Monday, March 30, 2009

Just Do It Does Have A Nice Ring To It!

I never really got Nike's whole "Just Do It" slogan.

Just go running? Just exercise? Uhhhh, I don't think so. I was never into just doing any of those things and I'm still not.

So every time I saw a Nike ad or commercial with that logan, I tuned it out thinking that it was meant for other people.

But recently, I find myself saying those words over and over again. Just do it!
Just write.
Just create.
Just try something new.
Just keep at it. Don't give up. Don't be scared of failure and ridicule.
Just close your eyes and DO IT!

It seems like in life more than half the battle of doing anything is the just-doing-it part. But that's also the hardest part.

Especially as we get older, it's harder and harder to "just do it." We get set in our ways, we don't have time, we don't the will, we don't feel like it's appropriate to take such risks, we feel old, we are afraid of looking stupid, we start to lose faith in ourself and a hundred other things that keep us from just doing the things that we only dream about.

But then some of us oldies (you know who you are!!!) get a little fire in our belly and we say to hell with it, we're just going to try it. We very well might fail but who gives a damn.
At least we tried!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Seeking Pockets of Silence

I've never been good at silence.

I always try to avoid it somehow, if not with the necessary parts of family life then with music or TV.  

I don't know what it says about me that I can't just be.  I can't just sit in silence and breath without desperately wanting to fill that space with something...anything!

I was recently in a situation, however, where I couldn't fill that space with anything.  No internet, no person to talk to, nothing to read, no phone, no music, no TV, nothing.  So there I was, just with my thoughts.  And even though I didn't want to be there, I found it surprisingly freeing.  

Being forced to listen to nothing but your own breathing.  To look at nothing but the trees outside.  To feel nothing but your own cloths against your skin.  

And with passing moment you feel more calm.  With each breath, you release some part of yourself that needed to do something.  

Then you start to listen to yourself.  Your center.  And you realize that it is in moments like these that you can really hear yourself.  Your pain, your joy, your regrets, your hopes, your own truth.

So even though it is not January, I would like to make a resolution for the rest of the year.  I would like to find pockets of silence in my life and instead of fearing those pockets, I would like to embrace them.  

Revel in them.  

And maybe, just maybe, even enjoy them.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Word To The Wise

There is a beautiful place in the blogesphere filled with women that started a blog for the sole purpose of speaking to their children.  To children that are years away from being able to read let alone understand the words that their mom is expressing on a regular basis on the world wide web.  Some of these women started their blogs while pregnant so that they could share with their unborn child how their child’s life began in their mother’s womb.  Many of these blogs are only read by a few family members and friends but they are some of the loveliest words you will ever read.  They are heartwarming, honest, sad, strong and beautiful.  

These children will have recorded thoughts and memories from their mother waiting for them when they are ready to read them.  

The different between these blogs and traditional journals is that they are shared and living accounts.  Family and friends can be part of the mother’s journey.  They can comment on daily ups and downs and contribute to the story that will be left for the child when they are old enough to read and understand what was left for them. 

These children will have something that many of us wish we had, our mother’s voice from long ago.  How did she feel?  What did she go through?  What decisions did she make that she’s happy with now or regrets?  The she from long ago is not able to answer most of these questions now.  Time erases many of the details of our memories.  That’s why these journal blogs are so valuable for the ones you leave behind. 

No one thinks that they will be leaving this earth before they’ve had the time to pass along to their children all the life lessons they want to pass along to them but life happens and sometimes that includes death.  The women that take the time to do these blogs leave something invaluable for their family, especially their children; their story.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Book Signing? Me? No, It Couldn't Be.

I've been wanting to share this fun news with you for a while but because I write under a pseudonym to keep this blog more or less anonymous, I wasn't sure how to do it.

Then I decided that even though I couldn't give all the details, I could still share some of this lovely thing in my life with you. Especially because your support of my writing has meant so much to me and is one of the reasons that I've kept at it.

OK, here it is! Two of my posts are being published in a book which is coming out in a few weeks. And this is how it happened.

Around the time I decided to quit my regular job to pursue my working from home life, a good friend told me about an editor that was looking for stories about mothers. This editor was putting together a compilation book for a popular publisher.

I didn't really know where to start since my writing experience consisted mostly of creating business and legal documents. But I had gotten some practice writing personal stories on this blog so I thought I'd give it a try.

I wrote two stories. One about my mother and I and the other about my son and I (both stories are in the favorite posts section of my blog). I sent the stories to the editor not expecting to ever hear from her.

But low and behold, a few months later she contacted me and said she liked both stories. You have no idea how excited and surprised I was. Wow, she read them and actually liked them. Woohoo! She said that she would contact me later about the possibility of the stories going into the book.

I waited patiently...actually not patiently at all. I wanted to e-mail her every single day a hundred times asking what the hell was going on!! But by some force beyond my own understanding I held back.

Then finally a few weeks later another e-mail. She said was down the road in terms of picking the stories she liked and even though she thought my essays where a good fit, she wanted them to be combined into one story. What? It had taken all my creative juices to write two genuine stories about two separate incidents and now I had to magically make them one story? Hmmm. I didn't think I could do it. I was scared of changing what I thought were the best stories I could write into one mediocre jumbled story that would be disappointing to her. But with the encouragement of my husband, I kept the stories intact and connected them with a few transition sentences. I sent her the combined essay and held my breath.

Months went by and I didn't hear anything from her. Hello! Didn't she know that I was on pins and needles waiting for her reaction? Maybe she thought the combined story was just not good enough.

I had almost given up hope when one day I got an e-mail saying that she had recommended that my essay be included in the book but that the publisher had the last word. For peek's sake!! How long do I have to wait to know if my stories will be published?

Another few months later, the publisher e-mailed me to say congratulations and to ask that I fill out a waiver and an agreement! Yeah!!!! Finally.

It only took seven months from writing the stories to getting them in print. The book comes out at the end of this month.

The whole thing is kind of crazy but so fun. One of my friends is even having a book signing party for me...can you believe that? I laughed at the whole idea but I'm super grateful and excited to share my story and so thankful to her (and you!!!!) for supporting me all these months.