Earlier this week, I posted this picture on facebook and said this:
"2nd revision. 2 day deadline on Saturday. So, I'm giving myself a little time to cry and I'll eat something really bad for me then I guess I'll get to work. There's a lot more red than black on these pages. I'm just sayin'.... "
It's the 2nd revision from my editor at Segullah. (That's still thrilling to say... My Editor. I'm learning to own it, Jen.) My deadline was in 2 days and I was feeling the crunch on top of children's homework, a family wedding and cousins visiting from California with whom I really wanted to spend time.
So I sat at the computer, said a prayer and started to revise. A little later a friend came to the door bearing a gift. A cold, chocolately ice cream gift. A little later in the day, another friend stopped by with a bag of goodies, some of my favorite goodies, involving chocolate and peanut butter.
They both relayed sentiments similar to the many amazing comments on facebook. Beautiful validation and support.
My heart swelled like a sponge soaking in the outpouring of love and friendship I felt from those reaching out to offer encouragement and support, through their words, well wishes and thoughtful gifts. Who am I to deserve any of this?
As I've reflected on this over the weekend, I've learned two things.
#1. I want to be that kind of friend to others. Because it's a big deal and goes a long way to feel so much love. I want to support and encourage friends as they achieve goals and work toward their dreams. I want to be aware of and involved in what my friends, family, spouse and children are doing so I can offer the same love and strength to them with which I have been so blessed.
The problem is I'm sort of a blockhead and I'm just not that aware. Too often I'm not paying attention, I'm wrapped up in myself or just plain distracted. It happens, doesn't it? We want to do something. We're ready and willing, we just don't know who or how. That leads me to #2.
#2. Say Something. Let your friends and family know what you're working on, dreaming about, struggling with. We want to know! (And you may get yummy treats and amazing words of affirmation.) I'm reminded of the book "Mutant Message Down Under" by Marlo Morgan. She writes about the lessons she learned on a walk-about with an aboriginal tribe. At one point, she is trying to describe birthday parties to the tribe and they are clueless. They don't celebrate birthdays.
"If you don't celebrate getting older," I said, "what do you celebrate?"
"Getting better," was the reply. "We celebrate if we are a better, wiser person this year than last. Only you would know, so it is you who tells the others when it is time to have the party."
And later in the book -
"...it is in recognition of the uniqueness and contribution to life. They believe that the purpose for the passage of time is to allow a person to become better, wiser, to express more and more of one's beingness. So if you are a better person this year than last, and only you know that for certain, then you call for the party. Whe you say you are ready, everyone honors that."
I LOVE this concept. Hence, one of the reasons I posted on facebook in the first place. And I'm so grateful to the friends who are joining me in my journey and my celebration.
And for the rest of us knuckleheads, let's all celebrate with each other more often. Just remember, YOU can be the one to tell us when it is time to have the party!