I read a lot about writing. Authors like Anne Lamott and Brenda Ueland write brilliantly and honestly about what it’s like to be a writer.
I don’t know that I will ever be a famous writer. For one thing, I have never actually written nor attempted to write a book.
Along these same lines, I am coming to terms with the likelihood that neither a Grammy nor an Olympic medal are in my future. Specifically with regard to the Olympics, I have no sport.
I take that back – that’s not entirely true – I do run a mean eleven minute mile and have been known to attempt the occasional back-bend. It’s not for lack of physical exertion that I will not be an Olympian. Trust that for me, running 5 miles at eleven minutes each is a feat of epic effort and exhaustion.
But the question really is, might I experience a moment of greatness at some point in my remaining years? Yes – there are times when I wonder if my best days are behind me.
I will never forget a moment of personal artistic brilliance that actually WAS recognized by someone other than my mother. It was in fifth grade. There was a contest for who could most creatively design a sign encouraging fellow students to read. The moment I heard this, I knew this was my challenge to lose. The crayons fell to the page with ease and grace and before I knew it there were trees, apples and eyeglass-wearing worms happily reading books. It was titled “Be a Book Worm. Read Books.”
I won First Prize. The Gold Star. A $5.00 bill.
You may be wondering where this is all going so let me bring it home. Facebook is one thing, life is another. A friend of mine wrote me the other day as she struggled through a child rearing, guilty mom moment and she said “can’t wait to see you to pick your brain on how you manage to have a successful career AND be a good mom and wife!!”
And I realized while this may be a picture the honest answer is don’t we all work on these things every day? The best, most helpful conversations, and relationships, I have are those where the Brain Picking results in trials, tribulations, fear, successes and brutal honesty.
Now back to sports, the glory is not just the thrill of victory – it’s that RIGHT alongside the agony of defeat. I learn every day to take the good with the bad, the ups with the downs, the failures with the successes.
And some days all you can do is reach deep into your closet, pull out the dusty box of memorabilia and remember how you felt as a 10 year old accepting a $5.00 bill for what was indeed a brilliant piece of work.