Today I want to share a little gift with you, something very personal to me. Thirty years ago, I began putting pen to paper and now fingers to keyboard. I began writing my slice-of-life column, “Incidentally, Iris” and in that time, have shared more than seven hundred columns.
In them I touched on accidents, guilt, ill health, lousy behavior, lousy meals, lousy days. Goals attained and those that fell short. Losses avoided and losses sustained. Honors. Awards. Hard won wisdom. Ruptured relationships. Celebratory milestones.
I wrote about the pain of losing my grandmother to pancreatic cancer at the beginning of first grade. Readers experiencing that same kind of premature loss spoke up.
I wrote about the frustration of my kids always remembering the things I didn’t do and forgetting the many things I actually DID do. And parents who were struggling with their own childrearing issues spoke up.
I wrote about five pounds lost and seven re-gained. About the joys and gulit of retail therapy when having a bad hair day – or any kind of bad day. Of keeping Saturday nights with my husband sacred – a time for just him and me – even though the kids were cranky, the bills piling up and the Formica kitchen counters were sticky with yesterday’s jelly.
In doctor’s waiting rooms, in the bleachers at Little League baseball games and in grocery store lines, strangers approached me – remarking on my ability to mirror their thoughts, fears, goals and aspirations. To be in their kitchens with them, so to speak.
All that time, I thought I was writing columns just about me. It took me a long time to realize I was writing about you too.
Now I want to share something special with you: a visual guide to the fundamental elements you’ve consistently read about.Think of it as a mission statement – a personal manifesto. It’s a document you can return to again and again. This:
The manifesto is my personal gift to you – designed to keep you (and me) balanced and focused and energized as we move through life. It’s how to live what you believe in.
Please feel free to download it by clicking the image or here. Print it out (hey, splurge and click the color key). Post in a conspicuous place. Refer to it often.
- When you are pulled in too many directions too much of the time.
- When you overestimate your powers of concentration, organization, and energy.
- When you profess to embrace the concept of self-care but never seem to make it to the gym.
- Or profess to value the connection and camaraderie of a deep friendship, but never manage to spend any quality time with your buddy.
Remind yourself that not only do you matter, but you have an obligation to use your talents and resources to be the happiest, the wisest and the best you can be. Think of the sweeping changes that would occur if each of us were operating at top capacity. Think of the sweeping changes that would occur if we took better care of ourselves, so we could then take better care of our families, friends, communities and world.
Keep Preserving Your Bloom,