Great expectations

I was going through my old Christmas magazines (I’ll write more about that later) and came across an interview with Dr. Maya Angelou.   She’s a wise lady.  And she’s able to articulate the wisdom of her years in a way that is eloquent but simple.  She said something I’ve heard before but I guess I’m in a place right now that caused her words to have more force than I would ordinarily grant.  She said, and I’m paraphrasing, that she tries to be better and do better every day.  That she fails 10 times out of 12.  That she forgives herself, asks for forgiveness, and begins again the next day.  It’s such a simple concept, and yet it seems to escape me when I most need the idea.

I toyed with naming this blog ‘good intentions.’  Most of us are filled with them.  What matters is the ability to follow through and the insight to recognize the inability to do so.  At times I am guilty of lacking said insight.  The result is a sort of paralysis on the follow through.  We do so much.  We take on so much.  We strive for so much.  I am a woman with two children and a law practice who enjoys writing and refinishing furniture and nesting in my home and spending time with my family and friends and I could go on.  I want to be my best self in everything I do.  Sometimes I’m not.  When I let it get to me, I find it difficult to move forward.  To continue improving.

I’m not over-committed.  The truth is, there are things outside my ability, and this I forget to accept.  During the holidays especially, the paralysis can take hold in a strong-arm grip and not let go until I either break or shake free.  Either way, it feels like I’ve let down everyone by not living up to my own expectations even when I’m the only one who is let down.  These are my own expectations, and I expect a lot from me.  Now don’t misunderstand.  I don’t expect perfection.  Not even close.   I do expect that I will succeed in all that I undertake.   When I don’t, I struggle to move past the failure.  I dwell without real analysis or self-awareness.  Intellectually, I know I cannot walk a tightrope between two skyscrapers in New York City.  But that fearless self of mine forgets the limits of her universe.

I will do well to remember Dr. Angelou’s words.  Each day is new.  Begin again.  Not an ‘again’ that feels like a hamster on a wheel circling into the same endless rotation without forward motion.  No.  Leave the rope walking to Phillippe Petit.  Ask for forgiveness when I have failed.  Forgive myself when I think I have failed.  Begin again.


Learning to fly

Day 2, and I’m taking this a little too fast I think.  Once I get started on something, though, I don’t like to quit until I get at least a basic understanding of what I’m about.  Today is for figuring out the widgets and categories.  And media.  I want pictures.  I need pictures.  All of this is an effort to work up to my first few real posts:  25 days of Christmas, the mantel installation, and a quick look at my holiday decorating style, with “style” being subject to interpretation.  To get me started, I’m trying to add a few photos to see how it goes.

First is the best-looking turkey I’ve ever cooked.

It was delicious, too.

And here’s the mantel I picked up at what I consider a high-dollar antique and architectural salvage place in Louisville.  I think it was a steal at $125.00.

Multiple layers of paint and creosote.

The installation is complete except the trim work.  That has to wait until after the holidays.  I’m impatient and was driven to begin Christmas decorating immediately after finishing off the second course of Thanksgiving leftovers.  It’s a tradition I don’t mind keeping because I like to begin December with the thought that I can edit and add to the decorations as inclination and time permit.

In the beginning…

Years ago, I could hand-code HTML to design websites for friends and a few brave souls who paid me money.  There was no paypal, so the actual receiving of money took place the old-fashioned way:  a check in the mail.  That experience eventually led to a gig developing a huge recruiting website for one of our military branches.  I left that field more than ten years ago to follow my dream of law school.   Getting back online is not like riding a bike.  Technology and its tools will have changed again when I get up in the morning, and as I approach 45, I’m not so sure I can keep up.  But I’m going to give it a good try.  I have things to say.  Or write.  Whether or not anyone hears, or reads, is irrelevant to me.  I just want this stuff out of my head.

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