# of pages written: 7 ½
# of days left to write 1st draft: 113
I’ve been excited on the bike trail before. One time it was because a boy rode past me doing the Macarena on his bike, which I thought was hilarious. Several times I was excited by chipmunks. Many times I have been excited by the beauty of the sky and the sun and the trees. But today, oh today! It was the most exciting day on the bike trail yet!
I was coming back from yoga, and up ahead I saw a family of turkeys. Nikki and I saw them back in July in this same general location, but they were way up in the woods on the side of the trail. This time, though, they were just hanging out on the bike trail.
“Don’t get too excited, Eva,” I told myself. “They’re going to scuddle away when you get close.” But I pedaled slowly, and they stayed put, pecking at some mysterious food source that they had apparently found alongside the trail.
When I was only a few feet away from them, I got off my bike and crept forward. Up close their feathers were brown and black and white in all different crazy zig-zag patterns. They waddled around, and I stood among them, grinning. It’s so great, I thought, that little things like this can make me so happy.
It doesn’t take much to excite me. A deluxe turn-table edition Scrabble board might make me squeal with delight. I’ve been known to do a little dance at the dinner table when I’m eating something delicious. And basically any time I see a wild animal (or farm animal, come to think of it) I’m over the moon.
Like last weekend. I insisted to Cory and Melissa that we go to Young’s Dairy in Yellow Springs. “We have to go to the dairy,” I kept saying. “They have goats there!”
So we went and fed the goats, which was every bit as exciting as I expected (and also a bit more frightening than I expected. Goats have those crazy rectangular pupils which are awesome, but creepy.) Then it started raining, so we went inside to eat ice cream. Melissa took a bite of her cookies and cream and then said, “oh no, Eva, don’t look out the window.”
Naturally, I looked. It was a white trash family carrying a box around in the parking lot in the rain. And inside that box? Kittens. Free kittens.
“Oh my gosh! Kittens!” I said. “We gotta go see the kittens!”
Melissa groaned. Cory and I leaped up from the table and ran outside, giggling like school children. And I thought, see, even a little trip to the dairy can make my life worth living.
The point is, I am easily excited sometimes. It doesn’t take much to make me happy….
Yesterday, Nikki came home and asked me how my writing was going. “OK,” I said, shrugging. “I wrote a few pages and then I brainstormed some ideas.”
“That sounds good,” Nikki said.
“I don’t know. I sat here all day, and I only wrote four pages.”
Uncharacteristically, I told Nikki the ideas I had brainstormed for the story, from start to finish.
“Wow!” Nikki said when I was done. “Eva, that’s an amazing story. How did you think of it?”
“I don’t know.” I said glumly. “I just sat here and stared at my computer for a couple hours and then I thought of it.”
“Well, I love it! If I were a kid, and you were my parent, I’d want you to tell me that story every night for bed.”
“Thanks,” I said, feeling embarrassed at Nikki’s excitement level.
Granted, Nikki is easily excited, too. (I’ve seen her get extremely excited about vegetables, for example.) But here she was, getting excited about my story. Why was I not excited?
Sometimes I think that the way to have a happier life is to get happy about little things, like turkeys in the road and kittens in a box. If you wait to get excited about the big things, you’ll spend most of your time waiting.
I always think I’ll be so happy when I publish a book, but I think I need to let the little things make me happy, too. Today, for example, I wrote 7 ½ pages. I should be excited about that. That’s 7 ½ pages that didn’t exist yesterday. Thoughts magically appeared in my brain and were transmitted through my fingers onto the computer screen. That’s incredible, right? Almost as good as anything that might happen on the bike trail.