My story is one of high and low energy. I rarely have a day that I steadily plod through, getting things done in an orderly fashion. Instead, I am either the Tazmanian devil, going through my day like a whirling dervish of accomplishment, or I am a sloth, sitting on the couch, popping conveniently placed food items into my mouth.
Every time management class I’ve ever attended makes me feel like a complete failure. I walk out after a day of mental self-flagellation, carrying my leather binder which I promptly misplace.
We need to stop trying to be somebody else . . .
I am reading a biography of the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, who received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923. As I read “Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay” by Nancy Milford, I noticed that Edna would have been kicked out of a Franklin-Covey class.
She went on European trips that lasted months where she wrote very little. She borrowed money and barely made it financially. Then she won the Pulitzer Prize.
She nursed illnesses during which little was accomplished. Then she wrote more sonnets in a month than most poets can write in a lifetime.
She created when the spirit moved her, or when she had another lover, whichever came first. . .
I like Edna. She was a woman who lived her life without apology. She walked along the edge, writing risque verse like “First Fig:”
My candle burns at both ends;It will not last the night;But ah. my foes, and oh, my friends–It gives a lovely light!
So, I’m not going to try and be Edna . . .
In college, I would have decided to become Edna. I would have worn pants, been bawdy, and written edgy poetry. Wait, I did do that in college.
Regardless, I have spent too many years asking people what they think of my hair or my writing or my boyfriend or my house or my time management skills. My poetry has been less like Edna and more like this:
My candle burns at both ends;I live with all my might;But ah, my family and oh, my friends—Did I do it right?
Life could just be as simple as remembering our assignment.
Maybe angels whispered in our infant ear to “Go be an incredibly successful teacher, changing the world by touching young lives.”
Or perhaps we heard the quiet command, “Go into the world and be a plumber who fixes problems that overwhelm home owners. And show them your crack to make them laugh.”
I think I heard, “Go into the world, and be a whirling dervish and a quiet mouse. Write like the wind and then be quiet.
Teach others, inspire them, then refuel.
You will, at times, be inappropriate and will need to apologize. You will find that eating is one of your great joys, and your chubby little body will reflect that love. Love that body. Love your inappropriate humor.
Because I do.”