Sunday, February 19, 2012

37 from 37

 We inhabit ourselves without valuing ourselves,
unable to see that here, now
this very moment is sacred;
but once it's gone-
its value is incontestable.
-Joyce Carol Oates

I sat at the counter this morning, gripping my coffee, hunched over my iPad digesting the headlines, playing Words with my friends, reading the newest set of emails....blah blah blah.  Out of nowhere I had the most amazing realization and had to jump up and run over to the calendar close up the celebrity newsfeed on my device and open up my Google calendar to double check my calculations.

Today is 37 days from my 37th birthday!  Yes.  I noticed it in time.  It would not have been nearly as cool to come to this realization tomorrow.  37 days from 37.  Nice.

37 has become an important number for me recently.  One of my favorite authors, Patti Digh asks the question, "What would you do if you only had 37 days to live?" 

I have no intention of expiring in 37 days...but what if?  Hard question.  Would I pack up the girls and take them to see the world, with me?  Would I lock myself in a room and try desperately to write down everything I'd ever hoped to tell them someday?  Neither one of those feels much like me.

Inhabit the life I already have.  Yes, that's it.  Fully inhabit the life I have already worked so hard to build.  Not go live someone else's life.  I am going to spend the next 37 days working on living fully in my life. 

37 days.  I can't believe I noticed it today.  Today.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

De-Lurk for Maria

How often do the things we carry keep us from seeing where we are going?

We all have loads to carry, but the trick is to figure out how to wrap your arms around all you have to bear and still move forward.  One year ago this week, my dear friend Maria, added a cancer diagnosis to all she had to carry.  Added a disastrous illness to her already full arms.  Gathered it up among her treasures and her burdens...and kept moving forward.  

So she'll mark a kind of anniversary on Saturday.  Mark the day when the load changed, but not the direction.  And so, because I love her, and so many of you have gotten to know her story...

I would like to propose a week of de-lurking for Maria.  A lurker is a person who reads a blog regularly, quietly, anonymously...but never comments.  Maybe nods knowingly at the computer screen while reading the post of the week.  Laughs to themselves when something tickles them.  But never leaves a comment.  We bloggers writers know you're out there.  Our stat counters tell us you're out there.  But it's nice to hear from you all every once in awhile.

If you've been lurking out there, reading but not commenting...this is your week.  I would like to invite my lurkers to comment, to de-lurk.  For every comment left here by someone who has never commented before, from now until next Saturday the 11th, I will make a small donation to the fund that has grown to more than $700 from the sales of my book and goes directly to Maria who, as long as she is alive, will be in theMiddleBit of a fight for her life.

And, for those of you who have commented before, thank you.  I really appreciate hearing your thoughts.  I'd love to hear from you this week too.  The name of every single person who leaves a comment this week will go into a drawing for a signed copy of my book, theMiddleBit.  I will contact the winner after the drawing on Saturday and make arrangements to send it to you, from me, so you can carry it with you as you move forward.

Thank you all so much for de-lurking last week.  I know my friend was checking in regularly to get a lift from your comments!  I am so grateful.  Another donation to the fund is on it's way to her this week.  In other news...pastrylady, I am trying to contact you.  You were the winner of the book last week.  Send me an email through my blogger profile page and I can make arrangements to send it to you.  Thanks!