Dear friends --
As in past months, I'm highlighting some of the many insightful comments, with a quick post-script. Though this post is tinged with sadness, please read through to the end.
When dreams collide
Socrates famously stated that the unexamined life is not worth living. Thoreau took this a step further when he retreated to the woods to think. (His mother still did his laundry, but the role of women in facilitating famous men's dreams is another subject...) I once apologized to my brother for not writing more frequently. He wittily retorted, "The unexamined life may not be worth living, but the examined life is not lived at all!" As long as you are living things you love, it's better to experience life than to write about it. Elizabeth
I think dreams occasionally morph into something entirely different than what we visualized. Could it be that your current project is a result of the introspection and writing you did on your blog? Barbara Torris
Delegating is very interesting, and often quite productive. I wonder if blogging occasionally could be a good activity for the kids? Lisle
My favorite childhood book, Blueberries for Sal, describes how Little Sal and her mother go blueberry picking and gather blueberries to can for the winter. Little Sal only thinks about eating the blueberries, while her mother thinks about canning the blueberries. Maybe, like Little Sal's mother, you could "can" some blog posts for the "winter," when you know you won't have the time, energy, etc. to write. Janika
Whitney's post-script: Elizabeth's comment set the tone for this entire post; Lisle's post reminded me of the importance of bringing our children along as we dream; Barbara's that as we alternate between living and examining, our doing improves the examining, the examining, the dreaming. And Janika's, I couldn't help but again think of the farmer's market...
When a dream dies
A few things I've learned from my yoga practice: The postures are opportunities to experience levels of intensity and change, and most postures require solid grounding and an open heart. Hmmm...sounds like a wise model for what we are discussing. As we acknowledge our sense of self (our identity, wants, dreams, etc., aka, "grounding") while at the same time, maintain a willingness to accept what comes our way (dreams dying, unexpected life changes, etc., aka, "opening"), we honor two great forces for good -- human will ("I can do "x") and humility (I accept "y"). Janna
Miscarriage is truly a loss! My own experience opened my eyes to the pain of women unable to have what they want and desire above all - to be a Mom. We did have another child after this miscarriage, but the pain I felt then was a learning experience I shall never forget - nor minimize for others. Grieving is so important and cannot be rushed through. Wish I could give you a hug. Elizabeth Raubach
I just finished reading The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. In the book, the author says, "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." Rachael
Whitney's post-script: I was so moved by your empathy. It reminded me how ill-equipped
I am to deal with certain types of loss such as protracted, possibly terminal illness in myself or a loved
one. When others share these experiences with me, I tend to fail
miserably at offering empathy, left noticing that my dear ones are sad, not knowing
what else to say or do. Isn't it true that "when we get experience that we got
that we didn't want", we are finally able to empathize?
Rightsizing our dream: Rebecca Nielsen
I've been thinking about this post quite a bit. I still don't know that I have an application for myself yet. I found my career on the way to my actual dream of becoming a mother. The dream of motherhood was my dream deferred for many, many years. I worked very hard to enjoy my career in the meantime. Now that I am home raising my son, I am having a difficult time deciding how and even if my career has a place in all of this now Still thinking. And I will start my journal again as well. I know that will help me. Great suggestion. Macy Robison
Source: boundto on Etsy
Whitney's post-script: Macy's comment underscores the theme of examining our lives, of telling our stories, of the caring and compassion that is innate to women, made all the more poignant by the story of Stephanie Nielsen (NieNie) you shared with me earlier this week.
Stephanie and her husband Christian were in a plane crash in mid-August. The crash was fatal for the pilot, and left NieNie with 80% of her body burned, her husband 30%. In a post written by Jane, Nie Nie's sister, she wrote, the "blogging world has overwhelmed me and my family. Strangers e-mail the most inspiring words".
Jane then eloquently writes, what sacrifice would you go through personally, to personally affect thousands of lives? Your beauty?