Monday, August 8, 2011

Celebrating the little things . . .

*** Before I begin this most indulgent post, I must first say one thing: Somehow, someway, I must have an Asian baby. I apologize to all my Latino, African American, and Caucasian sisters and brothers for this slight, but it is only my biased opinion that Asian babies far exceed the cuteness of all other races. Note to friends, family, and acquaintances: If you happen to have an Asian baby, I suggest you do not let me babysit -- you may never see him/her again. :) Now on to writing! ***

In life, there are moments to mourn, moments to embrace acrimony, and moments to ponder the Great Questions life has to ask of us -- and then . . .  there are the moments to CELEBRATE!

I happen to be in a season of celebration, and I refuse to take it for granted. Complacency calls for my devotion, hoping to distract and lure me from the blessings all around me. I won't be so easily diverted, however. It is with great humility that I step up to my laptop each morning and begin yet another day of working on my novel. My novel . . . Writers, have we forgotten the tremendous beauty this gift entails? We have been called to write! Do not let monotony and lackadaisical mood purloin your glory!

Admittedly, this longevity is rife with struggles and exasperation, to the point where the "Are you sure you want to permanently delete and remove this document?" option starts to look really good. But isn't that essentially what makes any ambition in life worth pursuing? Or more importantly, worth loving?

When I think of the people, passions, and even the insignificant, beloved hobbies I frequent, I understand that they are all the more cherished because there is a certain strife concurrent in their eventual enjoyment. It is not with a faint or apathetic heart I finally sit down on a Saturday night to devour a four course meal at The Cheesecake Factory. No. Not even remotely. The experience is made all the more sweeter due strictly to the fact that I have ran, lifted, stretched, curled, squatted, lunged, biked, eliptical'd, and benched for those Vietnamese tacos, Luau salad, and Bistro Shrimp pasta. I earned, I sweated, I panted, and I pained for each and every single one of those delicious calories. All week I shouted, "No, Cara!! You may not have that bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, In-n-out shake, or Chiptole burrito. You will put the carbolicious item down and back away. That's right . . . You march on over to the freezer for a delicious water-pop and tell yourself it's what you really wanted all along. Yes, it's a lie; but it's a lie that will not show up below your bum in the morning."

Same goes for the tedium of brushing my teeth twice a day -- thirty seconds in each quadrant -- or the laborious two hours it takes to primp and preen before I deem myself officially ready for a dressy affair. The prep before the baking, the endless paper towels and Lysol taken to the bathroom, the last handwritten invitation, these activities all require time and a willingness to suffer, if not just a little, if you want to enjoy them to their fullest potential. My teeth are a gift, a clean bathroom is a gift, a party is a gift. Instead of moaning and complaining, try appreciating the process of getting a little sticky before enjoying the fruit.

This, of course, holds a certain amount of levity, but does not make it any less true. This certain truth absolutely pertains to more serious occasions, such as the times I enter into a discussion or argument with a friend or loved one. It is only because I cared enough to allow myself to be convicted, hurt, or angry, and then work toward reconciliation, that pushes me to endure discomfort. Quite easily I could pretend and ignore the brown, wafting stench of  "awkward" floating about the room, but what good would that do me?

Greatness and importance is found in the meaningful. And the meaningful can only be achieved with commitment and persistence.

And so it is with writing.

I do not know what this day holds for me. I may open up my document and find that I have very little to say this morning. Or, my fingers may take flight like the tail feather's of a painted bunting or lorikeet, smearing my prose across the page in rich color and palpable vibrancy. I don't know, and that, too, is a facet of the mystery and magic of being a writer. The same tears shed in unnerving frustration and turmoil, fall from the same eyes that leak tears of gratitude and thanksgiving for the gift in which I have received . . .

Because, let's be honest, it's only a matter of time before my face looks less like the sweet Asian delight above, and more like poor beJoey'd Dawson below.

Aw, Dawson, it's okay buddy. Shortly you will go on to star in Varsity Blues. And who didn't love that epic film about testosterone laden boys, the objectification of girls, and creative usage of sundae toppings. I know I sure did.  

Today I celebrate. Feel free to click the button and dance/sing along with me and Kool and the Gang. Come on . . . You know you want to!  ^_^


Amanda Jenn said...

Thank you for sharing this, definitely a needed reminder! And you're right, asian babies are pretty darn cute.

By: Sarah said...

Loved this. It made me empowered to face my day, I wish I would have read it yesterday before my bed tragedy. I love how your words dance (if that makes any sense) :)

Cara R. Olsen said...

I LOVE that this empowered you! I should have told you to come read sooner, but that would have just felt arrogant . . . Well, next time you have a panic attack you'll know right where to come.

Yes, makes total sense, and I am honored to receive such a compliment!

Hope (Z.B.) Steen said...

haha, you have a gift for making everyday things entertaining and necessary moral vitamins palatable..and asian babies are very cute.

Your joy is to write, mine is to nitpick; just so you know: you have a typo "feint" should be "faint."

Cara R. Olsen said...

Hope! Lol. Thank you! What was I thinking not sending this first to you for editing. :)

Tammy said...

I think I need to print this out to help me with perspective every day - LOVE it! Did you happen to reach into my mind of complaints and give me the answer I so needed to hear?

Maria Tatham said...

Cara, you are a most excellent writer!
About the Asian baby, I hope you receive the gift of your darling child!