The Pace Car

Growing up, my family watched a lot of NASCAR. Our driver was Awesome Bill from Dawsonville, Bill Elliott, and we would cheer him on every Sunday, whether he was the #9 Coors car, the #11 Budweiser car, or the #94 McDonalds car. I had t-shirts and posters, people. It was serious.

Whenever there were wrecks, which of course is what us kids were really there to watch, out would come the steady and reliable pace car to make sure the pack took it easy while the accident was cleared. It was literally the car that set the pace. Eventually all would be good to go and the race could resume, until another inevitable wreck.

These last two months, I‘ve mostly followed the rules of my pace car, called POTS, and when I haven’t, I’ve paid for it with trips to the pits to refuel and restore. There has only been one crash or maybe two that sent me back to the garage for a week or so until the next race.

Okay, I’m not feeling this metaphor anymore.

The point is, I am learning how to navigate my new life as a freelance writer with a chronic illness that seems to wave its finger at me any time I try to push beyond what it thinks I should do.

There is no magic word.

Although there are lots of things I can’t do anymore, I’ve been focusing on all the things I can do that are bringing me so much joy. Preparing meals for my family, taking walks with Brandon, Henry, and Izzy (the other two don’t really like taking walks, although I’d certainly welcome them), exploring area parks, drinking tea, reading, and most of all, writing. I am doing so much writing!

I’m now a contributing writer for Root & Vine News, where I’ve been able to write everything from spotlights on business owners who are doing beautiful things for their community and the earth, to devotional entries, to book reflections, to movie reviews. I am excited to join this community and look forward to seeing what develops there in the coming months. You can follow them on Facebook and Instagram for regular updates.

I’m also writing occasionally for God Hears Her, a women’s ministry of Our Daily Bread, and continuing to write for Spire.

Aaaaaand, I started writing a novel. This has been my passion project, something I’m totally obsessed about. I’m writing about my grandmother on my dad’s side from her point of view, learning a lot through research and having so much fun experimenting with fiction for the first time. I spend entirely too much time on ancestry.com.

And that’s about it. That about defines the current pace of life. It is different. And it is good.

If you’d like to check out some of my recent projects for Root & Vine, you can find them here.

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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