There are many, many mornings when I don’t care to seize the day. I would rather seize the alarm clock and throw it across the room, curl up again in the cozy comforter and take an early morning nap, or spend the entire day lost in a book. These are the moments when I feel strongly that productivity is overrated.
Then, I am inspired.
Most often I am inspired by people I know and respect: people who are making things happen and making a difference. They are engaged with others and are focused on making a positive difference in someone else’s life.
This past week has been interesting, to say the least. It came with a broad range of emotions, from unspeakable sadness to the bright light of renewed optimism. I have been inspired by many friends this week: some friends who have faced terrible losses, others who are literally facing battles for their lives due to illness, and still others who may be seeking employment. In the midst of all of this, we returned our youngest to college leaving us once again with a very low-energy home life.
Then, out of the blue, I received an email from someone I don’t know that has proved to be very affirming. It was sincerely one of those “aha!” moments. I felt like delivering Sally Field’s now famous line from her 1984 Best Actress Oscar win: “You like me!”
I don’t know why it is that some of us have bouts with low self-esteem. I am one of those people. Make no mistake; there are countless days when I am sincerely on top of my game, confident in my abilities, and assertive in all the right ways. Then there are other days when the dark gray cloud overhead just won’t seem to lift and it is sucking me in to its all-is-wrong-with-the-world funk. Everything is subject to second guessing.
So why, then, should a single email from someone I have never met bring me an extraordinary lift from this gray gorge of gloom? Because it is a reminder that the steps I have taken have been worthwhile to others. It has allowed me to look at myself through less critical eyes, and to understand that some people see me as strong, capable, and helpful. I can be all of those things, but I need to work at it. Daily.
And it is in that moment that I can look at the inspiring lives of my friends and family and say thank you. Thank you for showing me how you move forward, sometimes in the face of real gloom. Thanks to my daughters for demonstrating purposefulness at an early age. Thank you to my friends for showing me that inside my own head is sometimes the worst place to curl up, and it is far better to face the real challenges of the day. I am inspired by your grace under pressure, your purposeful interaction with others, and your faith. Thank you for setting wonderful examples for so many people, including me.
Now let’s go seize that day, together.