Continuing the Celebration

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” (Oprah Winfrey)

Have you ever done this?

Have you ever tried to come up with a list of the things that make you unique? Things that are worth celebrating?

It’s difficult.

I don’t know if it is modesty or humility, or simply an unwillingness to stand up in front of the world and say “This is me. This is what I’ve done. This is who I am.”

Maybe I simply compare myself too often to others, and am unable to see the good in me.

On yesterday’s post, the talented Andra Watkins, who also shares this birthday month with me, wrote this comment:

“You did this. Period. [. . . ]”

Why can’t I just say, “I did this. Period.”? Without the but . . . or the clarification, or the explanation that somehow tries to justify why I am celebrating this particular thing.

Today, as I continue the list, I will try to keep to I did this. Period. (Explaining only enough for you to understand what I”m talking about). Here goes.

12. There’s no way to count the number of words I’ve written, in journals, in stories, in blog posts, in academic papers. Some words remain hidden from the eyes of others, some have been read by a handful of people, and some are just beginning their fearful journey into the light of day.

13. I have completed one novel for middle-grade readers, and one novel for YA/NA. Neither have been published, yet, but I am still hopeful and working toward that.

14. I was nominated for a Po’Okela award (kind of like the Tony’s of Hawaii)  in playwriting (as part of a group of writers) for The Kabuki Mikado.

15. I was also nominated for a Po’Okela award in lighting design for two productions The Staircase and Gertrude Stein and Her Companion. Did I mention that I studied lighting design and almost thought of going in that direction?

16. I was the first student at Smith College to design lights for a faculty directed production.

17. For a year after college, I did a combined internship in Electrics/Stage Management at StageWest, a (now defunct) regional theatre in Springfield, MA.

18. While in Japan, I moved from being told that “I was the weakest teacher” (without clarification) to becoming the Head Teacher/Trainer at a bigger school.

19. Over the past few years, I’ve tried to do something outside my comfort zone at least once each year. These things have included: taking a tap class and performing in a recital; taking piano lessons; creating a piece of art that I actually hung on my wall; travelling with a group of near strangers; attending a conference on my own; and starting a blog.

This is my creation that hangs on the wall.

This is my creation that hangs on the wall.

20. I have a couple of poems published in anthologies, and a few articles published in magazines and journals.

21. It’s impossible to count the number of books I’ve read in my lifetime. I love books. They are the things that I haven’t been able to let go of, despite the weight of moving them. I have slowly weened out my collection, but it always grows again.

That’s all for today. It’s getting harder.

What are some thing that you’ve done. Period?


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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lorinda J. Taylor
    Mar 07, 2013 @ 12:25:46

    I have ambiguous feelings about this series of posts and I also feel uncertain about commenting. I can toot my own horn alongside anybody (graduated college Summa cum laude and first in my class and earned scholarships all through grad school, etc.), but I was taught not to do that. I feel I need to earn recognition by the quality of what I do now rather than what I accomplished in the past.
    Everybody wants to help you when you’re young, but as you get older you lose respect. After age 40, it’s, “Oh, you’re overqualified for this job” or “We’d have to pay you too much – we can get a young person for much less” or “what the h— is this person with all this education doing working as a bookkeeper?” And family matters intervened and I pretty much vegetated for some 20 years. The truth is, I was temperamentally suited to being writer, but my earlier efforts produced no publications. Now I’m self-publishing, because I’m too old to wait for traditional recognition. I’ve put out more self-praise in the last year and a half than I ever have in my life because that’s the only way to attract attention. But you have to walk a fine line between touting your own work and efforts and making yourself look like an unpleasant egomaniac. One thing is for sure, Lisa, you have accomplished far more in your life and been more self-motivated and driven than I ever did or was, and you should be very proud of your accomplishments! Never disparage yourself!


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Mar 07, 2013 @ 12:29:32

      Thanks, Lorinda. I’m sorry if I made you feel uncertain about commenting. I realize that this is, in some ways, my most egotistical work, but its also something I’m very bad at–recognizing where I have been because I am not where I think I should be (if that makes any sense). I’m trying to remind myself that even small things lead to a life well-lived. Because ultimately, that’s what I want out of life, to be able to say I have really lived.


  2. Andra Watkins
    Mar 07, 2013 @ 16:23:22

    Lisa, I view this series of posts as completely opposite of ego. You’re using them to ground yourself, to remind yourself who you are, what you want, and what you value. Letting us look over your shoulder isn’t egotistical. This may be THE exercise that enables you to make a connection to a publisher or agent. It may be THE way to whatever is next for you. Keep it coming.


  3. Trackback: Celebrating Life’s Ups and Downs | Woman Wielding Words

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