I like books. In fact, I have shelves and shelves of them in my house. The problem is, actually reading those books cover to cover….doesn’t really happen.
I’m not much of a fiction fan. Although I did read the Twilight series in a few days time …
Edward in my imagination, MUCH hotter than Robert Pattinson who played him in the movies.
But I digress.
I tend to buy books that inspire something within in me to be better. I like to read a book that will bring joy and hope to my daily life and enlighten my perspective while helping me along in my journey as a parent and as a professional.
So I have stacks and stacks of books. Books like The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, The Best Advice I Ever Got by Katie Couric, Becoming Myself: Reflections of Growing Up Female by Willa Shalit, What I know now: Letters to My Younger Self by: Ellyn Spragins, Getting the Pretty Back by Molly Wringwald and The Balanced Mama by Bria Simpson.
Do you see a pattern in titles here? I’m constantly seeking out guidance in life from those who have many years ahead of me in the game. I love to read the words of others who have found their dreams a reality and made life what they have always hoped it would be.
I also have tons of books on writing and blogging. If there’s a “For Dummies” book – I probably own it, because often times, I feel like one.
This weekend I brought a few titles with me to the beach with the hopes that I would have some time to read. But we had four families which meant nine children under the age of six…
I was lucky I survived let alone reading a book cover to cover.
But, I did manage a few twenty minute snippets of reading time and I chose to read stories from Katie Couric’s book The Best Advice I Ever Got, which is a compilation of successful individuals sharing words of wisdom on success in life. I found myself inspired by most of the entries and I connected with more than a few on a personal level.
For example, George Lopez and I ….we’re kindreds. Who knew!?
We both had our parents abandon us at some point in our lives. It’s something no child should ever have to endure. When both parents choose to leave you, by choice, it leaves a person lacking for something in their lives. George and I share that start in life. In addition to that we share determination to make life better for ourselves.
I only hope I can find my calling in life like he did – because lord knows, I’m not funny. There will be no stand up for this gal.
George’s advice was simple but poignant. He said:
Be bold. Don’t be afraid. Trust your instincts. If you quit, you’ll never find out what could have happened. So be yourself and remember: Fortune favors the bold!
Then there was Anna Quindlen – an author and Pulitzer prize-winning journalist.
Be not afraid. It’s truly the secret of life. Fear is what stunts our growth, narrows our ambition, kills our dreams. So fear not.
These two passages really resonated with me because I often fear the unknown. I don’t shoot for the moon for fear of failure. I have taken the safe road my entire life because I want to avoid pain.
But, I’m working on it because I know that without risk, we often miss out on the great rewards that can bring us the most joy. Whether that is risk in love or in career – you must often throw some caution to the wind.
It’s something I have hope to overcome so I can find myself at a place in life where I feel I am doing exactly what I should be doing. To feel I am contributing not only to the lives of my beautiful and most precious girls, but that I am contributing to others in a positive way. Right now, I enjoy doing that through my writing. I have had the pleasure of writing for a couple of print publications and I have hope to build a place online where I can continue to do so in addition to those print outlets.
I have chosen to stay home with my children. It is the best choice I have ever made. My children get what I never had. They get me, they get unconditional love and commitment to being available to them.
At the same time, it does leave me feeling like something is missing in my life. An element of professional pursuit. So, my writing endeavors feed that part of my soul that wants to know my voice is out there somewhere. It gives me a sense of balance in life. It helps me be a better mother when I foster my interest in writing…because for some reason, scrubbing toilets and doing the laundry just isn’t making it happen for me.
What books are you reading that inspire you? What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? What are you doing to feed your soul on a personal and professional level?
Featured Image adapted with permission: Unsplash/Edu Lauton