27 May 2010

The Glorious Ascent: Mandate #1

First, let's acknowledge that this new series sounds a lot like North Korean propaganda. Which I love. Think of me as your very own gentle and supreme leader, but perhaps without the scary predilections of Kim Jong-il.

So, the first of nine Mandates (A dear reader suggested Prospects, which I quite like, but I need a firmer tone if I'm going to make it through this next chapter):

Be Present.

I promise I'm not getting all new age-y on you. It occurs to me, however, that it is quite easy for me (and maybe you?) to spend much time thinking about the last few months (and for that matter, the last eight years), analyzing what went wrong, what could have been different, blah, blah, blah. Similarly, I can spin my hamster cage wheel frenetically as I think about what's next: where I'll live, will I get a PhD, will I fall in love, will I be happy, can I make it as a single person. It's forward-thinking, but it's still anxiety-producing blah, blah, blah.

As I walked around the lake last night, under a perfect moon, with people laughing and talking, I remembered how many great things there are in my life right now. Besides the moon and the lake. Friends and family and books and cookies and textiles. I can't let the shadows of the past or the scariness of the future obscure the contentment I have within reach right here, right now. Neither can you. As we come upon a beautiful holiday weekend, doesn't it seem like a perfect time to revel in the now? I'll start.


  1. I turn to children to help keep me grounded in the present. When young enough, they seem to view everything with great delight and curiosity. Like right now as I watch a thrilled 3-year-old make a pretend phone call on the payphones at Reagan National Airport.

  2. Can Mandate #2 be that no one is EVER allowed to refer to Washington National Airport by the name that Jeffrey just used, entirely by accident, I'm sure? Also, that anyone who calls 6th Avenue in NYC "Avenue of the Americas" should be forced to have the word "TOURIST" tattooed on their forehead? Please?

  3. Many years ago, I forbade my mother from praying for me to get married (which she had been doing, daily). I insisted that she, instead, pray that I would be happy. Happily for me, her prayers have proven fruitful. Unfortunately for her, that means I am too happy being single to worry much about the pursuit of a partner.
    It's clear to me that a prayer for happiness is answered when one learns your mandate, to be present.
    PS Ever since your post "Some Favorite Things of Late" I've been making mental lists of all the wonderful moments a day has granted. I can't stop myself. I'm crediting you, not Oprah.

  4. Dear Stephanie: I'm a Democrat and no fan of Reagan, but it's part of the name of the airport.

    Aren't there bigger things in life to mock?

  5. Jeff: Nope, these things are actually *huge* mocking points for me, my little way of staking a continued claims in these cities, my former homes. Plus, if you start using the name they gave that airport, the Republicans have already won. :-)

  6. Stephanie:

    Well we clearly operate in different worlds, so you enjoy yours and I will enjoy mine.


As always, civility reigns, but cleverness trumps.

They shall be called my disciples.