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Monday, March 23, 2015

Books Change the World. Mine, anyways.

Did you know there are a couple of books that ARE CHANGING MY LIFE RIGHT NOW!?

It’s true.  

’Carry-On Warrior - the power of embracing your messy, beautiful life' by Glennon Doyle Melton is one of them.   In it she told me that I needed to write a blog.  She didn't say 'Angela McAffee-Yeh, you need to start that blog already' but she did say I need to share myself more.  I love to write. I hate to have people read it.  I don’t do well under pressure.  Even the pressure of having people I know read the words I’ve written totally freaks me out and makes me want to hide in my snuggy on the couch and never leave the house ever again.  EVER AGAIN.  For reals.

But, Miss Glennon said who reads it and what they say and what happens to my words after I write them and let them go aren’t up to me.  The results are up to God, or whoever we think of as God.  It gave me an immediate sense of relief.  She was right.  It’s my job to do what I love, and not my job to judge and qualify whether or not it is ‘successful’.  So, without the threat and pressure of success (or failure) I started a blog.  I am having so much fun with it!  Being of average intelligence and a short attention span I can’t be sure of much, but this I know:  I was plunked down on THIS planet at THIS time to love, and to write.  

When I am doing both of those things I can feel a thrum.  Like when your fingers first brush guitar strings and you are delighted with the smooth sounds that suddenly reverberate through your fingers.  When I chose to put aside the need to be right, or tough, or safe, and I love, the thrum reverberates through my chest.  When I write, the same thing happens.  It doesn’t happen when I sit down with a pint of Expresso Chip ice cream and watch West Wing marathons but I do those things quite often too.

Glennon also said she has started to host friends at her house.  She said it would be good to do that, even if you don’t like it.  I forget why but for some reason I wanted to give it a try.  The blog idea is working out so well for me I figured maybe she’s right about this, too.  I have to say I do not enjoy having my inner space put on display for all to see.  It isn’t perfect.  But, I braved the mis-matched plates, the old and heavy furniture of Bill’s I don’t like, my crazy dog, my lack of knowledge of fancy cheese and bread and fancy plates and fancy ANYTHING really and I invited some people to my home.

I had my book club ladies here (a success!) and the mom’s group I go to sometimes (EPIC FAIL, only one mom showed up! Awkward.  I’m still eating the muffins I bought) and a dinner/wine tasting party last night.  Now I know for sure I know nothing about wines.  We bought 5 different types of the same winemaker and year and then tried them all without knowing which was which.  They ALL TASTED THE SAME TO ME.  So much for my refined palette.

We ordered Chinese food and had one of the couples bring us dessert.  As soon as I let go of what I felt like were failures (I didn’t make everything from scratch!  The plates don’t match!  The CHAIRS don’t match!  There isn’t enough room.  There aren’t enough dessert plates!  I didn’t iron the tablecloth.  Is that a COBWEB up there!?)  Yes, yes it was.  But suddenly I looked around at everyone laughing and talking and I realized, nobody cared.  No one was waiting to point out all my flaws and short comings.  They were there to enjoy the company of good friends and good food and what more could anyone want?

Anyway, so that was one of the books that has been changing my life lately.  Another one, the one I just finished is called The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.  EVERYONE MUST READ THIS BEFORE THEY DIE.  It’s AMAZING.  I will never look at a child, or a homeless person, or heck a rich person the same ever again.  It’s the true story of a woman who overcame incredible hardships growing up to graduate from a renowned University and become a successful author and journalist.  I think the reason I love it so much is the way she wrote it - without an ounce of self-pity.  She laid out the wounds of her inner child with calm neutrality, including the child-reasoning that makes even the hardest situations seem like an adventure that will turn out ok in the end.  Even when time and time again it doesn’t.

I’m very grateful to these amazing women-authors who are changing my life, including the women in my book club who are forcing me to set down the latest smutty romance I’ve picked up to read them in the first place.  Huzzah!
Also, Happy Birthday Big D, you deserve the best birthday ever this year.  Hugs and kisses and another hug for good measure.