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Archive for the ‘It's a mixed bag’ Category

Here’s another writing exercise 

Pretend/imagine I am a goat that has been separated from the rest of my goat community. I’m lost in the wilderness, stumbling around. In my panic I am pricked on the thorn of a honey locust, which contrary to its sweet name, is very nasty. The wound is deep and in my little goat mind, I realize I will probably bleed to death, alone in this wilderness. This realization brings the undeniable need to express myself in the hour of my death.          What are my final words?

Here’s what I’ve come up with:

(my initial reaction to the assignment) Really? I’m a goat? But goats smell so badly and I am absurdly aware of all odors pleasant and particularly those not so. I wonder if I can be something else … something other than a (smelly) goat? (alas – this is not the point of this exercise) Let’s give this a try:

Here as I make myself as comfortable as I can in this harsh, unforgiving wilderness that I am soon to mark as my final resting place, the following (random) thoughts come to mind and heart. Hopefully there will be a few words that make you think, feel and maybe even desire to keep with you.

On my dying day I can say that I tried at life. I am quite proud, actually, of my efforts.

To my kids I say, as I often have, “I looove you, looove you, looove you … ”  You two are the main reasons I tried so hard. Honestly, you gave my life such meaning and purpose. I needed you to see a life well-lived. It certainly was not one filled with world-altering accomplishment. It was not one that received praise, accolades and awards. But it was a life full of love and learning, growing, stretching and reaching. I taught not to be afraid to fail. Those are the most impactful lessons of all. It is humbling to try and to fail. It is even more humbling to try and to succeed. Learn from every moment.

I have lived honestly with myself. In my experience, when I have been alone with my truth was when I most clearly had to accept the reality of my choices and what I had created. To lie to myself was unforgivable. Alone with my truth was my opportunity to learn and grow. My message to you? Own your truth and accept it so you can learn from it.

Okay. So, I’m dying. I’m dying and writing. What do I want you to know? About me? Not so much. But I have lived and observed some and these are the things I want to share during the final moments of my short goat life. (I have always fancied myself an intuitive, insightful goat.)

I’ve learned it truly is better to give than to receive. (Okay – get over the lame expression and listen. I’m dying here and don’t have much time!) Giving is receiving in disguise. To give from a place that is not seeking return is its own reward. No matter how big or small the gesture, the end result for the giver is to always be better for the act.

Our culture is not lacking in kindness and giving. I see it everywhere, because I look for it. The raucous and overbearing engine that is ‘the media’ has chosen to amplify, has overexposed much, if not all of what is wrong in our world. Don’t believe the bad outweighs the good. That is what they want you believe. Goodness, kindness and generosity are all around us and you will find it if you look.

I have lived not long enough if I am going now, though I do not leave with regret. They, those that are my goat community, they know my love for them because I took the time to share myself, my thoughts and my feelings with them when we had the luxury of seemingly endless time. They know the joy they have brought to my heart and how they have enriched my personal experience. Keep it. My love is yours to hold now.

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I’ve always been reluctant to join internet networking sites. Putting my life ‘out there’ has always made me a bit uncomfortable. Besides, who wants to know? If I had a LinkedIn profile, what would it say? “Originator of 2 teenage boys and a mortgage … “

I shudder at the thought of people from anywhere in the world stumbling upon my life and learning more than I would tell them in person. Peeping in, like Tom. Admittedly, I’ve been curious about these sites, too. In some of my more vulnerable moments I’ve anonymously searched for people I know well and those that I barely know at all. Peeping in, like Tom.

Recently and reluctantly, I chose to join Facebook. My brown eyes wide open. I really wanted to know what goes on in there, like it’s a place people go and I just walk by. Apparently I am missing something, yes?

Not surprisingly, I found it rather overwhelming at first. There were so many personal-profile-privacy-settings to look at, check and un-check, post, submit and save. Oy. Then I had to view my profile – to be certain it appeared as promised. Even then …. a little sketchy …

Am I in the minority in these feelings of overexposure by participating like this? My guess is that the level at which one is comfortable with the exposure is closely linked to their age. My kids have Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Xbox … it’s a social norm, for them. Me? I was tickled when I started texting. (I am in love with text!)

On Facebook I have my settings kept between Only Me and Friends. Rarely do I have Friends of Friends set and I think I’d lose sleep if I even considered using the Everyone option. Baby steps.

Eventually, if given a good enough reason, I might loosen my grip – slightly.

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