Monday, February 14, 2011

You've got mail (and a give-away)

A letter and a give-away for you!!!
(And for famous poet Mary Oliver -- just in case by some Valentine's Day miracle she is a huge "Hey Mothers" fan.)

Dear Mary Oliver,
First of all, thank you for asking, "What is it you plan do with your one wild and precious life?" The question that you pose in the beautiful poem "The Summer Day" has been a powerful motivator, propelling me towards necessary action. However, it's also disconcerting. When I don't feel I am doing ENOUGH (traveling, running, advancing, achieving, nailing the whole "mom thing", etc.), your words are a drum beat in my ear, a poetic version of my own voice asking, "seriously, this is what you are doing with your life?"

But I realize the problem wasn't with your question, but my interpretation. I was the one supplying the inflections, the judgments. I am pretty sure you aren't in a secret partnership with the Rock Climbers Association or Travelocity. You are just a poet asking a really worthy question. One we should ask ourselves.

And for the first time, I have an answer that isn't like some high school senior on his/her first college application essay question or a hopeful pageant contestant. It is this: Notice it. Dig it. Appreciate it. Do a little less of creating my own misery by chasing perfection, and a little more digging and appreciating. And that includes trusting the process when things aren't going my way.

Did my previous answer sound as silly as the map debacle of '07. Unequivocally, YES.
What a gift to my children, Mary Oliver. I have been empowered to lead by example, to show them that they don't start enjoying their one wild and precious life only if and when when they get what they want. And thank you also for for the "wild and precious" part. Because Mary: true that! I just won't fritter away this gift with myopic vision that only sees only the unfinished and imperfect. Not when I could be choosing to see the beauty that is all around me.

With the utmost gratitude,

Dear Readers,

Valentine's Day is here and I am reflecting on my New Year's Post  and the insanely good comments it generated. Rather than my usual method (flashes of insight that I promptly forget), I am moved to dedicate RIGHT NOW as the time to love the bejezus out of my life. As the month rolls along, look for random lists of things that I heart ... things that touch and move me. It is both a tool for cultivating gratitude and a personal experiment--Can I change my neural pathways with a focus on the positive, the kind, the beautiful? Maybe I'll be more calm, creative, insightful ... and help Egypt get their new government up and running.

You so want in, right? Share this post on Facebook or tweet it -- let's see about making my personal experiment a social experiment -- Hey Egypt needs us! What holds you back?  What "thing" are you waiting for to start loving your life? What do you see as the first step in embracing this life, this one wild and precious life? What moves and touches you? Write a full-on love letter, a sonnet, or a one-word answer. Each comment counts as an entry, so feel free to rack 'em up as you see fit. Throw down the random, the obscure, the surprising, the cheesy, the cliche ... just speak from the heart. And the prize? Why it's this beautiful gratitude journal ("Seedlings" hardcover by Lotta Janslotter).

Well, it's a blank journal. If you win, you can crap on my concept and make it a "things that suck" journal or, a "list of blogs better than Hey Mothers" journal, or whatever -- to the victor go the spoils!

Happy commenting and Happy Valentine's, treasured readers,

Related Posts with Thumbnails