. Not great. Not bad. I do okay work. But I’ve never had a lot of confidence in myself, even though writing is a large part of how I’ve supported my adulthood and family. Even with great successes- and I’ve been pleased to have had some memorable moments as a writer – there has always been an undercurrent of low-grade deprecation that’s gone along for the ride. I’ve always sort of put myself down, even when there are things worth celebrating. I’ve never given myself the permission to be excited to be a writer, even though it is my most favorite thing.

So that’s why I changed the definition of success. Not a bunch of results, but one scary, ambitious goal that will force me to find confidence, force me to sit down every day and punch the keys, force me to push for better.

Yesterday, I bid farewell to ambiguous definitions of success and began to focus my intention on a single outcome – being a best-seller. Will it work? I don’t know. What’s it going to take to get there? I have a rough idea, but no real clear plan. The thing I do know is that I’m holding myself accountable to something nearly impossible.

And that’s worth writing fifteen times every morning.

So far, it’s been a rough day for the Mudcats, my oldest son Jack’s baseball team. They’re playing a one-day round-robin pre-season tournament- the old three hyphen variety- and it’s not looking good.

The last time they laced up their cleats and donned their black and red jerseys was last summer, an end of season tournament that they won. Today, well, today is going a whole lot differently.

They looked rusty in the first game and fell behind by three quickly. They battled back then fell behind again. A four run rally in the top of the last inning tied it up, but an overthrow in the bottom of that inning gave the other team a walk-off victory.

The second game started right away and it looked close- tied 1-1 – after the first inning. But a couple innings later and they are down an area code. Or so it seems.

I look at my son in left field and his head is, understandably low. I get it. No one likes to lose. To lose a close one and then get slaughtered makes things worse. But he’s got another game to play and I know I’ll need to say something to get his spirits back up.

I’ve never been Yogi Berra. I’ve never been a great coach. I don’t have that much experience to be wise. But when it comes to sports, there’s only one piece of advice I have ever given my kids- control your hustle.

Usually it comes out in the form of a question- “what’s the one thing you can control?” I’ll ask them. “My hustle,” they respond.

I tell them that there will always be better players. There will always be better athletes. There will always be people with more experience, smarts and skills. You can’t control that. No one can. The only thing you can control is how hard you are willing to work. And if you work harder than anyone, you will never lose- no matter what the scoreboard, test score or school board says.

The Mudcats are going to have to dig deep today. They are going to have to find the strength to come back, to shake things off and compete. But I hope that, at the end of the day, they measure their value in terms of the effort they put in and not just the runs they put up.

After all, they can’t control the outcome. They can’t control how good or prepared the other teams are. There’s only one thing they can control and that’s their hustle.

It’s the best any one of us can do.

Last week, I wrote about Moments of Confluence. I wrote about owning your Echo. I wrote about embracing opportunities when they come, even when they are challenges, about taking responsibility for your responses. Today, I’m thinking about the work.

It had been nearly two weeks since I had gotten up for a pre-dawn run. My back and shoulder have been making it hard to sit in my chair at work, let alone chase Penny through the morning streets. And, I don’t think it’s much of a coincidence that in that two weeks, everything started to lag. The focus I’d had for more than two months had become a mish-mash brain bash as my attention shifted like sand in a hurricane from one project to another, from one need to another, from one set of aspirations to another. I was feeling it mentally, emotionally, physically and, no matter how many promises I made in my morning journal, I knew I needed to get back on track.

I needed to own my echo. I needed that moment of response to take an active role in the day ahead.

It came, oddly enough, while I was watching a talk by James Patterson. Think what you will of his books, but 76 best-sellers means the guy has something figured out. He was talking about outlining and how it shapes his writing. The outline is the plan, it’s the to-do list, it’s the map. Do it right and the writing is easy, you just have to sit down and push the keys. “Don’t worry about the sentences,” he said. “Concentrate on the story.”

I realized he was right and not just about writing. I had gotten caught up in not being able to run my best, to write my best, to do my best, when the thing I need to do was the work and allow my best to come out. Strange how something out of context can make such a larger point.

So, last night, I took my muscle relaxer for my shoulder and climbed into bed at 9:30. My alarm was set for 6:30. A good night’s sleep and then back on track, I thought. The alarm went off. I crawled to the floor and stretched. Penny licked my face as the aches kicked in. I thought about leaving it alone. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next week. I fed her breakfast and curled up on the couch, still groggy from the meds and sore from everything else. Maybe I would just take her for a walk.

I let her outside to go to the bathroom. I let her back in. More licks to the face. More excitement to be alive. Okay, then, a walk.

I put her leash on, pulled on my sweats and a pair of gloves. I sat down in the garage to put on my shoes. She sat in front of me. Just looked at me, her tail swishing back and forth on the concrete floor.

“You’re right,” I said out loud. “Running it is.”

The first couple minutes were fine. The next ten were rough, but she looked so happy, so I pushed on. By the time I was 20 minutes in, I knew I was slower than I had been a few weeks ago, but the endorphins, the sunrise, the way her head bobbed back and forth – something changed. I remembered that I had come to like running earlier this year. I remembered that I liked the work.

I had already written my outline, but I had gotten too worried about the sentences. I needed to focus on the story – the running, the time with my dog, the feeling of doing something when I first woke up. I had forgotten how much I loved that. Taking time off was the right thing to do for my health, but now it was time to run again, to write again, to push myself ahead because someone – even if it was only a Golden Retriever – was counting on me.

James Patterson, Penny, the man I see in the mirror and the one I hear in my head – they convinced me to get back out there and I’m glad they did. It might not seem like much and, on even a medium scale, it’s not. But I felt something I hadn’t felt in the last couple of weeks and it makes me want more – pride.

You don’t have to write perfect sentences. You don’t have to have a way with words. You just need to focus on the story – your story, whatever it entails. And realize, just because you pause doesn’t mean you’re done. You’re not over. You just have to remember how to love the work.