Thursday, January 1, 2015

Yet to Be Written

Happy New Year!

I am hoping that this is the year that I overcome my fear of blank pages.  I've encouraged forced my students to overcome theirs in my Themes in Literature classes, giving each of them a Bare Book in which to work throughout the semester, and intentionally put my own on my desk.  

There are two weeks left in the semester, and that book is still virginally blank.


Yet to Be Written.

 Yesterday, there were dozens of memes and other posters on Facebook proclaiming that "2015 is a blank book, waiting to be written."  I'm sure you've seen them, or similar posts, encouraging reflection and intentionality.

Do I regret that I am currently on Level 690 of Pet Rescue Saga?  Okay, maybe a little.  (And mostly because I used to be further ahead than any of my friends, and now Jennie and Liz have left me in the dust.  I'm pretty darned competitive.)  I suppose I could argue that the time I spent saving those huggable little critters (who, when clicked on in the maze, emit sweet faces and gush hearts), kept me from eating cookies.  Yes.  That's my argument, and I'm sticking to it.

I read an interesting article on intentionality, and how many, (including me), embrace the idea, but never seem to find time to put it fully into practice.  That blank book on my desk is a tangible symbol of someone who is planning to live long instead of living wide.

And before you make a snide comment about the width of my hips, I'd like to remind you about yesterday's encouragement.

Maria Popova, the mastermind behind Brain Pickings, shared this thought about presence in her blog about reflection and intentionality:

Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity. Ours is a culture that measures our worth as human beings by our efficiency, our earnings, our ability to perform this or that. The cult of productivity has its place, but worshipping at its altar daily robs us of the very capacity for joy and wonder that makes life worth living — for, as Annie Dillard memorably put it, “how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”


So yes, it's 2015.  I'm trying something new, and finishing something old.  I'm taking risks, writing in a virginal notebook, and if the handwriting doesn't look perfect, it's because I'm left-handed, distracted, and messy.  And if, generations from now, some great great grandchild of mine looks at that book, at least they'll have tangible evidence of who I was, and know that while I did what I did, I was doing it with presence and intention.

This year I will give the gift of reflection to me -- it started with this blog, and can now expand into the rest of my life.  After all, I'm not getting any younger, I hope not to get any wider, so the only direction to go is deep.

Want to take the plunge with me?