While on a staycation this week, the words of poet Mary Oliver have shown themselves to me seemingly everywhere I turned.  In random blogs I’ve stumbled upon, in magazines I’ve been meaning to read, and in books I’ve opened, one inspirational line after another were revealed.

Ironically, the words that keep playing in my head are not the ones I’ve seen in blog posts or magazines. But the words I kept seeing triggered my memory for other words that clearly wanted to be acknowledged by me, desperately needing me to hear them again:

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

With your one wild and precious life?

— Mary Oliver, The Summer Day

I’ve turned this question over and over in my head and haven’t been able to come up with an answer.

During my time off, I was plagued with a restlessness that I couldn’t quite shake. It was much needed time off, but something in me couldn’t quite let go.  As I struggled to relax, these words stayed with me, almost haunting me.

What finally came to me was that I didn’t need to know what my plan for my one wild and precious life is today.  It’s okay to not know.  My job – my real full-time job – is to live the question.  And as I began to let the words wash over me, I realized that it all starts with self-care. You cannot fully hear the answers to such a big question if you can’t even make time to floss.

So I’ve promised myself that I will spend the month of December better caring for myself, body and soul.  I know I won’t be able to stop the chaos, but I’m hoping to find some space to listen to the whispers that have been drowned out.

I am paying attention with wide eyes, open ears and a willing heart to answers as they present themselves.

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