Sunday, November 06, 2011

On Inspiration

Aviva at Sick Momma is hosting the next edition of Patients For a Moment. In her prompt, she asks,

“So what do you do to get yourself out of the doldrums when you fall into a funk? What (or who) inspires you and gives you hope? Where have you found inspiration when you weren't even looking for it? How do you keep on keeping on when your pain is high and your fatigue is even higher?”

When I try to think of the big picture concepts here, I get a little bogged down. There are so many things I could say, and I end up staring at a blank screen, precious moments of time slipping away. More just write, already and less perseverating, shall we?

Honestly, I’m just not in the right zone to write specifically about illness right now. I’m in a tunnel of baby-deadlines-more deadlines-caffeine and focused on getting through the day, and getting enough done that I can get to sleep. Like it or not, good for me or not, there isn’t a lot of mental space left to think about or process anything related to illness, even when its immediacy and urgency wakes me up at 3am.

So, I thought about the stories and thoughts that have inspired me this week, the things that make me stop and pause as a writer, a professor, a mother, a citizen, and, yes, a patient, too. I’m not in the doldrums of illness, but I am definitely in a place where a few good reminders about perspective, trust, curiosity, and discovery are nourishing.

--Have you read the eulogy for Steve Jobs written by his sister? It’s a rich, personable portrait of a man whose vision is a force in many our lives, and it’s also a beautiful look at love, creativity, and passion. His last words were, “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.” Pretty powerful.

--As the owner of two rescue dogs with sad pasts, I am always moved by stories of redemption and hope. I cam across this emotional article about abuse, trauma, trust, and resiliency for both a dog and her owner. While the animal’s abuse haunts me, the way both have been able to re-build their lives and trust unconditionally are truly inspirational to me. Living in the moment and letting go of pain, frustration, anger, and doubt are never easy, but this really brings to light what is possible when we do.

--I have always felt pretty fortunate to teach the classes I do (writing in the health sciences). My students have been and are passionate about their future careers as health care providers, are they are intellectually curious and engaged, and as a professor and a patient, they me feel just that much more hopeful about the future. Patients would be lucky to have some of these students as their doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and PTs. Every semester, reading their research papers and seeing the inspired issues they delve into makes me appreciate this more.

--Watching this little girl of mine grow from a baby into a walking-talking-signing-laughing-teasing-bike-riding toddler is, quite simply, amazing. No matter what else is going on in my day, in my body, in the world in general, watching her develop, experience new things, and approach life with an independent, open spirit is the essence of inspiring. Every day is a new opportunity to learn, to grow, and to build on what was already there, and that’s a lesson that helps everyone, I think.


Never That Easy said...

I don't have a super-relevant comment, but I just wanted to say Hello, and that I hope you're doing well! (Even in the midst of all those deadlines.)

Laurie said...

Thanks, NTE! Always lovely to hear from you!

Nancy said...

Music can give me instant inspiration when I really need it. Songs like R Kelly's "I Believe I can Fly".

I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
Spread my wings and fly away
I believe I can soar

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