I knew it was coming in the mail. A hand-made gift by my talented and dear friend Carol but until I opened the mailbox and saw the package wedged in-between all the bills and junk mail, it didn’t feel real.
After all, why should I be the recipient of such a touching act of kindness?
What exactly had I done to deserve this? Let’s see…hmm...ah…well….
O.k. absolutely nothing. Not really.
Despite the fact that Carol had written this post explaining her gracious gift to me the truth is, I felt like I’d done nothing to deserve such a kind gesture.
Did I say kind? What I meant to say was that she mailed me an incredibly beautiful, hand-crafted journal that was THE most perfect gift for me. Ever.
If you write. If you blog. If you dream of publishing something that feels like a tender-baby-bird- piece of your heart on paper
If you love opening up an old book and closing your eyes while you inhale the rich, musky scent of paper… If you love the sensation of losing hours of your life while you languish inside a delicious book
you will love this gift.
If you love running your fingers over tattered, cloth-bound book covers because of the strange sensation of time travel .. If you love discovering quirky used-bookstores while you’re supposed to be looking for street signs
you will love this gift.
If you love the torturous, slow-drip brain freeze that is commonly called writer’s block because sooner or later it leads to that exhilarating moment of break-though or,
If the idea of having free time for writing gets you drunk with excitement
If you can relate to any of these book-induced moments you are my friend.
And you will love my new gift.
Look inside, isn’t it a work of art?
Not only did Carol painstakingly put together a journal for me to write in…she added sweet nudges of encouragement. Words that made me smile and feel hopeful about someday finishing my personal collection of stories.
Carol actually remembered that I had posted about my grandfather’s typewriter and she included this symbolic tag inside. What a thoughtful touch!
He was the person who encouraged my love of reading and books. And I keep his typewriter in my office today.
Writing in a journal or notebook helps me appreciate the smallest details of my life.
Joan Didion is a notebook devotee and some of her writing has brought me to my knees. Especially THIS book.
Click here to read: Joan Didion on keeping a notebook.
Here’s one of my favorite tags.
Everything happens for a reason. I love how these words evoke a certain peacefulness about the ebb and flow of our lives.
Someone recently left a comment on one of my posts about how she felt sad when she thought about the person she used to be. And when I read her comment I wanted to reach through the computer screen and hold her hand. I wanted to offer her a cup of coffee and sit down and listen to her long enough to understand her sadness.
Because sadness deserves that kind of attention.
And I wanted to share with her that when I look back at the woman I was in my twenties I shake my head too; I remember painful struggles when I was desperately trying to carve out my own identity against a tidal wave of resistance. And I wanted to tell her how different I feel today from the young woman I was back then…
Would it make her feel better to know that I made a truckload of mistakes along the way?
Except now I wonder. Were they “mistakes,” or were they simply signposts on the-road-to-ME? Aren’t mistakes really just decisions that end up helping us figure out who we are and what we want in life?
I think we have to embrace our past—and love all the messy parts too---because
whatever we’ve experienced so far…. has shaped us into the person that we are.
By the way, did you know it took Mark Twain thirty five years to complete his autobiography? He also had thirty to forty “false starts” with his writing before he finally completed his book but what I love most about Mark Twain is what his persistence teaches us.
Never give up on your dream. With hard work good things will happen.
After all my years in the eating disorder field, I think this might be my life motto:
How did Carol know?
Anne Lamott has a chapter on perfectionism in her book Bird by Bird which every aspiring writer should read. That book is my writer’s bible, I love it and I have a mad crush on Anne Lamott too.
If you don’t know how funny and wise and cool she is click HERE to read her commencement speech at UC Berkeley. It’s just her being her.
But grab a cup of tea or coffee first so you can enjoy it.
In the meantime let’s look at Carol’s work.
Even this. Is perfect.
I married a man who makes me laugh every day and luckily humor has become part of the air we breath in our house. I think I used to be much more of a serious person. But living with someone who has the capacity to see the funny in the mundane literally transforms your perspective on life.
Do you know what I mean?
at all the details
and the time that Carol took.
I’m just so incredibly grateful and touched that she did this for me.
Just looking at this little journal makes me so happy.
If you liked this post please take a moment to stop by Carol’s blog and tell her. It would be so nice of you.
Now tell me …
have you fallen in love with any moments lately?
I’m linking this post up with these friends please stop by: