Wednesday night, I attended a book club with about 700 of my closest friends.  Obviously, it wasn’t a normal book club – more like a book reading by the author who stopped at well-chosen spots for participants to share insights with their tablemates.  The author, very wisely, left time at the end of her reading for questions.  One question fascinated me; I mean really captivated me to the point where I was supremely envious that I hadn’t asked the question.

“Where,” someone seated far from my table of six women shouted, “do you get your inspiration?”

To which the author very simply responded, “I’m responsible for keeping myself inspired.”  Wow!  What a concept!  She went on to give a sampling things that inspire her: loving community, great food, good books. 

I didn’t ask that great question, but did ask myself one maybe a bit more important.  How seriously do I take my responsibility to keep myself inspired?  Not just as a writer, but as a human being.  Someone put on this earth by a loving God who created its majesty yet rarely stops to enjoy it.  Someone who badly flirts with disaster from a life that makes me feel out of time, out of breath and out of sorts.  Two words, “Not seriously.”

So today, I’m making a promise to myself.  I’m promising to see the little things that I often miss:  The riotous color of the sky at sunset, the youthful spirit and extreme joy of the children in the park when I take my walk, the warmth of the water in my daily shower and how it soothes my sore muscles, the soft brush of a puppy’s whiskers on my face.

I’m making a promise to myself that I will find something to laugh about each day.  That I will smile more often; do something kind for someone just to be kind, without any ulterior motive.  I promise whenever I light a candle, I’ll take a moment to stare at the flickering light it provides in my life.

I love the quote by Lou Holtz, famed football coach – “I can’t believe that God put us on the earth to be ordinary.”  God didn’t create an ordinary world, why would I ever think that He expected me to be ordinary? 

Keeping myself inspired will soften life’s worst blows.  It’s my responsibility.  And once I take inspiration seriously, joy is a wonderful by-product.  It is only as far away as the closest puppy or child or even a candle.

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