I think I dare to dream and explore ideas/ideals more in March because it's my birth month, and I'm a Pisces. It's also sometimes been a period of depression for me, perhaps because I didn't dare to dream and explore ideas/ideals more.
So, the following are some ideas from the early days of March. If some topics don't interest you, keep scanning, because the list is wide-ranging:
-- You don't have to be a star to be a success, but you probably need some kind of success to be a star. This thought was prompted by the announcement of the newest slate of inductees to the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, plus the results of several competitions of various stature, ranging from the Oscars to monthly newsroom honors to basketball conference races and tournaments.
-- You can be your best and not be the winner. It may sometimes seem that if you do your best and it's not enough to win, then somehow it must not have been your best or that your best wasn't enough. But if it was your best, how could it not be enough?
-- Shouldn't the same apply to sports teams? Why do fans get so down on their teams if they don't win every game and every championship? The madness that is basketball during March especially brings this to mind.
-- My mom is one neat lady! She knew exactly what to say when I talked to her about a situation that has baffled me. Her response was an affirmation to me, my siblings and my mom! I suppose I'll never be a parent, but there's no reason I can't strive to bring that kind of sensitivity and wisdom to my relationships.
-- My dad is one neat guy! (He's a Pisces, too.) I'm so glad I took the extra time when I made a quick trip to Texas for a nephew's fiancee's shower to go on out to Mom and Dad's farm to see him. He's a good and grateful man -- a living treasure of my life.
-- Lost treasures and missed opportunities continue to haunt me. While walking last weekend after watching my sports team win, I realized I should have been at a funeral. Had I forgotten about it, or did I make a subconscious choice? And thinking of that made me think of other opportunities -- including many funerals -- that I regretted missing after it was too late to change my choice. The reason I didn't go was almost always that I didn't think I had time. Sigh.
-- As for lost treasures, Gene and I have two houses that include rooms filled with unsorted stuff. Dominant among my "stuff" is lots of paper -- newspapers with articles I have written or that I was inspired by; old greeting cards and correspondence; magazines; programs from graduations, church services, weddings, ballgames and more; photographs; sheet music; books. Among these pieces are treasures, but I'd be hard-pressed to find them among the mess. Part of my hope that springs eternal is that someday I will figure out what to do with this stuff and just do it. (Some of my dearest friends have suggested I just get rid of it all, and that could possibly be the answer. More than once after I've read of people losing everything in tornadoes or fires, I've been reminded that it's just stuff. But I still can't let go. And when I try to sort it, I start reading, and I recall why so many of the pieces are precious to me in their own ways. I just don't know how to organize them!)
-- Also regarding lost treasures: I don't have much of true material value, and one reason is that I've learned along the way that no matter how hard I try not to lose things, I do lose things. And I'm just as likely to lose (or break) things of value as things of little value. This seems to especially apply to jewelry and accessories. When I realized I left my cashmere scarf at the theater recently, I felt ashamed and frustrated. Not again! I remembered trying to justify even mentioning that I'd like a cashmere scarf for Christmas, because I know you can get a scarf for much less money, and I know how easy it is for me to lose accessories. Fortunately, I called the theater, they found the scarf and I retrieved it. Maybe I can learn to take care of nice things.
-- I still feel called to be a journalist, someone who documents things in writing. But there remains a wide gulf between the calling and the ability to get it done. I suppose as long as I feel the calling -- the yearning -- I will continue to pursue it.
-- I also feel called to sing, although I don't feel called to take voice lessons. I worked with a vocal coach for a few months many years ago, and it helped greatly. (Hmmmmm. Maybe it's too early to close that door.) In the meantime, I'm reminded of the importance of having a song in my heart daily and the value of letting that song soar when possible (usually while driving, at home when Gene's not here, or at church). For me, singing comes first from the heart. But if I want to have any chance of getting the message from my heart to a listener, I need to practice some discipline to keep my vocal cords and breathing systems healthy.
-- There were times I thought I felt called to be a leader, but experience has taught me that was something I needed to try so I could better relate to the challenges leaders face, even as I attempt to be a good follower. It helped me learn the value of providing encouragement to leaders.
-- The year of 50 was harder than I expected. I remember looking forward to the years of 30 and 40, and they were good years. I don't recall my approach to 50. (OK, I do recall that when I was 49, I often found myself thinking "I'm almost 50." SO, I guess I was obsessed.) I do know that, much to my surprise, I seemed to be aware of every wrinkle, ache, sag, bump, bulge, gray hair, memory lapse and distressing thought in the past year. There were many good moments and days, but many things seemed to require much more effort than should have been needed. That includes the effort of not getting frustrated or losing hope. I have no idea what that was about. But I do know that in the past week, I've felt renewed hope. Maybe the year of 50 was a test. If so, dare I say I think I may have passed? Smile.
-- Action is the antidote to depression. Just do it! I finally went to the eye doctor. I've filed some insurance claims. Every small step helps, although sometimes it seems as if that step just leads to an unexpected, extra step. Keep moving. It will get done. And the cloud will lift. (This doesn't mean a person might not also need an anti-depressant. But even with such a prescription, action also should be part of the therapy, Dr. Patricia says!)
-- Another revelation from the ideas of March: I have trouble with boundaries. I don't know when, where or how to stop, and I'm proving it again. I could just go on and on writing, but I have many tasks that need to be taken care of on this day off from work. This issue is what often keeps me from making a call, starting a conversation, helping with a service project. It's intertwined with priorities and decision-making. I can't decide what to do, so I do nothing. Or I do what's familiar. But I often end up second-guessing myself, and then I feel ashamed. And I still have no idea whether there's any value to the words I'm taking the time to write. But writing seemed to be a priority this morning. And now it seems as if it's time to be done.
So, these are just a few ideas that have come to my mind these early days of March, before I leave the year of 50. I'm grateful to God to express them, for whatever they are worth. I pray that the expression is somehow to God's glory.