Our sense of time and timing has such a big say in what we begin. Maybe that’s why, in our culture, the New Year is a time of resolution and resolve.
When we feel like time is starting over, we feel control. We feel that time is plentiful, and we are the masters of parcelling it out. That sense of control makes us dream bigger, more creatively, and more passionately. So instead of excuses we hear ourselves saying “Today is the first day of forever; I think I’ll clean my closets, learn to play piano and plant a rain forest.”
What if every day held the fresh-start potential of the most lucid New Year’s eve? What if we each became our own clockmaker and calendar keeper? What if time was not our censor but our muse? I’m thinking we’d have more piano players and rain forests, for starters.
Everyone is a stARTist on New Years Day! Don’t spend your resolution energy cleaning junk drawers or closets; use it to stART the thing you’ve always wanted to stART – A poem, a painting, a business . . . a run for the presidency.
Here’s to a stARTistic 2016!
When my youngest daughter graduated from high school, I released my first book, Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone: Advice Your Mom Would Give if She Thought You Were Listening.
I did not start a book. I started my daughter’s senior year in high school. I started worrying. I started keeping track of an all-too-relatable back story:
Like so many parents, as I prepared to let my first daughter go off to college, I worried. I could not help but wonder if my values and teachings had made it through the noise of the past 18 years. Did she hear the rules of thumb and the cautionary tales? Were they even relevant? Did she know what she needed to know to take care of herself in this digitized, super-sized world?
Did she know that high fructose corn syrup is bad for you and sitting still in the quiet is good for you?
Did she know to give the elderly and infirm her seat on the bus and not to give money to a crack head?
Did she know how to do her laundry? The bleach splotches on her towels gave me my doubts.
As every mother of a daughter knows, at some point, girls stop listening to us, usually right about the time the important stuff comes into play. It is frightening not knowing which important lessons they heard and which ones ended up on the cutting room floors of their busy, short- attention-span lives.
So after my daughter got settled in her dorm, I sent her a care package in the shape of an e-mail. Subject line: Do your laundry or you’ll die alone.
She read it all. She told me to make it a book. I did. Now Oprah is telling people to read it. Everything stARTs where it stARTs.
Now you can pass on my 270 tidbits of advice to your favorite mom or launching loved one – for graduation or summer break.
Learn more at LaundryorDie.com
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And on Twitter at: @LaundryorDie
And buy the book HERE.
A journal can be a creative playpen, a dreamcatcher or a dumpster. At the very least, journaling is a memory aid – our faulty memories are to blame for most of our lives’ misperceptions and mistakes, and a good journal is a place to check the record.
And it’s a place to talk to ourselves.
A popular quote says we are the sum of the people we know and the books we read. Shouldn’t some of the books we read be our own? Shouldn’t some of the people we know be ourselves at our most contemplative?
I use my journals to record my brightest ideas and my darkest moments . . . my favorite conversations and my private rants. What fun it is to reread these months and years later.
The best Christmas gift my mother ever gave me was a set of colored pencils and a blank journal. I was 45. Like going from black and white to color TV, it was a sensory upgrade of the most dazzling kind. I wonder what I ever did before with merely a black pen and pencils.
One of my favorite artist/writers, Austin Kleon, posted this about how Stevie Nicks journals.