Today is a really big day. It is the day that a friend launches her first book, Mommy Milestones. I met her only two years ago, when her idea was a note pad tucked into her back pack. In two years she has brought this book full term, ready to meet the world. Today is a big while a niece works as an R.N. in her first nursing job. She returned to school earning a second degree to make this a reality. She is brightening her patients and co-workers day with her sweet, competent kindness and compassion. She is an exotic beauty that will add art to their lives.
Today is a really big day. I exchanged texts and baby photos with loved ones before getting out of bed. My heart and eyes smile hearing my son laugh talking with friends. He is safe from a night shift he works diligently. Today is a really big day as I head toward a university campus to perform health screenings. It is an opportunity to meet young people, fresh perspectives and concerns. These students are full of promise.
Later I’ll meet people more life-worn, often of many broken promises. The working poor as they come to have their taxes prepared. Citizens like you and me. It is a big day as I wonder what story or character will touch my heart, spark my imagination or ignite shared laughter. Today is a really big day to be alive, encouraging and grateful. Is today a really big day for you?
January is dubbed International Creativity Month. Whether cultural, cosmic or calendar driven I find this to be true in myself. January holds the promise of a clean slate. The magic of a new calendar, those blank pages and the anticipation of adding the big deal events like, births, weddings, graduations is exciting. Setting goals, updating plans works well while more house bond due winter and its short daylight conditions.
The narcosis of too much food, especially sugar and erratic holiday schedules has lifted. Even if I’m not in full swing the New Year energy of friends and colleagues is contagious. The de-clutter bug is alive and well – an actual epidemic in January according to all the container ads and magazine covers at the grocery check out aisle. I must have gotten a vaccine-a fail proof inoculation that prevents the De-clutter Bug from coming to our house.
I create a flurry of activity filing stacks of receipts by category into envelopes preparing for taxes and official closure of the prior year. This always frustrates me. I begin each year with a file system that I use consistently through March. By June or July I may do some catch up and then in the summer months apparently lose my mind. I develop an aversion, a resentment or simple rebellion. It bothers no one but me.
My creativity challenge is to re-craft my thinking to adjust my behavior regarding household finances and record keeping this year. It may de-clutter only a square foot of physical space but I suspect it will clear a great deal more creative space in my mind. The strategies will include accountability and tasks like scheduling time on my calendar and evaluating my progress.
Consistent Attention is my goal for 2015. A quote to get me started is from Maya Angelou.
“Nothing will work unless you do.”
Readers, I appreciate your feedback and request that your lift me up with good thoughts as I do for you.
I saw a Facebook post about writing to Wounded Warriors at Walter Reed Medical Center before the holidays. My reaction was I CAN do THIS. Later that day I finished some hand crafted cards and wrote half a dozen cards. I invited my husband to join my effort and he wrote a couple. We both felt good about doing this. So I posted a challenge to my FB friends. Robin and Elizabeth took the bait and began writing. Each of us experienced joy and satisfaction from these simple acts.
A few weeks later, one friend and then the other said their notes had been sent back to them as undeliverable. Sure enough ours came back too. Having heard my friends’ disappointment I chose a different reaction. I saved my cards and thought, there’s a Veteran’s hospital in my city. I bet they can use these.
I visited the local VA hospital on my tiny mission and got so much more than a bargained for. A window of time on my schedule opened up unexpectedly giving me just what I needed to accomplish this task. (More about that later) Being a nurse gives me a lot of familiarity with the inside operations of healthcare and removes many barriers experienced by those unfamiliar. I felt certain VA would have a spiritual care program. That was my target.
I was efficiently directed to the chapel and the Chaplain Services office. I briefly explained that I had cards and wondered if they may have a use for them. I was treated graciously and the chaplain explained how they likely could be used. He showed me their chapel and offered more opportunities for service. The chaplain was trying to get a fix on my purpose, motivation, and connection. He became more suspicious when I asked to do a quick video of the two of us. He asked, “How are you connected?” This perplexed me slightly. I replied,” I’m a citizen interested in kindness.” I left with a big smile on my face.
As I said earlier this little side trip revealed many things to me. But for this story on note writing to veterans teaches me four things.
1. Being selfless without attachment to the outcome produces internal joy and can be shared.
2. It’s easy to be moved to act on behalf someone/thing exotic, foreign, or well recognized-
often that same need lies within my midst, in the same city, maybe even right next door.
3. Little adventures can lead to opening senses to endless possibilities and opportunities.
4. No act of kindness is wasted.