Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pushing Yourself

In life, it is so easy to seek the quiet comfort of what is known and familiar.  As we age, we find our sweet spots: at work, in our relationships, in our marriages, and as parents.  We know what works for us and what doesn't, and seeking the path of least resistance, we tend towards What We Know.  As we garner praise and encouragment in the areas where we excel, it becomes ever easier to turn our backs on the new and the different.  This is the stuff of success, of focus, and of routines which enable us to stay grounded and move forward.  It is also the stuff of ruts.  There are but a few letters separating routine from rut, and this is no mistake, I feel.  When we feel the most entrenched in what is comfortable, this is the time to break out and try something new.  This is what wakes up the soul and makes us vital.  This is the stuff of the adrenaline and exhiliration which keep us feeling alive!

Today, I want to honor my amazing mother who, at 63, keeps pushing herself into ever new adventures.  She's always been a writer, but only very recently started writing poetry.  She took on this new hobby with a passion, enrolling in a class, writing constantly, and studying every type of poem from pantoums to Sapphic odes.  She brought down the house at my sister's wedding last summer when she read the most gorgeous love poem that she wrote for my sister and her new husband.  She literally took my breath away that night; I was choking back tears.  Tonight, she is taking a huge leap, and reading publicy at a special Beat Night at a local bar.  She was invited to be a featured reader after reading one poem at an open mic there, and this evening she'll be sharing 7 poems, backed up by a band.  I am so proud of her, but more than that, I am inspired by her.  I hope that when I'm 63, I'm strong enough and fearless enough to embrace a new pursuit, one that takes me out of my comfort zone, with this much courage and zeal.  While it is anxiety-producing to dive into the unknown, the sense of accomplishment and victory on the other side are so very sweet.  I can see the anticipation and the nerves washing alternately across her face this morning, and I can't wait to see the pride and relief she'll certainly glow with over our celebratory martinis tonight.

Mom, your fearlessness is epic.  You are a role model for us young women, standing on the cusp of a time in life where it is easy to fall into the routine/rut cycle, and forget the things we want to try, we need to try, we must try to keep ourselves in the game.  I'll always be a gamer because of you, and I love you for it. 
When not writing, my mom makes these cool cairns all around their property.  Love 'em.


  1. Beautifully put, Jane. An inspiration to the dreamer in all of us. You go, mama(s)!!!!

  2. Looks like Mary's gift of writing was passed on.
    So proud of both of you.
    Go Mary!!! xoxo

  3. what a great post jane. you too have a way with words. thanks for sharing your mom's courage and adventurous spirit for the unknown!
    kari wharton moulian