Let me preface this by saying – for better or worse, good or bad – my Girlchild is one of the people who knows me best.  She, probably more than anyone, has seen me at my lowest and most unhappy with myself.  She’s seen more of my self-loathing and sadness than I’d like….  But perhaps it’s okay for me to be my absolute self with my kids and steps now that they’re adults…?  They are some of my favorite people afterall.  So….  Maybe?  

               Goodness.  I hope so.

“Momma.  You need to focus a little more on yourself sometime….”

These words from the Girlchild several months ago stopped me mid-step.

“What do you mean,  Babe?”

“You’re doing so much for so many so much of the time.  You need to take some time for YOU.  Sure, your people, your causes and your passions deserve you and your attention…but YOU deserve your attention too…”

…and then a few weeks later. 

“What you should do is get a pretty notebook and write in it to remind yourself of you.”

And a few weeks after that – “Have you chosen your notebook yet, Momma?”

And finally, on the occasion of my 50th birthday, the gift that brought on the ugly cry.

A notebook.   Perfect in size.  Turquoise in color. With a sparkly silver band.  Just right for me and this mission…

But that’s not the reason for the ugly cry.  This is:

At the top of each page, a guiding question or sentence stem.

She started with the hardest:  “I love myself because….”

It stalled me for days…. but because I love her, I started to write.

Today’s prompt:  “I love my job because…”

                Yes!  An easy one!

I’ve got several pages of easy ones ahead.  Reasons why I love the many things that I love about my life.

Then comes the favorite memories section….including family members near and far…and I cry at the very thought of what I’ll say.

It gets hard again.  “I help myself by…”

And on and on and on it goes.  Swinging from easy prompts that make my heart sing, to challenges that make my breath catch in my throat.

I’ve only just begun this odyssey into directed reflection, but already I can see her genius and wisdom.

           Goodness, that girl is smart.

She’s leading me to the edge and urging me to take the next step.

In my office hangs a plaque signed by so many of my beloved school family — “Oh, but my darling.  What if you fly.”

Words to take to heart.

And thoughts to mull and muse and scribe.

Writing it down makes it real.

Pen to paper.   Heart to hand.  

Oh, how the student has become the teacher.

And oh, how my soul does sing….