I know it’s been a while, but I wanted to give myself some space and give you a “Donna-break.” My mother used to say that was a requirement for anyone who interacted with me. But now I’m back, and like many of you have taken time to look at my life, to ponder, to journey inward and see what’s going on in there. So, I went spelunking into my unconscious and couldn’t hear a thing because I kept talking.
Then God blessed me (and my family) with laryngitis for two weeks, and silence was impossible to avoid. During the silence, I discovered a few things:
- Creativity is a gift we all need to revive.
- Happy “Gnu” year is a play on a group my friends, freshman year of college, created. We didn’t like the exclusivity of sororities. We certainly were not going to endure the hazing. So we created a group of our own with the Gnu (see photo) as our mascot. We had no rules. We carried luggage to the cafeteria one evening for no reason at all. But it was creative and fun and represented that side of me which still refuses to conform. I remembered the creativity of my Gnu years, and found that self still exists under the years of banking, insurance, and consulting positions. She is a little pale and sensitive to the sun, but I’m bringing her back.
- The “who” beats the “what” every time.
- I’ve looked too hard for the “what” and completely missed the “who.” I guess you could say I was looking for the Gnu Who, the little blonde haired, blue-eyed girl who talked to people who weren’t there, apologized to toilet paper before using it, and believed in fairies. I have been so focused on my intellect, I forgot to feed my soul. The part of me that believes in things not fully seen. So I am going to do more intuiting and less rationalizing.
- Ego is loud.
- It screams “you’re not as good as that person” or “you should be doing more” or “you are the best and should be the winner.” It chatters all the day long. I started to let its rant pass by, and recognized that the people I have admired most in my life were those who served others, who didn’t concern themselves with being the best in the external world. They simply worked at being the best at compassion, and laughter, and loving.
- Silence is underrated.
- During my days of strained vocals (my son swears I never quit talking, they just had the gift of not hearing me half the time), I realized that listening to others is a gift. You forget that some people are subtly funny because you’ve been so busy jumping in to be hilarious yourself. You forget that music is a beautiful message that requires an attentive ear. And you forget that within the silence is the sound of universal wisdom. It’s where God whispers. I also realized how much I miss you, and my writing, and this channel that allows me to get quiet.
This year I hope you find your inner Gnu, and give her some sustenance. She deserves a little light.
Happy Gnu Year!