I’m reading a small book with a big message given to me as a gift from my last intern, Erin, who worked with me throughout the spring at Carl House. I am currently busy with the day-to-day at Carl House, affording me the opportunity to work with and mentor the young women who grace our establishment. I’m very happy to have the opportunity to do so. They certainly enrich MY life and experience.
I just had a thought….(imagine that)….you might need a mood enhancing soundtrack before reading on with my lengthy post…so if you’d like, scroll below and Earl Klugh will give you the vibe I’m feeling as I write. I’m all about ‘the experience’ and to me it always needs sounds, smell, texture and great visuals, and sometimes snacks & wine!… I digress….(as usual)….
Upon leaving, my intern, Erin, gave me a small book and a fragrant candle, (mood enhancing while I read…I taught her this…ha)!! The book, The Last Lecture, was written by the late Randy Pausch, a professor of Computer Science, Human Computer Interaction and Design at Carnegie Mellon University who died of pancreatic cancer, leaving behind his beautiful wife and three young boys.
I’ve been reading this book of short chapters in bits and spurts, usually before I head off to a day of work. I’m inspired by his journey and reflections as he accessed what he felt was important with the limited time he had left on the earth, and with what was important that he left to others before departing. His book has helped me consider my approach and focus for the day, my intent with the people I come in contact with, (in particular my staff) and why and how I do what I do.
I’ve come to realize while recently reviewing my Executive Chef, the creative and multi-talented Melanie Hanke, that we are alike in our drive to create ‘the new’. I’m working to create opportunities for Melanie to showcase her talent in more creative ways beyond the GREAT work she does at Carl House, to allow her hungry creative wheels to churn, grow and flourish. She needs a big playing field, and I understand this, as so do I. And she needs support for doing this, something else I understand, AND, I also know that I am the one who can provide that!
So, back to my interns for a moment. I understand this Sunday morning two things which are very important to me, (and as I share you might reflect on your own). I love to learn and it’s important that I share what I learn….so there is perhaps a kind of ‘teacher’ drive in me. I love working with young women on the brink of their own discoveries as young adults. They are smart, open, vulnerable and need wise and compassionate direction. I may not be the best model for their very best guidance, but my desire is certainly there and I give what I can. I feel compelled to share with them the things I’ve learned, to give them better guidance than I perhaps had as a young woman of 19 or 20 years old.
Emily is my current intern, bright, eager, beautiful, (especially when she stands up straight) and disciplined. She has an apptitude for business and has demonstrated a keen ability to be a ‘driver’ when given important tasks and has been flexibile and focused in the midst of stressful situations and (positive) change within my business. She is grounded with a very ‘cool’ head. I’m very impressed with her, (and I don’t impress easily). She’s been with me only a few months, (fulltime over the summer) and I’m very proud of the work she has done here and the growth I’ve seen within her.
Our internship program at Carl House is designed so that the intern leaving must bring in new candidates before they depart and train them fully, (part of their job is also to keep our evolving intern manual up to date). I know I will miss Emily though most of all will be eager to see where her journeys take her from here and how her ‘Carl House experience’ assists her as she moves forward into other opportunities.
And now…to the handful of questions Randy Pausche’s book has raised in my head.
If I were to die in a few months, (and who knows, I may…though I’m not feeling that I will….just a hunch…I have an inner sense that I’ve some key things to do here on the planet before I jet off somewhere new)… if I DID only have limited time, what might I do differently??? Or just, what might I do differently here on out….???
Here are some of the questions I find myself asking myself this morning, as the sun pours through my bedroom windows and the crystal sphere which hangs from my large glass doors radiates gorgeous rainbows all over my walls…
1. Have I said the important things to the people I care for…enough?
2. Have I given enough of myself without concerning myself of ‘what’s in it for me?’
3. Did I test myself enough, move into the areas of passion within to make the difference I desire to make?
4. Was I patient and kind enough, to my friends, strangers, my staff, my animals?
5. Did I take good care of me…..doing what I feel is necessary to grow into the sort of human ‘bean’ I want to be.
6. Have I travelled to the many places I want to see, read the books which might expand my thinking and compassion, hungered for the right things?
7. Have I sat and listened enough, to the voices of my ‘higher self,’ the part of me that is so much wiser than the one who scurries about day to day reacting, struggling, wringing my hands with worry?
8. Have I loved enough? Have I put aside my selfish desires to fully love another or others before myself? And have I been both forgiving to others as well as myself? Enough.
9. Did I enjoy the moments I have been given more than spending time on what I WANT from my future?
10. Did I love ME, just as I am, fully, without any apologies, with gratitude, compassion and full acceptance of the unique person that I am?
To all the above….clearly not ENOUGH, though in making my list conscious to myself, I’ll endeavor onward. (and what I’m hearing in my head as I write is, ‘with ease BB darling, with ease’).
In considering my list, I know there is much more doing, being, expressing and certainly dancing and singing I’ve left to do on the planet. Living on purpose is something I realize too at 20 years old, you don’t know so well. I value the people who seem to show up in my life, (seemingly for no particular reason, but I’m smarter than that), as they clearly are adept guides for me….all of them. Some stay with us a lifetime and others for a summer, still others, you just don’t know why they’ve shown up or for how long, and that’s okay.
I’m endeavoring to stay ‘out of the way’ (don’t know how else to express that), as I know miracles are at work in my life, (and yours) everyday. I do know that it is important, (to me), to express what I feel, (traaa la, la, a Blog to the Universe), to better understand me, so I might BETTER work to share a message that might help someone else.
I also know…in not just reading Randy’s book, but in considering my own life journey,
it’s about serving others,
through my passions, the things which drive me, excite and fuel me, the stuff that MAKES me want to get up in the morning to see the rainbows on my wall, to sing and dance….for that IS me. And the other things….the people who show up to perhaps aggrevate me, (for good cause) or ‘fluff’ me up, just the vehicles which work to transport any of us in our journeys forward.
Gaaaawd I’m deep this morning.
We’re not meant to be alone, and not crowded either. I like the idea of interdependence. I need people and they need me.
So today, I’m thanking the special people who have shown up, in so many different forms, for ME! You KNOW who you are….so feel my long and lingering hug. Especially long and lingering to a few. Please.
And a song to celebrate just that! I couldn’t find James Taylor singing this, but love Earl Klugh’s instrumental of this favorite song of mine, (I have many)…..So, here’s the link and JT’s words below….(if you don’t already have it playing in the background)!
Long Ago and Far Away, Lyrics by James Taylor
Long ago a young man sits and plays his waiting game
But things are not the same it seems as in such tender dreams
Slowly passing sailing ships and Sunday afternoon
Like people on the moon I see are things not meant to be
Where do those golden rainbows end?
Why is this song so sad?
Dreaming the dreams I’ve dreamed my friends
Loving the love I love
To love is just a word I’ve heard when things are being said
Stories my poor head has told me cannot stand the cold
And in between what might have been and what has come to pass
A misbegotten guess alas and bits of broken glass
Where do the golden rainbows end?
And why is this song so sad?
Dreaming the dreams I dream my friend
Loving the love I love to love to love to love to love