Life is greener……..

grass is greener

Meet Lily. She’s a charmer. Notice she demonstrates that universal perspective–somehow the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence.

It does for me as I pursue a career as a writer, anyway. Observing the professional layouts and intellectual content of my fellow bloggers’ work blows me away. (That’s a compliment to each of you.) I have to be careful that it doesn’t make me feel somehow inadequate. I am, after all, an amateur at this. In addition, I am an amateur whose “central organizing factor” is running on empty. You’ve never heard of central organizing factor? Please, allow me to enlighten you.

We all have very busy lives. We women, in particular, tend to want to be “all things to all people”, and we will knock ourselves out trying. Marriage, parenting, work, homemaking (do we still use that word?) and trying to find time to pursue our passions and dreams depletes our central organizing factor. (I didn’t coin that phrase–a good friend did–but I do love it!). We want to excel at doing it all and look beautiful and serene in the process. If any thing gets left on the back burner, bottom of the list, or, in good Scarlett O’Hara style, left to be thought about tomorrow, it tends to be our stuff. Maybe it’s time at the gym or reading that book that’s been on your nightstand gathering dust or sending an appreciative e-mail to a dear friend. Or, just maybe, it’s developing expertise in the field of our dreams, which for most of us bloggers is writing. And, generally, for me, it seems to be carving out the time to blog and work on that next book.

Some days I just know I am running low on the ability to structure my day. I seem incapable of getting all the things on the to-do list done. I am overwhelmed by the magnitude of my responsibilities. Numerous worries intrude into my consciousness. Those are the days I know my central organizing factor is low. There are too many demands sucking it dry. Suddenly I realize that I am about to fall over the edge into the pit of helplessness and hopelessness. And that’s when I jerk myself up and, giving myself a little pep talk or reality check or scolding, whichever seems most appropriate, I somehow keep on keeping on. At that moment in time, that is the best I can do.

Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

Let me see if I can apply that wisdom to my situation: The art and science (and, yes, this computer stuff is a challenging science for me) of blogging can only be developed by doing. Just dreaming accomplishes nothing. The same applies to writing (and getting published)–just keep working has to be my mantra.

But, more importantly, faith and health and relationships and time to smell the roses are not to be neglected. How will I know to do better unless I spend time with the Lord and His instruction book on living the best possible life? A little dust on the tables won’t matter in the long run. Whether I take care of this body will. And relationships make life worth living. Living in the moment, alert to all of the beauty and love and possibilities that surround us is imperative. And I must remember the words of Edward Everett Hale:

Look up and not down;
look forward and not back;
look out and not in;
and lend a hand.

Lily still hasn’t figured out that grass is grass. She probably never will. Some days I awaken and feel like I can face any challenge. When I don’t feel that way, it’s a clue that I need to refresh that supply of central organizing factor. And, I think the only way to do that is to look up to the Heavenly Father to fill my spiritual cup, look forward to the land of my dreams, and look outside my little corner of life to see where I can lend a hand.

What do you think?

Letter to Phil

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Dear Punxatawney Phil,

What is your problem? Above you see the view out my windows yesterday. Those aren’t diamonds hanging from those trees. And it’s even worse today. This whole seeing your shadow and six more weeks of winter thing is really getting old. I’ve been wondering. Why are you so scared of your shadow? Maybe you’re afraid Peter Pan will come and steal it and whisk you away to Never-Never Land? Well, come on, Peter, because then maybe we could get over this whole groundhog in charge of the weather scenario.

Maybe that’s it. A power thing. You like being the center of attention. After all, every February 2nd it is all about you. The world centers on your little hole and the vagaries of sunshine or no sunshine. It appears to me that even without the sun, all the cameras and lights would probably scare you back into the hole, timid soul that you are. Which brings us back to the whole courage thing. And being scared of a shadow. I can attest to the fact that Arkansas groundhogs are of a stronger mettle. I saw one cross the road last month on a sunny day!

And then one has to wonder about the twelve guys in top hats. Top hats? I Googled you, you know. Their positions read like something out of a fairy tale–Rainmaker, Iceman, Thunder Conductor, Big Chill, Sky Painter? They sound a bit grandiose and delusional. You need to be careful who you keep company with, you know. Especially with your timid personality.

Okay, so I’ve vented. Now just let me say that, since I was scheduled off work and didn’t have to make the hazardous trip to the hospital yesterday or today, snow (or ice) days can be enjoyable. They provide unexpected free time to read blogs and write letters to celebrities like you. Time to drink tea and read a book. Time to make cookies for my grandson. So, maybe I should also say thank you. But just remember, if the power lines go down and there’s no electricity, I am holding you (and all those strange guys in top hats) responsible.

So, have a good six week nap, Phil. I’m off to make tea.