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Show Your Work #30BrighterDays

College Graduation: I stood grinning in cap and gown imagining a tower of all the papers written, all the blue books filled, and all the notes taken those four years. It filled me with pride and satisfaction. I didn’t sit in judgement over the content of what I’d written or how I’d performed, but rather I stood in awe at the massive amount of work completed. Best. Feeling. Ever.

I love accomplishing. I especially love having accomplished. Then I speed along and forget. Sound familiar?

Some writers hate reading their old work, some speakers wince at their own appearance or the sound of their voice.  Not me. For me, completing work fills me with self-efficacy: I made that! I pushed through. I did it!! Revisiting that work reminds me of hours of creation otherwise forgotten–pieces of myself, moments of my life.

I don’t show my work to “see how far I’ve come” (some of my best work will inevitably live forever behind me) but instead as a reminder of my evolution.

When I gave my office a makeover this summer I went through piles and piles. I found a huge stack of Brava Magazines featuring my writing dating back to 2011. I clipped each page and spread them out, covering my whole floor. I can’t find the photo I took to mark the moment, but I recreated a sample here from digital images, including photos from my “Live On The Move” humor fitness columnist days.


Recently we watched some old home videos from our kids’ baby and toddler days. Feeding the baby took the better part of an hour,  less by necessity more as entertainment given that time passed one spoonful at a time; a few rice grains, a pincer-grasp of shredded chicken, a bottle thwacking on the tray over and over. The endless repetition of playing, giggling, and rolling around on the bed–always followed by an earnest attempt by a toddler to see himself in and/or eat the camera varies only by onesie–the color and print distinguishing morning from afternoon.

“It’s three-o’clock” One of us says in the video.  Us then on video and us now watching ten years later–we laugh a weary laugh together. We wish we could hug them then (those babies and their parents). I have no desire to go back. I took in all that good super hard work completed, invested, paid forward to today–as we do the tween/teen version for tomorrow.

Revisiting all I’ve done reminds me of my aptitude, my capability–my range. It brightens my belief in my potential, too.

This post is part of #30BrighterDays; a thing I made up to brighten each day of November

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