For the past week I've been trying to compose a post that encompasses the depth of awesome that is my life right now. I'm using that word in its true meaning. As I said the other night during a Q&A, "I'm having a fantastic year." Just in the last week, I've met three people who have inspired me throughout my life: Patrick McDonnell (creator of the award-winning comic strip Mutts), David Newall (aka "Speedy Delivery" Mr. McFeely, from Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood), and, perhaps most notably, Aaron Sorkin.
I could've blogged about every single one. And I wanted to, but the words didn't seem to come.
Instead, I wanted to blog about what was behind the manifestation of these fortunes: the intention. The things that have come to me this year have all been the result of an intention I set. I visualized (not fantasized--that's a completely different action) my book on bookshelves, being read and enjoyed by people not related to or friendly with me. I visualized shaking hands with Aaron Sorkin, exchanging pleasantries, seeing him not as a star or a hero, but as a writer who is every bit as terrified of the blank page as I am. And meeting Mr. McFeely was the closest I could ever come to meeting Fred Rogers--he was definitely present--and there wasn't an adult there who wasn't as giddy as I was (especially when he brought out the puppets!). Our inner children had been tapped, and we were reminded of how special we are because we are each unique.
This past Saturday, I filled in for Stacey Cochran as MC for the latest Write2Publish event at Quail Ridge Books & Music. I intereviewed award-winning author Steve Cushman, whose latest novel, Heart With Joy, is an endearing tale about connecting to our authentic selves through the things (and people) we love. I ended the event on a cheesy but seemingly appropriate question: "What fills your heart with joy?"
If someone had asked me that question, I would've told them about my friend Larry, who'd called me an hour before the event to tell me about a woman he'd met who lost her spouse, that he told her all about my novel Ordinary World. And he thanked me again for creating Andi.
I would've told them about sitting in It's a Grind or Crema Coffee, breaking off pieces of a chocolate chip muffin or sipping vanilla chai, sometimes hanging out with my friend Susan, working on my latest manuscript.
I would've told them about the 2-hr phone conversation with my sister that passed like 10 minutes. Or the texts from my twin brother that had me in stitches.
I would've told them about driving in my Volkswagon Beetle with the windows down, on a great hair day, Duran Duran blasting away.
I would've told them about seeing Daniel Striped Tiger up close, and waving to him.
I would've told them stories about my grandmother, about my siblings, about their music.
I would've told them about walking on the beach off season on the east end of Long Island, or down Main Street in Sag Harbor.
I would've told them to get The West Wing from Netflix. Or The Big Bang Theory. Or the old Marx Bros. movies.
I would've told them about my writing partner and our discussions about our novel.
I would've told them about the "friends I've never met" (you know who you are!).
I would've told them two words: pop tarts.
I would've told them, quite simply, writing. Even on the days when it's sucking.
I have my bad days, my struggles and insecurities, my wasted time and procrastination, my fears and lost opportunities like everyone else. But I also have gratitude for the good, the bad, and the ugly. It's a blessed life.
What intentions will you set for yourself today? I'm not talking word or calorie counts, to-do lists or goal-setting. I'm talking intention -- the vision of your life in its highest form. And what fills your heart with joy? How can or do you fill it on a daily basis?