Be Fearless

IMG_1542All is well in the land of Normal. Day off work. Day away from the classroom. Day with a mere two hours of grading vs. 4.5. A day to have a third cup of coffee. A day with a schedule that looks like this:

  1. Read a book 8:30-9:30 a.m.
  2. Work on Plan B business venture — 9:45-11:45 a.m.
  3. Lunch/shower/tidy up — noon-12:30
  4. Grading (also, darn, pick up grade sheet from classroom-where I forgot it) — 1-3 p.m.
  5. Prepare Tuesday lesson — done by 3:30
  6. Art Journal/Blog — dabble throughout the day through 5:30 p.m.
  7. Play with grandson
  8. Bed by 9 p.m.
  9. Alarm: 5:45 a.m.

Nothing about this list is Fearless, the title of this blog post. True. Upon first glance. But the Plan B and the This–the journaling, the chiropractic spinal alignment of my soul–is taking a plunge, taking a step, dreaming, putting myself out there, turning inside out the sweater of my soul, risking judgment, being vulnerable and stepping away from The List, IZ me betting on me. At this age, at this juncture, blogging like youngins do, considering new streams of income, wanting to get involved, make a difference, taking a step toward fulfilling my life’s purpose IZ Fearless.

I’m not sure I’ve mentioned this yet, but two summers ago my youngest daughter and I got bee tattoos. Sweet little web-thin buzzing botanical beasts adorn our forearms. Getting a tattoo is something I NEVER thought I’d do. But I did so because of the symbolism behind the bee–a permanent reminder to take a chance, enjoy the sweetness  of life, and to value the importance, the grace, the gift, of being a member of a community. In the past, I’ve always exclusively thought of family as community. But recently, as in the day I opened myself up and started this blog, I realize that community can include like-hearted strangers, folks who are trying, in their own ways–big and small–to make the world better. We need each other. On those crappy days. On those outstanding, snap, crackle, pop everything’s going our way days.

We can do this! Right community? We can make our moments, our days, our lives–our world–better! That’s what this correspondence is about, yes? Gotta step off the train for a minute, put down The List, read a minute and remind ourselves who we are and what we need to do with this precious invention called a day. All the shoulds. All the To-Dos will still be there. Case in point: My best-case scenario List is already behind schedule. Cool. Perfect, given the fact that I am, afterall, the The Master of The List?

I digress: I sidebar. I’m off-task. I tangent to ask: “Of everything on my To-Do List, what exactly IZ my priority today and every day?”

Me Time shouldn’t be Squeeze-it-in-At-the-End-of-the-Day Time. I need to:

  1. Write.
  2. Create. Center myself, through through art, music and cooking.
  3. Listen to the whispers, the invitation, God’s beckoning. Do not fear, for I am with you. 
  4. Breathe.

I gaze out my 100-year-old kitchen window and am overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude that California’s drought is at bay for now. It’s raining. Today, tomorrow and next week.

A whipped cream layer of fog blankets the front garden and it comes to me: 25 years ago, when we took a chance and purchased this paint-chipped bungalow, later named Angel Cove Cottage By the Sea, I imagined myself sitting right here, at this very scalloped-edged kitchen table–writing: The Great American Novel. Perhaps. Letters to friends, addressed to Dearheart, most likely.

But busy kids. Divorce. Writing jobs for hire, pursuit of higher education got in my way. The List. Always The List. Once again: Mom died in her 60s. So did Auntie Marji, Carol, Auntie Madge. At some point, hopefully decades from now, my name will be added to The List.

But not today.

It’s my pen, my page, my story. The good part of the novel I never wrote.

  1. Leap.

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