I have mentioned several times throughout this blog about my attempts at bravery. I don’t mean I want to be a mother or a firefighter or a soldier (all roles, which I think can be very brave). I want to be brave enough to dream dreams and try to live them. I want to be brave enough to share and brave enough to receive. I want to participate, to try.
There’s a quote that pops up into my life at the points where I need to be reminded of this.
“Do one thing every day that scares you.”–Eleanor Roosevelt
I’m sure this quote is on birthday cards and mugs and t-shirts and posters. How many blog entries include this quote? Probably so many that my entry becomes cliché. For me, it’s just imprinted in my head, although a backwards tattoo on my forehead wouldn’t be a bad idea. I can imagine, when I look into the mirror while brushing my teeth, on certain days that ink-stain on my face would be a powerful reminder.
Today, I was home sick with a bad cold, deciding to take the day because I had no teaching scheduled and could meet my work deadline by doing some stuff over the weekend. I slept late and drank tea and fiddled around on the computer, which really meant re-watching an episode of Downton Abbey and keeping the tab open to Facebook to see what friends were up to on their Fridays. It seems Friday is an active day on Facebook. I wonder how much “real” work gets done on days like today. Oh, but back to bravery.
Then I remembered it was the deadline for the local library anthology. Last year I submitted something at the last-minute. Even though it wasn’t accepted, I was pleased that I got out of my comfort zone by writing and submitting an essay. Back in December I had read about the second anthology, but the February 1 deadline seemed a long way off in those holidazzled days. Then procrastination happened. I had planned to write something new, but not in this snot-filled, groggy hazed sick day. I didn’t want to miss the deadline, partly out of ego and partly out of my hope to kick-start my writing dreams.
I rooted through my journal and my computer and found two essays to submit. I found the forms to fill out and two blank CDs to save the work and turn in, but then all of a sudden it was 4:40 p.m. The library was closing in 20 minutes and I live at least 10 minutes from the library, going the speed limit with no traffic and no red lights. The absolute deadline was 5:00 p.m. Oh, and the second CD wouldn’t come out of the computer. Now it’s 4:50 p.m. and I finally get the disc out of the laptop. I find my second running shoe. I grab my keys, purse, and bandana for said runny nose. I try to mentally justify the trip by telling myself I’ll stop at the store on the way back for orange juice for my cold.
Miraculously there is no crazy Friday afternoon crush of people as there usually is and I make it to the library. I find a parking spot close to the front door and I see people hanging out, maybe my car clock is faster than I think. I wheeze and run to the front door, but it’s locked. I decide to be brave and annoying and knock. A kindly librarian sees me, walks to the door, and opens it. “It’s five o’clock,” she says sweetly. “Is it too late to submit for the anthology?” I rasp. She smiles and shakes her head no, accepting my two rumpled forms and two discs crammed into an old scratched CD case. She smiles again, “No, it’s not too late.”
Here’s to bravery and the last-minute, but even more, here’s to kindness and an unlocked door.