This blog and I have been quiet for a long time. It was a well-needed break. It's not that this blog is a great burden. Compared to how often I wrote during 2007, I barely wrote anything in 2008. But it is one more thing on a long list of places where I put energy outwards. This year has been revolutionary in my life. I have experienced more success and adventure than I can ever remember having. I have built a career in a short period of time and continue to be absolutely astounded that people want to hire me to speak. No matter how well things are going I still have that voice in the back of my head saying "What do you have to say that's unique and important enough that you should request an audience?" I used to be bothered by that voice and labeled it "lack of self-esteem." I suppose that could be accurate but that voice also motivates me to be better, stretch and try new and fresh ideas.
But I digress.
For me, this has been a year of talking, and talking, and talking (and then talking about talking). I reached a point in early December of plain old emptiness. I was talked out. My ideas were getting stale and I needed a reboot. I needed to compensate for all of the output with some input. I wanted to learn for awhile, not teach. I wanted to be quiet, not talk. I wanted to plant seeds, not gather flowers. So I got surgery on my mouth. I needed it and it was one surefire way to make myself stop talking. And even after my mouth healed, I still wanted to be quiet. And I am still not ready for much talking.
While 2008 was amazing, it was also out of balance. This year, I seek balance in my input and output. Don't get me wrong, I hope to speak as much or more than in 2008. Public speaking is my passion. But I also want to listen. I want to take classes and learn new ways of thinking and looking at life. I want to take vacations and stop thinking for awhile. I want to play as much as I work...well, ok. Almost as much.
The lessons of illness inform my life now, as always.
1. There is nothing that can't be declined or canceled. Nothing I do (or don't do) will cause the earth to come to an abrupt halt. Say no when you have to, or even when you just "should."
2. Society tells us that life is about accomplishments. When the dusts settles, accomplishments will not be at your side when you are sick, alone or scared. Creating meaning in your life should never be at the sacrifice of creating meaningful relationships and appreciating love.
3. Live it now because today could be the healthiest day of the rest of your life.
So many people have been overwhelmingly kind to me this year. To all of you who have encouraged me this year, exchanged ideas, read my book or helped me find my place: Thank You.
May 2009 be a year of love, health and dreams coming true for all of us. May those who are suffering find strength and comfort.
May we all learn from what is given to us, no matter how painful or sweet the lesson plan may be.