Tuesday, July 29
At work, I finally reached out to my friend, Beth, from Fishtrap. I had been meaning to write her since I got back. She had mailed me an invite to a women’s writers weekend at her home in Corvalis in August called geochronicity. I was very excited about this. I am experiencing a continuation of writing community, sharing and development – all affirmations that I’m on the right path.
In the afternoon Carolyn came over with the kids. She showed me her photos from the pre-IPNC wine dinner. She did a great job. I was very excited with her work.
When I left work, I headed over to Target to return some items for work. I talked to my mother and when I parked in the lot, I read three of my poems to her that I submitted for Fishtrap’s Anthology. My mother got a little emotional. It was a kind, affirming, loving support.
When I got home, I went to the gym and ran for thirty minutes. It felt good to work out, to sweat and push myself. I have been inconsistent with my workouts. If I wasn’t working so late at night on my writing, I’d love to wake early and get my workouts over with in the morning.
Back at home, I finished off the gazpacho, again with lump crab meat, corn salsa and cilantro, served with gluten-free cornbread while I read this week’s submissions from my writer’s group.
When I finished, I had ABC on and it was a Primetime Special on Randy Pausch, the incomparable professor and motivational speaker who had written the best selling book The Last Lecture before dying of pancreatic cancer. The show gutted me. I couldn’t stop crying. I took away a couple of key messages from Pausch and his widow. One, he said there are two kinds of people: Tiggers and Eyores. He says with jubilance, I am a Tigger! Through all the pain and agony of one of the deadliest cancers, this inspiring husband and father of three young children, kept his spirits, just like a Tigger, to the very end. Again, I cried my eyes out. He spoke about St. Francis’ Serenity Prayer, which is like my mantra – God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Yeah, more tears from me.
And finally, before Randy had passed on, Diane Sawyer asked his beautiful wife how she managed to get through the pain and trauma of her husband’s terminal illness, and she talked about the moments the negative voices enter her mind and say, “this might be the last time you all go to the ball park; or this might be the last time you all go to Disney”, and her therapist taught her to combat those voices with the mantra: That’s not helping. It’s a simple statement, but it bears so much weight. It can be applied exponentially. I decided I would borrow that statement, that mantra, that I would beat down my own negative voices in the same spirit. And I have many negative voices that like to burst my bubble, bring me down, kick me when I’m down and rub salt on each and every wound, especially when it comes to my writing and to my love life (or lack there of).
I was moved by this man and his wife. I am going to pick up his book and prolong honoring his spirit, taking in, like a good pupil, his last lecture.