Thursday 29 January 2009

national me day

So tomorrow is my birthday.

And I love my birthday. I've always loved my birthday. Maybe because being the youngest of 5 kids it was the day I got to pick out my supper menu and my cake and sit at the head of the table and drink milk out of a wine glass and have my family bring me presents. And it is not all that different today. Except the milk part.

I mean, for my 30th birthday, the theme was All About Carol. I am not shy about asking for the attention I love and thrive in. I've always been really fortunate and lucky to have people who remind me that I am important in their world.

I know it sounds 1% weird, but it feels like a secret holiday for me. National Carol Day. You walk around knowing that it is YOUR day. And the shop keeper doesn't know -- or the lady at the bus stop. Over the years I have taken a bit more responsibility in making sure I like my birthday day. Planning things I want to do. Creating the day I want to have. Because face it, birthdays can be weird. You want people to remember. And you also don't want to make it a Big Deal. Very tricky place. I mean, you WANT people to want to celebrate your own national holiday and all and yet you don't want to ask them ... "please be happy I was born and tell me today."

And honestly, when it is other people's birthdays even if you really really like the people, it is never as big of a deal as when it is YOUR birthday. I like to remember the day and wish them a happy one, and all. And I hope it makes them feel like I am glad they were born. Because I am.

And mostly I am learning that while it is NICE to have other people celebrate you - it is really more important that you celebrate yourself. Hey- you lived another year here on earth -- breathing and living and loving and doing stuff... cool! And it brings your humanity right to the tippy top of your consciousness.

It is a day to feel divinely and scrumptiously human and alive. In your bones you know who you are.

And that calls for cake.

(This was one of those entries I 'wrote in my head' in the small hours. It was way more insightful at 4:30 a.m.)

Monday 19 January 2009

turning a corner

I watched last night's Obama Inaugural Celebration with pride and happiness. Such energy and hope and reality and heart. I loved hearing the messages from history intertwined with the music by today's stars. It was inclusive without being annoying. There was room at the table for everyone. The enthusiasm and outpouring was palatable here in my living room in Glasgow. I had the volume up. I sang along. I clapped. I got teary eyed. Shower the People. Higher Ground. This Land is Made for You and Me.

And I know I fled DC when GW was just entering his second ill-fated term. I escaped. I was GLAD to be out of America. I sometimes felt apologetic for being American here in the UK. ("Honest, no one I KNOW voted for him. Either time!")

And watching last night made all my American pride swell up. Especially in my second home of Washington DC -- where I spent 12 of my confused and major adult formative years. I felt a kin-ship of my people.

And weirdly, so did my UK label born and bred husband.

The road will be long. As President Elect Obama thanked the speakers and performers for reminding us, through song and through words, just what it is that we love about America, I too am reminded.

It may be time to come home soon.

Wednesday 14 January 2009

small hours

I've gotten into a weird (for me) habit of going to bed late. And NOT being able to fall asleep. Usually I read and then turning off the light and taking my glasses off become achievements WAY too hard to tackle and I fall into a deep pit of slumber with the light on and my glasses in my hand. (as I tell myself, "remember not to roll over on these.")

But since the holidays we've been up staying up late and consequently getting up unreasonably and embarrassingly late for a work week. Alarm ignored. No snooze. Just "off" after it blares.

But one of the great things about lying in bed trying to fall asleep or those moments of breaking into consciously when I wake up is that I keep getting these flashes of clarity. Eyes closed. Fuzzy room. Dark and Blankets. But somewhere in my mind, I am emerging.

I know I have been a particularly absent blogger. One of the reasons is that I didn't have much to say or share. And now in those small hours I am finding, nay, COMPOSING brilliant essays and insights for my blog, for my coaching web site, for client sessions. "Ah... so clear - THAT'S what I want to say!" Wonderful to have the grey matter churning out new information!

Except. Here's the rub. I can almost never remember any of it in the light of sober, caffeinated day. It is as if these glimpses of brilliance are fleeting and wispy. I want to recreate those words, those images and I come up with the big thought bubble over my head ... and it is empty.

Yeah I know what you are thinking, and it is just so unlikely that I will wake up enough to write them down. I don't even want to try that. I just want to love the clear moments I am getting. Like when you are tuning an old radio and get a faint sound of music somewhere in the crackles as you turn the knob. I just want to notice them and enjoy them. And see what sense I can make in my waking hours.

And turn up the volume.

Monday 12 January 2009

somewhere over the ...

I was on the phone chatting with Lex this morning and I looked outside my office window to see this beauty.

I am still excited and giddy about seeing rainbows. There were rare and often caused by spilled gas on the driveway when I grew up. Here in the UK, they are more frequent, given all the mini weather systems here and high chances for the on-off rain.

So whenever I see them I still feel really lucky. They feel magical and fleeting. And indeed this one was only out for about 5 minutes. And I got to see it.

I guess it reminds me to keep my eyes open for those glimpses of wonder in everything. Look for the beauty and the magic and I will be more likely to find them.

As I head into a new year with clean pages to fill, I want to remember to look for the Wow/Now moments of awe and look at my life with excitement and appreciation.

The pot of gold can't be far away.