This morning I received an email from Marianne Elliott in which she listed ten things she had learned recently, and challenged me to do the same. I so enjoyed reading her list that I decided I would in fact do one myself, so here it is.
1. Yesterday I learned that I cannot change the behavior of another person by telling them to change. I can, however, refuse to accept behavior that is hurtful to another person and take assertive action to end it within the scope of my authority.
2.Last week I learned that while the Peeps I put in my annual Easter Peeps dessert are not, nor have they ever been sentient beings, the sight of their little eyes floating in the fluff of their melted bodies is sad to me, and for this reason I will probably never make another such dessert.
3. Sugar gives me a terrible headache. It awakens me in the nighttime and won’t let go unless I get up for a while. Part of knowing this is also recognizing my addiction to it and spending some time thinking about what to do about interrupting the cycle of it.
4. Slugs love dog food. Last night I went to check out the snails that were leaving trails in my dogs bowl, and found it full of slugs. In horror I went to dump it out over the fence, and ended up throwing my dogs dish over the fence with it. Instant karma.
5. I love to garden. I used to do it, and I quit in the past fifteen years and forgot how much I love it. But now that I have a house with landscaped flower beds, I am finding a sense of calm and joy in planting, replanting and tending to my plants.
6. The fact that I never managed to marry anyone I could stay married to for the long haul may not be due to a lacking on my part as much as my situational placement in the time in which I came of age. And I need to get over it.
7. Singing makes everything better. It cleans out the cobwebs deep inside you as well as crying does, but in a much neater way. I didn’t just learn this. I’ve known it for a long time, actually. Singing in the car is especially good.
8. I have a visceral need to make things of beautiful colors. It doesn’t matter what it is as much as it matters that I do it. Draw, collage, mosaic, quilts…it’s the physical manipulation of color that opens my senses. When I quit for a while the time always returns in which I’m driven to create something. That is happening right now.
9. Writing is hard. It’s really hard, and I want people to read it and I don’t want them to read it. Writing for others to read is an act of faith, in which I have to believe that I won’t be judged harshly for what I say. Or that if I am I will be secure enough in my truth that it won’t matter to me. And people are usually very kind.
10. Watching a baby grow and learn to do all the things we’ve all learned to do is like watching a daily miracle. They learn so much every single day, it fills my heart every time I see a new movement that she couldn’t do yesterday.
Thanks to Marianne for the idea to write this list, even though you will probably never see it. Now how about you who have read mine going off and writing one of your own? It’s a satisfying exercise and who can resist a list? Yeah. Not me!