Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

word of the year

I'm taking the opportunity, on this February 14, to be a bit cliche. . . and to fill you in on my word for the year. Actually, it's two words:

To love.

I started this tradition four years ago with friends. We meet each year around January 1 for a New Year's ritual/celebration. The first two years, the word selected me. First, receptive in 2007, then well in 2008. Last year I selected threshold after reading one author's interpretation of the word during Advent. It resonated with me. And in countless ways threshold, a word I hardly considered in the past, was a part of 2009. Each of these words are still active in my life. That's a beautiful outcome of being present.

The love rock pictured above was in the new-to-me cottage I stayed in this summer at Clare's Well. There are many Clare's Well words that one can spot while there. . . peace, faith, believe, well, soul, hope, prayer. . . and, love. There it was, waiting for me to arrive. So I knew that was a sign, and I knew it would be my word for 2010.

Love. That's one vast word. So vast it sort of startled me around New Year's. It's huge as a noun. I decided to give it action and life I needed to make it a verb. More pondering. To love was my choice.

So, here's to love - today and every day.

Monday, February 8, 2010

life in six words

This story recently played on NPR's Talk of the Nation. Tonight on my long drive home I pondered about what six words would comprise my life memoir. I chanted strings of words outloud and wasn't convinced of any of them. . . until I remembered two words, repeated three times, from my youth.

My tenth grade American Literature teacher, Mrs. Ahnert, was my favorite high school teacher. She was from Texas and had a (sterotypical) big Texas personality, along with a charming drawl. She never donned the same outfit twice in a school year and always dressed in bright jewel tones. She said shopping was her hobby because her husband was a pilot and wasn't home much. Her nails were perfectly manicured every week. She once dumped out a Sam's Club container of hot chocolate mix after she read the label and realized it was distributed from the food plant that Jeffrey Dahmer worked at. (Sorry to bring up something like Jeffry Dahmer, but it's something she said that I will never forget her saying - she was so animated while recounting how she dumped the cocoa into the garbage). The girls loved her because she was so feminine and outspoken, and most of the guys were taken aback by her for the same reasons. She brought books to life and made our 15 and 16 year old minds think differently about required reading.

I can't remember the book we were reading, but I remember her describing the main theme of it to us, saying those two words three times, while stomping her heeled foot on the floor for dramatic effect.

Be true, be true, be true.

That is my six word memoir.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

what's up?

Hello blog reader,

Just a note to say that I'm frustrated with the dearth of time that has lapsed since I last posted, especially since I started a story, and I have yet to finish the rest of it. I'm not exactly sure why I'm dragging my feet on this. . . but I might be able to narrow it down to a few ideas.

1. I was pleased as punch to achieve my goal of posting for 30 days in a row. So pleased. Stick-to-it-iveness is something I struggle with, and posting each day allowed me to practice discipline around something that's important to me, which is a significant life skill to develop. But I'll admit, after it was over, I gave myself liberal permission to continue blogging without a strict posting schedule. . . 

2. Because sometimes, I just don't feel like writing and sharing. There I said it. Sometimes I just don't want to write about my thoughts and feelings, how my day went, and what's going on in my life, others lives or the world around me. I'm an internal processor of information and ideas, especially with new information and ideas. So, I just haven't felt a need or desire to write lately.

3. Which leads me to idea # three. I'm pretty certain I've been (just below my day-to-day consciousness of life) thinking about how to continue telling this story. Trying to remember details. Trying to write just the right thing. Because this was a significant experience in my life, that signaled a positive change in how I valued my ideas, my goals and myself as a confident and self-assured woman.

This post just might be the catalyst I needed to get back to this story. And tell it. There is more - and it's not movie to TV dramatic in any way - just giving you the heads up. It's just a story about a time in my life that I've been thinking about quite a bit lately.

And by typing "trying to write just the right thing," I'm pretty sure that shook me out of thinking there's a perfect way to tell this story. Nothing's perfect. Just tell it.