Sunday, March 6, 2016

A Multitude of Memoirs

While having a chat with a good friend lately, we started talking about five-word memoirs. She is taking a memoir-writing class and had been instructed, along with her fellow classmates, to come up with her life in five words. As I took a walk later that afternoon, I found I was coming up with a few of my own: "Tough Illnesses. I Am Blessed." "Many Choices. Trusted My Intuition." "Always Trusted That Small Voice." "Amazing Opportunities Made Me Choose." "Swirling Drama. I Sought Joy." The act of trying to tell my story in five words made me keep coming back to the same two themes of learning valuable lessons from my experiences with life-threatening and life-altering illnesses and my reliance on heeding the wisdom of my intuition, even when it seems inexplicable to me. Lately, I've been living out of balance, trying to fulfill three professional obligations that I just couldn't totally walk away from without feeling as if I had taken them to closure. In so doing, I had not been able to exercise regularly. My sleep patterns were off. Time with my husband was cut short most weeknights over a hastily eaten dinner so I could attend an evening meeting. Time to simply be -- by myself, with my husband, with friends -- was in short supply. My attention span for reading, one of my favorite pastimes, was even shorter. Each of my professional obligations was very important to me -- challenging, interesting and growing experiences. But the load was getting heavy as I tried to do each of them to the best of my abilities. Slowly, however, each of those professional obligations is ending, and as they peel away, I am finding myself somewhere underneath, a me that is in need of play. So, perhaps I am writing my new five-word memoir: "Knew When To Pull Back."