Today at Camp Mighty we had our team lunches, where the group of people we raised money with for Charity: Water got together to read five things from our life lists to the rest of the group. If you, the listener, knew of a way to help the list reader take a step toward one of the items on their list, you spoke up and said so. Do you need 200 pounds of sand for your playground project? Well, there happens to be someone sitting behind you whose best friend’s cousin’s father is the head of Home Depot. Maybe they can help you.
It was a lunch peppered with possibilities like that, as well as inspiration, goofiness, tears, nervousness, and did I say tears? Because I barely began to speak before Oh, The Choked-Upedness.
So since I’ve been so very life list-reluctant, I thought I’d tell you my five things that actually turned into six things.
1. I apologized to everyone for coming in late and missing the first couple of people’s lists because I was busy checking off a list thing of my own: GET A MASSAGE. I plan to do this at least every quarter, but ideally every month of 2012, and possibly longer if I can budget it properly.
2. During my massage, which was a combination of cranio-sacral/energy work, Deb told me that she opened up my throat chakra. Afterward, I asked if she had any advice for keeping my throat chakra open and she chuckled and said, “Well, yeah. Say what you need to say.” As someone who was a very, very angry teenager with a chronic sore throat, and who has been working on this very thing for quite some time, and who also enjoys giving energy workers shit, I then said, “Oh, is that all? I was hoping you could recommend a crystal or something.” Deb then did this thing where she looked left and right, like she wanted to make sure no one else heard her, and then she lowered her voice and said, “I hear turquoise helps. Do you have a turquoise necklace?” No, but I’m on my way to the bead shop, Deb, thanks.
3. Because I want to find other ways to open my throat by connecting my brain and my mouth, the third thing on my list (and which I borrowed from Alice) is to take an improv class. This sounds somewhat terrifying to me, but there’s a grain of a part of me that thinks I might like it, and I believe it will behoove me to honor that grain. Even though Honor the Grain sounds like a book about Thanksgiving starring an anthropomorphized ear of corn. Oh, wait, I actually wrote Honor That Grain, which is more of an exhortation. Honor That Grain! sounds like a silent Micky Mouse short that never got off the drawing board. Which leads me to . . .
4. When I was six I wanted to be either a truck driver or a cartoonist. I have driven some seriously medium-sized trucks, but what I’ve never managed to do is put together a story and drawings. I want to work on the drawing part. I can draw trees and furniture but I want to be able to draw faces and bodies, to really capture expressions and postures in just a few bold strokes. So next year we can all look forward to me posting an awkward series of stick figures with their heads on fire, maybe? Is that enough of a plot?
5. Because Jack and I just had our 15th anniversary, it felt right to include the fact that I’ve been experimenting with The Work, and it’s helping me to loosen up some of my emotional knots, and so one of my most important goals for the next year is simply to forgive my husband* for being who he is. I mean that without a shred of arrogance. To me this means it’s my job to stop projecting my own problems onto Jack and then blaming him for them. I hope that makes sense. Whenever I untangle one of these dumb little long-standing resentments, I feel ten pounds lighter, and I want to feel 1,000 pounds lighter. It’s better for everyone that way. And speaking of better for everyone . . .
* and my parents, and my brothers, and everyone else in the world, including you
6. When my mom was dying, I got to witness the work of hospice nurses, aides, and volunteers over a two-year period, and they are some of the most amazing, beautiful, tuned-in, funny, grounded, and okay-with-life-and-death people I’ve ever met. So my last goal is to take just one tiny step toward volunteering to support a hospice group. One of the midwives who helped me have Jackson is also a hospice worker, which I think is so great — she gets ‘em coming in and going out — and I trust her completely, and it seems like one way to become an amazing, beautiful, tuned-in, funny, grounded, and okay-with-life-and-death person myself is to hang around with people who are already like that, and then go forth in the spirit of total awesomeness.
Tomorrow I will tell you about our Skill Sessions. You might be somewhat jealous.