“Wednesday’s Words” is all about the quotes that inspire me or are relevant to my life in some way.
When most people think about living life positively or constructively, I doubt the first person to come to mind for inspiration is Sylvia Plath. However, I’m more Emily than Pollyanna, and my brain tends to aim for the minor key when I want to find guidance for maneuvering through life’s obstacles.
Right now, the major obstacle in my life is how to live as if I knew it were my last day. The idea was presented in yesterday’s Damn Early Days morning post and I’ve been thinking about it since. There was a question that Steve Jobs supposedly asked himself every morning: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” He said that if the answer was “No” for too many mornings, he knew he had to change something. I asked myself the same question yesterday and my answer would definitely be “No” when it comes to my job.
“Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals
On both Monday and yesterday mornings I found myself feeling resentful of having to stop writing and get ready for work. I was especially annoyed at having to work overtime. While I may not be able to just up and quit the job that pays my bills, I can do quite a lot every morning about making sure I’m not stuck spending most of my time working in a job I don’t love. I can harness the energy behind that resentment and put it to work towards change. I can spend my free time doing what I love, instead of wasting it being grumpy.
“I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my lids and all is born again.” – Sylvia Plath, Mad Girl’s Love Song
Though “Mad Girl’s Love Song” has nothing to do with meditation, this line makes me think about the session I did yesterday morning. It was a guided meditation titled “Creating an Extraordinary Day”. Several things Gael Chiarella said during that meditation gave me the same feeling Plath’s quote generates: “I am the Master of my life. I am courage in action. I have infinite creative power.” This goes back to how I spend my time. Obviously, I can’t blink my job into one that I love, but I can create small changes that eventually lead to me having work that makes me want to get out of bed in the morning, rather than hit the snooze button a million times.
“Out of the ashes, I rise with my red hair…” – Sylvia Plath, Lady Lazarus
Lady Lazarus is another of Plath’s poems that has little to do with the feeling this line gives me. Not only does it make me think of Jean Grey as the Phoenix, but it makes me feel as if the garbage thrown at me in my life will not succeed in keeping me down. I will rise up and I will triumph. It may take a while, but as a line from one of my favorite album introductions, “Piano and I” by Alicia Keys, “No matter how long that sh*t takes….What ever stops you from dreaming, whatever tries to stop you from living…flip it.”
Here’s an even more fitting song: