Deeply Grateful

Today, I am grateful for so much…

The first five on my list: 

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time with friendsphoto 1

 

 

                        Funny how it takes one little tweak in your life to realize what you’ve taken for granted.

I lost a few things this week.

Time.

Freedom.

Coffee.

The ability to set my own schedule.

The chance to tie up my running shoes and go run/look at flowers in my neighborhood.

Then, I had to cancel a really important event (one I’ve been planning for 2+ years).

I’m going to have a big permanent scar.

It was a very hard week.

It’s the strangest feeling to really stop and think – Holy hell. I think I might die today. I was curled up going, “So… God. If you and I have anything to discuss, I think now might be a good time.”

Talk about a clarifying moment.

As it turns out – I didn’t die. Ta-da! (Unless I did, in which case this blog is bigger news than I think it is! Ghost blogger! Blogger from the beyond! Think about the tv possibilities!!!)

And the rest of my week has been all about coming face to face with the deep realization that most people spend their entire lives running from –

I can’t do it all on my own.

It’s one of those lovely little phrases that you sort of know, sort of understand, and sort of live by. It makes sense on a surface level too. We live in a world of communities and cities and towns, people who live together for safety and protection and supplies (I can’t grow my own coffee. So – yeah, I think I’m going to need a city to live in.) And, frankly, there’s just not enough space for us to never come in contact with another human.

But believe me, it takes it to a whole other level when I have to lean on someone’s arm to walk across the room.

I’ve been so humbled and so deeply happy this week as people have showed up on my doorstep with food and love. They’ve totally ignored the fact that my hair is sticking up in all directions and that I’m decked out in a giant sweatshirt and leggings. I’ve been the worst hostess ever. “Hey everyone, my kitchen is there. Um, have at it.”  My friends are beautiful.

And so… just to put this out in the world in the middle of a really truly terrible week – not everything is terrible. There’s a whole list of things I’m crazy grateful for. (For the start – see above!)  There are lovely things in the world, in the middle of it all.

And I can’t wait to get back to my normal life! 

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What Do You Do When You’re Scared? You Run…

It’s been a crazy few weeks around here in my non-blogging life.

First – lots going on at work.  (I’m in love. Seriously.)

Then – the Boston bombings hit, and everything I had lined up to publish seemed completely irrelevant.  Then – there was that minor detour into the hospital (where I’m actually still at… but that’s another story.)

So – my whole life lately has been one crazy exercise in directly facing my fears.  A year or so ago, I heard the best idea of my life – every day, you have to do one thing that scares you.  I really wish I would have paid attention to where I read that or who told me to give it a try, because it’s completely revolutionized my entire life.  It doesn’t have to be something big and grand – like jumping out of a plane when you’re afraid of heights.  It can be something small but somehow more emotionally terrifying.  Some days, I’ve introduced myself to a new friend.  Some days I’ve reached out to people I greatly admire in their careers  and asked if we can meet for coffee so I can pick their brains and learn how they do what they do.  Some days I’ve turned off my phone for my own personal sanity.  (What if the world needs me??? AHHHHHH!!!!  But you know what?  The world goes on without me.  It’s a bit crazy.)

you run!
my ugly but well-loved shoes…

Confession time.

I run.  I actually really don’t love to run at all.  I’m not one of these amazing runners who bounds ouf of bed in the morning looking forward to a run.  I have to force myself to go out 3 or 4 mornings a week.  Once I’m out, running in the sunrise, it’s actually really beautiful.  And I love how I feel when i get home.  But excuses are easy to find and hard to combat.

So, Wednesday morning, I got out of bed.  Repeated my running mantra – Get outside right now.  Right now.  No excuses – over and over until I got ready. I cued up my music (current favorite – Young Guns’ 2012 album Bones) and took one step outside.  My heart twinged – and the thought crossed my mind.  Boston.  Am I really going to run a marathon now?  

I realized – if I wanted it – I had a solid reason to never run again.

