2014: The To Do List
- Read every day (to keep up this librarian gig)
- Pray in a new way every day
- Keep in touch with the people who fill me up with love
- Get cultured! More concerts, festivals, museums, experiences
- Travel to at least five brand new places
- Talk to loved ones about challenging topics even when it makes my heart hurt
- Especially with new adult responsibilities, save time to play
I checked off all of the things on my To Do List from 2013, so I think today might be a good time to set up some new goals. Starting 2014 feeling all kinds of love, hope, and peace.
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living, I want to know what you ache for. It doesn’t interest me how old you are, I want to know if you are willing to risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine. It doesn’t interest me where you live or how rich you are, I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and be sweet to the ones you love. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and truly like the company you keep in the empty moments of your life.
I asked her for a piece of advice. She reached in her purse, pulled out a piece of paper, and handed it to me. It said this:
Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good. Life is too short— enjoy it. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present and the future. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about. If a relationship has to be secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
Take a deep breath, it calms the mind. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else. When it comes time to go after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer. Burn the nice candles, use the nice sheets, wear the nice lingerie, wear the nice clothes. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
Over prepare, then go with the flow. No one is in charge of your happiness but you. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: ‘In five years will this matter?’ Always choose life. Forgive but don’t forget. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time. However good or bad a situation is, it will change. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
If we all threw our problems in a pile and we saw everyone else’s, we’d grab our’s back. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you need. Yield. Friends are the family we choose. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.*
*Some Google sleuthing revealed the author of these tidbits to be Regina Brett: www.reginabrett.com
Everything about this, yes.
Yesterday was an absolute whirlwind consisting of:
-My 8th graders last day of class
-A 13 hr work day
-End of the year student exhibition
-Juried high school and college push pin photo show
-High School Youth Council fundraiser/year end presentation/interactive experience
What made it beautiful:
-Coffee and reassuring hugs from friends and interns
-A scream of “MS. ESSER!!!” when I unexpectedly walk in to the class party and the hugs, tears, thank yous, and heartfelt goodbyes when my 8th graders left for the last time
-Realizing that one of my students might look back at their yearbook in 10 years and be able to read - “You inspire me. Thank you for being part of my first (and best) class ever, Ms. Esser”
-Seeing old volunteers stop by the show to see how the students’ work came out
-Watching the students show off their amazing artwork and poetry to their families and unsuspecting guests
-Being introduced as - the one who made it all happen
-Looking around the gallery and seeing a sea of beautiful and friendly faces of all the lovely people who came to show their love and support
There have been times when I have felt incredibly alone living in San Diego this year. Yesterday was not one of those times. I cannot fully or accurately explain how grateful, proud, loved, amazed, and touched I feel after last night.
I hope everyone has the chance to feel this.