Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. ~ Dr. Seuss
I like to have a project in the works. Now that I’m working on this banner for the Spanish community church service, I awaken in the morning eager (after I’ve had my coffee) to assess the previous day’s work and to determine what part of it I’ll do today. It’s a joy to watch it unfold. It gives me a goal, albeit short-term, and it engages my artistic bent which is a more dominant force now than it was in the past. Well, I guess the bent was always there but I have more time to devote to it than when I was working and taking care of my children.
I’ve been thinking lately about the wisdom of Dr. Seuss. I believe that he taught us so much more than reading. The Seuss quote above comes from his book The Lorax, 1971. It’s a powerful environmental message. If we had learned it back in ’71 when he wrote it our planet would be in better shape than it is today. I don’t know whether it’s on any academic required-reading lists, but it’s certainly on mine. When I was married to D, I had my very own Lorax (environmental conscience). I’m happy to say he’s better looking than the one you see pictured here on the book cover. 🙂 D was a recycler long before it was the thing to do. He cared “a whole awful lot” and tried to make it better. I thank him for that. He raised my consciousness several levels by being that way. I don’t think he saved any of these beautiful “Truffala Trees” but I’m pretty sure he saved some other kinds.
Two days ago another blogger, lifeandothermisadventures, commented on my post about forgiveness. She mentioned a book that she said was helpful to her. The book was When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron. The same day I went down to my local book shop and found that book and several others by Ms Chodron. I sat down to examine them and determined that I needed the one called Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears. My thinking was that 1) things fell apart quite a long while ago and 2) I still have habits and fears that I don’t want to foster any longer. In the book that I chose there is a chapter entitled “Getting Unstuck.” This title jumped off the page, I think, because my daughter and I had recently been discussing the fact that sometimes we get stuck in our “recovery” and we can’t seem to continue the progress we have achieved up to that point. Old habits feel too comfortable and we are afraid to take that next step. I’m always amazed when the stars seem to align and send me a powerful message. The last star in this alignment was a statement in my morning uplifting message which I read in Spanish. (I read in Spanish to try to keep my language skills up to snuff.) I read that “too often we sit back and wait for others to change instead of taking stock and figuring out how we need to change.” Of course I knew this already but how easily I slide back into my old habits and let my old fears consume me.
In summary, the things I’ve learned are: I am much happier when I have a project. I care a whole awful lot about the environment and about how I treat other people. I can’t change others; I can only change myself and how I react to them. I could probably use more structure in my daily routine. And last, I’m going to Peru in May, 2012! Woo hoo!