But a life lived in fear is no real life.  For everyone affected in any way by Boston – the last thing I’d want to do is taint their legacy by saying, “Yeah, I’m afraid now.”  You just have to keep running.

So – in life, I have a new mantra.

What do you do when you’re afraid?   You run… run hard… run fast.

You run for everyone else who can’t run.  You carry people along with you.  You remind each other that today is not forever.  That we are not alone in this messy, beautiful, scary life.  There’s an old song I grew up singing that keeps reminding us all… “Sorrow may last for the night.  But joy comes in the morning.”

You run towards that joy.

As Jerry Sittser says in A Grace Disguised – “The quickest way for anyone to reach the sun and the light of day is not to run west, chasing after the setting sun, but to head east, plunging into the darkness until one comes to the sunrise.”

So what do you do when you’re afraid?  You run… 

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The Other Hours of My Day

other hours of my day

Do you know the world goes on, even when you sleep?  That the soft light of the morning will come without any help from you?  That the fog rolls in and rolls out without any word from you?  Do you know?  

I write for a living.  It’s my job. My career path.  My life.  I love it. Like – I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love it.   Like crazy, goofy, hearts and flowers – I love it.

Writing is also what I do for fun.  There is nothing I love more in the world than the amazing rush of landing on an idea – the right idea – for a story and running with it.    I blog.  I write letters to friends.  I write my blog as a letter for friends I haven’t even met yet (hello!)   I write songs. Poems. I write my own tv pilots and feature scripts. (I have a dream of winning the Booker Prize or a Pulitzer one day – but I guess I’ll probably have to write a novel at some point if it’s ever going to happen.  I should get on that.)  I write funny post-it notes that I leave for Luke in the most random places.  I dream in stories. I buy fun pens and brightly colored paper.  Sometimes I write with skinny crayola markers because at the end of the day – even if I have absolutely nothing storywise, at least it looks pretty.

I heart words. 

But somehow – it turns out that I am not Superwoman. (*sniff*)  For whatever reason – we’re fragile little human creatures, and we have to rest and recharge otherwise we will fritz out and not be able to think straight.  And that is never a pretty sight.  Trust me on that one.

When I get there, it becomes this horrible spiral of diminishing returns where the longer I go without actually letting my brain chill out for a second, the worse my work gets.  Boo.

I always say i’m going to rest, and then I never do. 

There’s a whole world out there to explore!   But apparently – the world goes on – even when I take an afternoon to dream and be with friends and family.  And in a very general sense, just be.  It’s humbling.

I am not as important to the world as a whole as I’d like to imagine that I am.  🙂

Rest is a gift. 

I also have a tendency to “rest” by reading a new novel for research or by watching a new tv show and taking notes to learn from the best writers in the biz.  In theory – I’m not writing.  But my brain is still in ‘input’ mode, spinning off into new story ideas and new paths.  All good things – until I walk in my front door and can’t remember which direction my kitchen is because my brain is so bedraggled that I can barely recite my ABC’s.

It’s like Bilbo Baggins says in Lord of the Rings.  ”I feel old. Thin. Like butter scraped across too much bread.”

I so get that.

So I have to find time in my day to do things that have nothing to do with writing and stories.   Sounds simple enough.  But it’s taken me forever and a day to realize that it’s actually necessary.  Trying to live my life in a way that proclaims to the world – I DO NOT NEED REST! – is actually a really horrific way to live.  My soul will die.  My body will get exhausted.  And I stop creating space for others to rest as well.  (Well, if I don’t need rest, surely you don’t either…  It’s an ugly spiral, arrogance at its very worst. Sigh.  That sucks.)

Rest is allowed. 

I know.  It’s like a miracle. But – in my head, it also sounds like someone’s trying to convince me that the sky is green and that the earth actually has six moons.  Say what now?  That can’t actually be true. 

And so – my amazing blogging people, help me out here.

 What do I do with the other hours in my day?  

What do you do with the other hours in your day?   What refreshes your soul?  What recharges you?  What do you love to do?  How do you rest?

I want to be inspired by your awesomeness.

xo

Lynn

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