Monday, July 26, 2010

Reinvent the Course

I've been thinking about what it means to instruct, to offer suggestions, and to speak in the imperative mood.  My love of verbs means I know they sometimes take the form of commands--imperative forms--that we use to express suggestions or advice.   This morning, I used the imperative on myself.  Here's what I said:

Reinvent the Course

It's like I'm running, and potholes and roadblocks stop me in my tracks.  I think to myself that it's all over.  My dreams, my goals, my projects all fall apart with the slightest bit of discouragement.  Sewn together in particular ways, my life dreams must take shape exactly as I form them.  But pull one thread, and the whole thing unravels.

At that moment with a heap of disaster uncoiled around my ankles, I'm learning to reinvent the course I was on and recalibrate till I'm aligned with what always turns out to be better and a much purer form of what I really wanted all along.

For example, nothing in my life has ever come about in the right place, at the right time, and in the right form.  But it always ends up being. . . just right.  I met my husband in the wrong place (he was supposed to be in the South), at the wrong time (finishing a Ph.D.--who has time?), and in the wrong form (where was his little poet pony tail and John Lennon spectacles?).  But he was just right.  Exactly right.

And children?  Born in Michigan when my whole family was in Virginia, during my dissertation writing, and a girl instead of boy.  But she's just right.  Exactly right.

Or moving here in a mad rush to a house I never imagined in any dream.  Or to a teaching career that came in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and in the wrong form.  It was supposed to be a tenure track job at some Ivy League school.  But teaching was the goal and God put it in the right place, at the right time, in the right form.

Finally, my publishing dreams.  No book contract, no bestseller.  And yet, I learned to reinvent the course.  Blogging? And look! 11,000 visitors from 77 different countries or territories.  I didn't even know how to make a blog 125 days ago.  I wanted to write, and maybe this new course would let me.  It seems just right.  Exactly right.

I think of life as a maze with only one path to my dreams.  But it's not a maze.  It's a beautiful landscape with trails we haven't even imagined.  I'm just so thankful we have a Faithful Guide.

Living with flair means I'm not afraid or discouraged when I have to reinvent the course.  


Meg McGinty said...

Beautiful!! Isn't it strange looking back and noticing how certain things just fit together like a puzzle you never meant to put together? I thought of you last night while watching the movie "Hitch." Will Smith puts so much heart into winning a girl over on their first date but it ends up in disaster. The girl's friend can't understand why she wants to see him again because she claims that their date was a wreck. The girl goes, "yea, but he did it with flair!" And he gets another chance.

Anonymous said...

I adore your blog. I read it to my husband almost every night and we find your outlook on life so inspiring. Never more so than with this post. We are in the process of trying to adopt and had a failed adoption a few weeks ago. Reinventing our course is exactly what we are doing. I hope it's okay that I linked to this entry on my blog. As I wrote, I could never say it as beautifully as you did. Please know how many people you are reaching as you reinvent your course. And we are grateful for it!

LivewithFlair said...

I'm honored that you would read it! Thank you for these kind words. Is your blog public for others to read? I would love to hear more about your journey.

Anonymous said...

Hi there. I'm brand new to blogging so I'm learning as I go here. But of course, if you want to read it, go for it. I think you might know my sister, Jodi, from high school. That's how we found our way to your blog. We really do love it. You might not have a publishing deal yet, but it's only a matter of time. Thanks for sharing your flair with all of us!

Anonymous said...

Its so interesting that you compared problems with potholes/roadblocks because I have just been thinking about them as speed bumps, time to slow down, look around and see if I am on the right road.