It's hard to believe a whole week has gone by without me posting anything! Though I still haven't settled into the new routine of blogging in the evening, I really enjoy meeting you here like this. Perhaps once things calm down with the release of Emrysia: Lament in just a couple of weeks...ach! Who am I kidding? It never lets up!
That's the crux of our modern culture. We go from one thing to the next, rushing through each project or event to tackle the rest of our agenda before we're spent. How often do we really stop and savor a moment, relish it for all it's worth before it's gone? Granted, there's a lot in our day-to-day that may not be to our taste, but even sourness and bitterness have their place. (I must be hungry; I'm starting to think about food!) Just like a good meal - the kind that lasts for hours and is accompanied by pleasant conversation - when we take time to truly experience life, we're more likely to enjoy it. For example, I've been sick a lot this month and admittedly more than a little stressed out about getting everything done. Not really a fun time. But, just as I would when sampling something I didn't really care for, I tried to look for what was good about it. I caught up on some rest. I lost a few pounds. I gave myself permission to slow down for a while and appreciate what a wonderful, caring family I have. The list goes on; you get the picture. I wouldn't turn back time and go through this month again - a little vinegar goes a long way! - but life is more flavorful because of it. And by contrast, how delectable and sweet the days filled with that which we love! I'm planning on trying to enjoy each moment. Hope you'll slow down and savor with me!
Note* I just opened shop! Check out my new store page on this site...and more to come.
Just finished an epic game of Monopoly Jr. with my youngest offspring. Epic because, unlike most often happens when we play a board game, neither one of us ended up so frustrated we wanted to quit. I've never been one to let my kids win easily, wanting instead for them to strive to win on their own merit. Yep, I'm one of those moms, always a lesson in everything.
Today's game was no different, but the lesson was for both of us.
As we both accrued properties and set up ticket booths (Jr. version, remember?) strategic buying placed me in the lead as my daughter's money dwindled to nothing. Then I landed on Uncle Pennybags, the equivalent of Free Parking, and got to pocket the pile of loot from taxes and fees. Looking at my own money laid out in pristine piles of colorful ones, twos, threes, fours and fives, I realized that I had more than enough and could afford to be generous. So I gave my winnings to my favorite charity - the little person sitting directly across from me. It felt good, and the smile on her face was so bright, that on her next turn, when she landed on my Helicopter Ride and still didn't have enough for a ticket (I owned both properties of the same color, so the fee had doubled), I decided that it was half-price day. And on her next turn, the Loop-the-Loop ride was closed for repairs, so of course I couldn't charge her. And so it went for several turns; Merry-go-round, Bumper Cars - all of it out of order until she'd built up her bank account and repurchased a few properties. There were contingencies: she wasn't allowed to pout, or to always expect it (I seemed to have a run of landing on Uncle Pennybags!), and when she could afford to, she had to be generous in turn. And she was.
Why did I give her a handout? I didn't, I explained, it was a hand up. I had so much; why accumulate more just to hoard it? Isn't treasure more spectacular when shared? Giving from my excess didn't impoverish me, it made me feel richer.
We had fun, playing until we got too toasty by the fire, and finally called it a draw, equally prosperous. It was a good reminder that life isn't always fair, but it's so much more enjoyable when we help one another.
A lot of folks are getting pretty squirrel-y about now, myself included. This short month has been longer and colder than any February I can remember, and that's quite a few. Not to complain...okay, yes... I am complaining, not that it does much good. But fact is, this month tests our patience. You look at the calendar and think - "Wow! It's little ol' February; next thing you know it'll be March. Winter is almost over." Then these 28 days take an eternity to play out, even in regular years, let alone this ice age we're currently experiencing. Once spring arrives we'll laugh at ourselves for thinking it would never get here. It always does. Life is like that; the day-to-day drags on interminably, yet we have such a short time on this earth, really we do. The long and short of it is, squirrel-y or no, we must persevere thru to the end in order to see a new beginning.
Now where did I bury my talents?
Gotta admit, I love Lent. The busier and crazier the world gets, the more I need this time to remind me of what is really important. Whether or not you participate in the practice of Lenten penance, giving up something that keeps you from being who you want to be is a good thing. What I want to be is closer to the source. Lent, despite its austerity, is a celebration of what is beautiful, pure and good, and a renewal of our connection to it. Everything else is dust.
For those who missed the big announcement yesterday (which came at the end of the post to see who was paying attention!), Volume Two - Emrysia Lament is scheduled for release one month from today on March 16th. Any guesses why I chose that date?
There are a zillion images one could use to illustrate a belated Valentine, so why goats? I dunno..... why not? Goats are kinda cool - their natural curiosity, the way they can eat almost anything, and those eyes! I've never been kissed by a goat (nuzzled, yes), but I imagine they are affectionate creatures. These two struck me as an old married couple butting heads in that comfortable, confidant way of secure relationships. In a "Yeah, I love you and here's a quick reminder - now, give me space; I've got pellets to chew" kind of way. Not all love has to be gushy and sweet. Whatever kind you celebrate, here's wishing you a Happy Belated St. Valentine's Day. Have a chocolate - or a tin can - on me.
Oops! Sorry, but I already ate all of the chocolates Hubby gave me. Aluminum anyone? No?
Okay, then maybe this will give you something to chew on: The release date for the second Volume of Emrysia is........... March 16th! Now, doesn't that just warm the cockles of your heart?!
I love this image! It reminds me of the swing at my grandparents' house when I was a child. There was just the one - though they had literally dozens of grandkids - and we would all take turns. Usually, someone would sit and pump while another child stood over them adding their effort, the lingering scent of lilac and Sweet William-kissed air rushing by. The chains were long and rusty, hung from towering poles set deep in the ground, and it felt like you were soaring - back-n-forth, back-n-forth - so high you could see over the garage and into the neighbors' fields. Sometimes it took a while to get into the swing of things, and often, just when you did, your turn was up. Just like that.
I'm trying to get into the swing of things again now, adjusting to a new writing schedule, trying to manage the minutia of marketing, keeping a foot firmly planted in the day-to-day of family life. Some days I don't swing very high, and the day is gone before I ever really get started. But the important thing, I guess, is just being willing to climb on, to pump for all I'm worth, and keep aiming for the sky.