My daughter started reading this book, Life’s Golden Ticket, at Grandma’s house on Christmas day. She continued reading in the car on the way home, and sought out a quiet place and kept reading until she finished it later on that night. She brought it out to me and said “here mom, you have to read this book.”
Those of you who know me well know that I’m not much of a bookworm. If I find a series that I like, it sucks me in and I don’t come out until it’s finished – which doesn’t make me a very productive person! The last series that I read, Left Behind, did just that.
When Catybug suggested I read it, I looked at her face and saw the look. My mother-in-law had read it, my niece read it – they both recommended it as well. There was obviously something about this book that made her dive in and not stop until she’d reached the last page. She’s an avid reader – so that’s not unusual, but she never asks me to share her books with her.
She asked me a few times yesterday if I’d started reading it yet. She even set it on my desk. Then, after dinner, she moved it into the family room and set it on the side table next to “my spot” on the couch.
I picked it up – during an episode of House no less – and started the first chapter. It had me in the first few pages, and when midnight hit lastnight I was surprised that the book was over so soon. In just a few hours, I took a trip to another place with these characters, and I was absorbed and intrigued by the new, different view I had on life and people.
“Hey, listen, sometimes you got to call it like it is. There is no real you versus fake you. No real self versus fake self. You are who you are, wholly and completely. All your emotions and behaviors are a part of who you are now. Unless you accept every aspect of that, you’re lying to yourself. You’re avoiding yourself. Maybe you don’t like parts of who you are, portions of what you just saw, but those are portions and parts of you until you change them. You’ve got to admit that even the bad parts are parts of you. Otherwise, you’ll never change.”
* * * * *
“…you’ve got to stop the cycle. You can’t keep giving this behavior energy. You’ve got to refuse the path of least resistance. You’ve got to put the brakes on this behavior, or your same story of suffering will just keep looping over and over. It’s time you start expressing how you feel and what you want. That will start a new cycle for you. And you can’t just express yourself now and then. You’ve got to do it from now on. You’ve got to start building momentum – then you’ll be unstoppable. Just break the cycle of silence and suffering. Start a new cycle of strength by expressing to the world how you feel and what you want. It’s the only way you’ll ever live the life you want.”
There’s nothing more bold than seeing your life pass before your eyes while you’re reading a 208 page novel.
There’s also nothing better than finishing a book and talking about it with your child, asking them what positive and negative events might shape their present, and how you might address those negative events to better impact their future.
I imagine everyone who reads this book can identify with it. I was faced with the reality that I am not the only person who carries their past forward through behaviors and reactions. That I don’t consider how others pasts have shaped them, how we allow repeated negative impacts to impact us much more definitively than we allow the positive in our lives push us forward with new momentum.
How I wish I could get up on that tightrope and put one foot in front of the other, forging a new path, braving the height for the sake of change.
As the end of 2008 draws near, the timing of this story couldn’t be better. As I finished adding items to my portfolio this morning and finishing a couple of small projects, my mind kept spinning. Where do I want to go? What do I want to do? How can I make a bigger, better contribution to the world?
Now is the time to stop allowing the circumstances of my past to dictate my situation and get to work on becoming the person — the mother, artist and wife — that I want to be. To make that list of changes, to keep it in front of me and be ever mindful of how every action, and reaction, will determine my future.
I am really looking forward to 2009. How about you?