Looking forward in gratitude

Dear Reader,

Goodness how the summer flew!

I spent a good amount of time this summer being busy. Yes, busy. This was the summer I was supposed to take it easy. After my mother’s cancer and a crazy academic year, this was the summer I was supposed to rest. I didn’t schedule any writing fellowships, retreats, or residencies this year. I wanted to sleep in, spend time with my family and live, as the kids are saying, my best life.

Boy, did I underestimate that!

This was probably the busiest summer. I was able to teach some creative writing classes including teaching artists how to write their artist statements. I taught a Noir Writing class that I LOVED. (I hope I get to teach that again). I also did some writing and, most recently, I printed out the first draft of my memoir manuscript and have entered the revision process.

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Working on a Saturday night. 😁

A post shared by Icess Fernandez Rojas (@writin2insanity) on

But it’s the day before we have to return the work. I’m looking at the calendar and I’m wondering, where did all my time go?

Ha! I know where it went. I was living my best creative life and I loved every moment of it.

Earlier this month, I was lamenting the ending of this amazing summer. But looking back at my Instagram feed, I’m changing my tune for a bit. I am not lamenting the end of this summer, I am celebrating that it happened and that I grew as a result.

Lamenting wastes time and energy, which is better spent learning and growing.

Seriously, I have no complaints about the summer. Yes, it could have been longer or I could have done more. I could have made any other numerous complaints buy why would I do that? Why would I take from the good things I have experienced and learned?

Listen, sometimes when we experience something –good or bad, delightful or sinking — we tend to play the what-if game or the I-wish game.

These are the game we are all familiar with.

“If only I had turned right instead of left.”

“If only I hadn’t done that things”

“What if I had been in the room?”

“I wish I could go back and do it over again.”

All of these questions, I find, can rob you of what you really should be reflecting on — the experiences and lessons you learned from the event.

Yes, this is a shift in thinking and, admittedly, it’s a difficult one. It’s in our nature to play this game. And we’ve all done it. In fact, I still do. But we have to train ourselves to shift our thinking from lamenting to gratefulness.

Yes, the infamous gratitude practice strikes again. But there’s something to it. I find myself ready to let go of my summer experiences. Indeed, it was a busy and fruitful summer. However, I am thankful for the opportunities and the lessons and I’m prepped for applying those lessons to a new season.

So, thank you summer and hello fall!

In gratitude,


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