But something happened this morning and it inspired me to blog _ even at the risk of being a bore. If you've had enough of me this week _ and believe me, I wouldn't blame you _ close this now and go do something else that is more fulfilling. But if you've got a few minutes, I have something to share.
I promised a friend the other night that I would attend a guided meditation at the Stony Creek Library in Branford at 7 p.m. As the time approached, I was tired and thought of bagging it, breaking my promise to my friend and myself. I polled my kids and they encouraged me to go, even if it meant they would be wolfing down McDonald's meals at 9 p.m. So I went and learned that we are all happier when we do not isolate ourselves and we reach out to others. A beautiful thought that I carried away with me.
Fast-forward to this morning. My sister Janet, who supervises a student foreign exchange program, emailed me and asked if I would host a French student whose host family has fallen through at the last minute. I had been prepared to host a student earlier, but when all the students were placed, I must admit I heaved a huge sigh of relief. No extra driving, no dealing with a stranger in the house, nothing to upset my routine as was the case last summer when we hosted a Chinese student who was deathly afraid of our yellow Lab Cali.
I told her I would think about it and let her know by tomorrow. A short time later while digging through a pile of papers stacked in a box in my kitchen, I came across some quotations that I had scrolled down about risk-taking. I had compiled them after I taught my first class in yoga school and came down with a brutal case of performance anxiety _ complete with shaky voice and sweaty palms. At the time, I wondered if I would ever be able to stand in front of a room and teach yoga to anyone but my closest friends. Piling up the quotes emboldened me.
Here are a few:
"If you don't risk anything, you risk even more." _ Erica Jong
"Remember that fear always lies behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself to be human can, paradoxically, make you a far happier and more productive person." _ Jawaharial Nehru
And the one I love most:
"Our lives improve only when we take chances. And the first and most difficult risk we can take is being honest with ourselves." _ Walter Anderson
So there will be an unexpected French visitor here next week and we'll all have to roll with the punches. We're stepping out of our comfort zone and reaching out to a stranger who is taking a chance in a foreign land. I just hope she's not afraid of our dog.