Today’s post is dedicated to my friend, Janet, whom I met in film school along with her soon-to-be-husband, Ray. Janet and Ray appeared in this post, earlier this year, when we were all recovering from the trauma of the Boston Marathon bombings. As much as I would like you to link to that earlier post, I’ll make it easier on everybody and include that photo, again, here:
Today is Janet’s birthday. Happy birthday, Janet! Earlier this year, Janet and Ray, along with one of their fabulous sons, attended my 60th birthday party. This was a very memorable occasion for me, but there are several Janet-related memories that stand out for me, from that day.
Some of those memories have to do with Janet’s amazing creativity and humor. For example, she has a long history of putting together perfect combinations of words and images, to celebrate things. While I may try to create similar magic in this blog, she’s The Master, and has been, for decades.
Thank you, Janet, for those hilarious words-and-pictures celebrations of my wedding, my birthday, and all those Christmas masterpieces you put together for your friends, every year.
I just took a break, for a few seconds, to look for the incredible piece that Janet put together for my 60th birthday. This piece not only celebrated me, hilariously, but also included smart commentary on all the decades I’ve lived through. During the party, I placed it in a location of honor, so that all my other guests could see it. And they loved it.
But I can’t find it, in the moment. Which doesn’t surprise me, because I tend to lose track of things. Especially in the mornings. Especially when I have limited time (which I do, today, since I blog before I go to work).
And, I also tend to lost track of positive things that people say about me. At least, I have easily lost track of those things, in the past. This year, I’m working on getting better at holding on to What Other People Say (Positively) (as difficult as those things might be to believe, at times).
Part of this process has involved letting go of unhelpful things that people have said. (The first blog post entitled “What Other People Say” focused on that.) The other part of this process is learning how to make the positive “stick.”
In Janet’s genius creation for my 60th birthday, she said something positive, which has stuck with me, all year. It’s been indescribably helpful, every time I sit down to write a blog post. On the last page, which focused on my present and my future, she wrote:
“Ann starts a blog. A good blog. A damn good blog.”
When I locate Janet’s Birthday Masterpiece (which I will, later today), I will double-check my memory, to see if I’m quoting her correctly.
However, it doesn’t matter whether my memory is perfect. Here’s my punchline, for this post:
What Janet said, one month into my first blog, has helped keep me going, all year. It’s been there, for me, helping me write every day, no matter how much I doubted myself and my abilities.
As I’ve been encouraged by all your feedback, too, dear readers, no matter where or in what form that’s occurred.
Thanks to Janet, to all who encourage their friends in any way, and to you — of course! — for reading today.
Yay for you and Janet in sharing a wonderful, supportive friendship–a priceless gift, as you’ve so adeptly illustrated here. I was just talking about how hard it is to make positive stick (love that!), especially when folks are talking to me. Ironically (tragically?) some of us can recall verbatim those negative comments from decades ago :).Yet those jewels of encouragement provide essential, inspiring nourishment for a day, even a lifetime. Two things I’ve started doing: 1) photocopying positive feedback and keeping it in a file, to remind myself; 2) making myself stop, take a deep breath and look people in the eye as I focus on their supportive words and sentiments–sometimes the positive still slips through the sieve, but not always. Thank you for another insightful, wry, honest and helpful piece, Ann. You are doing wonderful and inspiring work here! Shine on, baby. xo