Saturday, July 20, 2013

Twenty Questions, Part I

I spent some time yesterday surfing around online, looking at different things and writing the articles for the next newsletter (issue going out on July 26th), and I stumbled across the most thought provoking article, called "20 Questions That Could Change Your Life."

I'm not sure if these 20 questions will change my life, but after I read the intro to the article, I left it sitting and didn't read the rest. I haven't seen the questions, and I haven't spent time trying to figure out the most politically correct answers or the ones most likely to be accepted by my public. Instead, I'm going to share the twenty questions with you as I finish the article, answering the questions for you as I go.

and then, we'll see if it "changes my life", as the author of article says:
"Asking them today could redirect your life. Answering them every day will transform it."
*insert spooky music here*

Alright, I'm scrolling down the page question by question, so that I don't see any of the questions ahead of time. And the first question is ...

1. What questions should I be asking myself?
This is much more serious than originally thought. As the article writer stated, asking oneself this question "creates an alert, thoughtful mind." It makes you tune in to your life, to who you are, because in searching for questions, you tend to look at the difference between what's right and what's wrong in your life. And then you begin to really ask yourself questions: "What am I doing with my life," or "where is this particular adventure going to take me," or "am I really who I want to be?" Sometimes those are really the most difficult questions, aren't they? For me, if I had to choose one, I'd stick with "Where am I going in life?"

And for the answer to that one, you'll just have to keep up with me to find out.
To do that, you can like me on facebook, follow me on twitter, subscribe to my newsletter mailing list, and of course, follow me right here on the blog.

2. Is this what I want to be doing?
Wow, what a question. You know, if I take this question in my general, happy-go-lucky, always-joking kind of way, I'd say, "No, what I want to be doing is lying on a chaise on a beach somewhere tropical, basking in the sun while sexy, muscular cabana boys bring me cocktails and offer to entertain me in various ways for the duration of my stay." But the truth of it, if I answer the question in a serious way, in a way that's a real as it can possibly be, then I'd say simply, "Yes."

All I've ever wanted to do is write, all I've ever wanted was to write books and make a name for myself. I'm a long way from where I eventually want to be, and I haven't come close to meeting all my writing goals yet, but I love that I've taken this step and that I've pushed to get where I am now. It's been just a few short months since I published my first title, and I've made a lot of progress toward my goals in that short time. 

I'm anxious to get where I'm going, to meet those ultimate goals ... but in the meantime, "Yes, I'm doing exactly what I want to be doing."

3. Why worry?
Honestly, I try not to very often, but we're all human and we all have things in our lives that are wrong. Everyone has some goal that they're trying to reach, something they're afraid of, or some problem they aren't sure how to solve. We all have worries.

But we don't have to give in to it, do we? We can focus on where we are right now, taking little bitty baby steps toward where we want to be, and still be mindfully grateful for what we have and where we are in our lives. Sure, there will always be things that are wrong, but worrying won't make them right. So make a plan, take the steps, and solve the problem ... don't just sit around stressing.

At least, that's the way I try to do it. Mostly.

4. Why do I like {cupcakes} more than {people}?
Okay, in the interest of honesty, who doesn't like cupcakes more than people??
But seriously, for this one, the writer of the article instructs us to replace the bracketed words with things more personally appropriate to our lives, with the first thing being something we do like and the second being something we should like. So then ... hmm. I could change it to, "Why do I like reading more than housework?" or I could change it to, "Why do I like texting more than talking?"

And again, if I tell the real, entire truth here, it doesn't matter what words I put in the brackets. The answer will almost always be "because I'm a procrastinator." I like to do things on my own time, when I "get around to it." And nothing bothers me like feeling rushed, or feeling like I have to do something. I find that even if it's something I inherently love to do, making it something I have to do automatically seems to make it something I don't want to do.

I guess I just really value "freedom of choice" in my daily life, huh?

 5. How do I want the world to be different because I lived in it?
Wow, just when I was getting a little afraid that I wouldn't be able to answer all these, huh? I think it's a hard thing for any of us to grasp the reality of our place in the world. We really do have that kind of power, the kind of power to impact and maybe even change the world. Even our greatest stars and most famous people all started out as children, regular children who ate weird foods and drooled a little and fell down a lot. But look, little Barack Obama grew up to be the first black president of the United States. Little Katie Holmes grew up to be a famous actress, and little Justin Bieber grew up to be ... well, we'll come back to that when he actually grows up, but you get my point.

But we get caught up in that, don't we? We get caught up in thinking, "I'm just one person, I can't change the world, I don't have that kind of power or influence."

But ... Yes, you do.
In your daily life, you interact with men, women, and children who might remember you. They might be left with an impression of a more loving world if you love them. They might be left with an impression of a more accepting world if you accept them. They might be left with an impression of a kinder and more forgiving world if you are kind and forgiving.

You can change the world, and you can have an impact on the world, just by being a good person and touching the people around you. Because as we all know ...



But in a more personal aspect, and to give an honest and personal answer, I think my children are my contribution. If you sit them down and ask them if the world is all sunshine and roses, they'll say no because I have been honest with them and I don't go out of my way to protect them from inevitable disappointment. But if you ask them if their mother loves them, they'll say yes. If you ask them if they are special, they will say yes. If you ask them if they have potential, they will say yes.

None of this seems like anything special or terribly impactful just yet, though, does it? After all, I'm "just" a mom. But these little girls will grow up knowing they can chase (and catch) their dreams, because they will see me chase (and someday catch) mine. They will believe in their own potential because I will encourage that. They will know that even when the world is cold, home is not. And because they are given a sense of safety and future and potential ... who knows what legacy I will leave behind in them?

I don't have to know that answer right now. All I know is that I'm leaving something meaningful in the world, and that's really all that matters to me anyway.

*****
intermission
*****

Wow, what a post, huh?
In the interest of keeping this post from being obnoxiously long,
I'm going to answer more of these 20 questions in a new post, coming soon.

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