Find the fun today. Inspire yourself. Inspire someone else. Read a paperback book. Review a paperback book! Try something you’ve never tried before, just because you’ve never tried it. Call – don’t text – a friend. Raise a glass to a friend who’s passed away. Sing in the car at stop lights; smile and wave at the drivers beside you. Today is a gift that you’ll never get to open again. Find the fun.
Last weekend, we noticed the ‘boy’ who lives across the street moving a sofa onto a truck. We heard mutterings about college, and I watched his Mom standing on their front porch, waving goodbye, patio door slamming behind her as she walked inside the house alone. I did a double take. Wasn’t this ‘boy’ only 12 years old? That’s about how old he was when we last spoke….surely he’s not old enough for college yet!
Oh, the world spins so fast. We’ve had our ‘new’ house 9 years, and that boy is now 19.
It left me tearing up and hugging my eight-year-old girl on the driveway. She started tearing up a little too, saying, ‘Don’t worry Mommy, I’ll Skype you from college!” And we laughed at our absurdity, and went to make supper together, in our here & now.
Go hug your kids, your spouse, your parents, tight now, before you’re standing on the front porch, waving goodbye.
There are a whole lot of things I don’t know, but I think I’ve figured out a few things in my 41 years, and I feel like sharing them with you.
I’ve lost four friends who were in their 40’s when they died (one was a 39 year old mother of three) and not one of them was a bad person or doing something dangerous. Yeah, people die; sometimes too young. We never know when it will be our time, or when we’ll lose someone we love. I know you’ve heard it before, and maybe it’s becoming a tired old cliché, but I don’t care, because there is such truth in it: Tell the people you love that you love them NOW, and do those things you’ve always wanted to but keep putting off. Don’t wait another moment.
Try to laugh at yourself. Don’t ever allow yourself to say you’re ‘bored.’ Choose friends that let you be your true self. Don’t let people walk all over you, but be the person people come to as a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. Be kind to strangers and give what you don’t need to those who need it (including parking spots and that place ahead of you in line). Dance in the ocean, write love letters, walk barefoot in the grass, sleep under the stars, laugh from your belly, take the scenic route, give unexpected gifts. Don’t insist on being right; grin and bear it when you want to rip their head off, but do not let anyone disrespect you. Work hard —not at being the best, but at being your best.
Drink responsibly, drive cautiously, live outrageously.
I believe in being yourself. I believe in laughing hard and playing harder, and that the true measure of success isn’t the amount of money in your bank account, but the number of hearts you’ve touched in your own unique way. I believe puddles are meant for jumping in, ice cream should always have sprinkles on top, or at the very least hot fudge, and that small talk with people most people think of as small – or don’t even think about at all – can change their world more than you’ll ever know. I believe our world is a good and beautiful place that could be better if we all slowed down just a little and remembered where we came from, where we want to go ~ and to breathe. I believe every woman deserves a chance to pursue their passion, a friend who won’t ever let her down, and a dress that makes her feel like Marilyn Monroe on a windy day.
Are you a writer? Then you’ve likely spent a lot of time reading about the real obstacles to getting published, marketing, and succeeding at selling many copies of your book. Hopefully, those articles provide lots of tips on how to get the job done. This isn’t that article. I’ve only got so much energy, I’m a writing Mommy.
Top Five Writing Obstacles For Parents
5 Your kid won’t take his nap – your premium writing time – unless you sing ‘Who Let the Dogs Out’ and bark at his door every time you hit the chorus.
4 Your kid wakes up from his nap, stands up in his crib, blows you a kiss, and hands you his poo. Poo which, artistic genius that he is, he has also smeared like paint all over the walls.
3 Your kid starts Kindergarten and learns how to use the computer. Your computer. Your delete button.
2 Your kid starts Grade One and learns how to use the iPad. Try writing the next Great Gatsby to Angry Birds being, well, Very Angry, in the background. Go ahead. Just try it.
1 Your kid decides he wants to be an architect when he grows up. You encourage that. He builds crazy fort tunnels from your office door to your office chair. Watch that back as you crawl to your office every morning!
At this rate, you’ll finish that book when your kid graduates from high school…Good luck!