I just played Percy Faith's I'll be home for Christmas for the first time this season.
Well, almost season!
It took me back to a Christmas season back in 1983 when my mom's parents had come South from Indiana for a visit and I was taking piano lessons. There were parts of I'll be home that I really knew well. And then there were parts I was struggling with.
Grandpa apparently had been napping while I was playing or rather, trying to. I remember him now telling me what I just said, "You can tell the parts you know really well." What that has to do with anything right now, I don't know, but maybe it is relevant. If you think about it, we often do make it clear what we do really well and what we enjoy doing, and then those parts of life we're not so good at or don't know so well, well, it shows.
Over the past few months I've been on a mission to find the true me and decide what it is I want to be now that I've grown up. I've spent hours contemplating the subject and deciding what it is I do and do not like about this life and figuring out what about it I have the opportunity to change. And I have the chance to do things that I really know about. And to focus on doing them well. Being the best.
Grandma always used to tell me that I should be a writer; that I should write about things I know best, like in that book, "I remember momma." I've never read the book/seen the paly but the point was stick to the things you know about.
So in the turmoil of what forever will be remembered as 2009, where I've been dealt a series of lemons and injustices, it's time to make some lemonade.
Here's an exercise to consider. Get a couple pieces of notebook paper. Sit down in a quiet room and think. Ask yourself these five questions and see what you come up with.
1) What are my standards in life? Define them.
2) What is my focus in life? Define it.
3) What am I afraid to become?
4) What do I want to change the most in my life?
5) If I became something else, what would it be?
A final exercise is to take another sheet of paper and write down every role you play in your life. When I did this, I filled the page with the likes of writer, father, step-father, husband, Mac, servant of God, iconoclast, early adopter, and the list goes on and on. I then went back and decided which roles I used to play and which ones I only play now. I then divided the list up into what I'm not doing any more and should be doing more of.
Not all of these questions I came up with on my own, but a good many of them I came up with as variations to other questions posed by others. They're good questions we all should take the time to ask ourselves every once and again, just to take stock.