|Photo courtesy of Karen Arnold|
Life is full of pockets. We slip in and out of them unknowingly at times and look back and say, "Wow, I didn't even realize I'd moved on." We journey from experience to experience, emotion to emotion, good times, and bad.
One of the definitions of pocket is: a small patch of something. We often hear of weather pockets. But today, I'm referring to life pockets. Those small, or not-so-small, patches of life that can thrill, confuse, anger, sadden, or energize us.
I've been quite busy lately, in a good way. That's why I had to step away from the blog for awhile and deal with other aspects of my life. Spring tends to bring busyness with it for me, but this year my schedule was especially full.
For those of you who don't know me well, I have a business called Speechless. I am a writer, editor, speaker, coach, educator, and voice-over talent. If you have little ones, you might be familiar with some of my work through iStoryBooks.co. I've written over 90 books for the iStoryBooks app. In addition, I narrate all of the English versions of their books under the name Maya Ray. So when your kiddos hear "Hi. I'm Maya. What's your name?", it's my voice they're hearing.
Anyway, that's just one aspect of my business and I've been hard at work completing 5 biographies for them the past couple of months (Jane Goodall, Rachel Carson, Sacagawea, Princess Diana, and Margaret Brown). Additionally, my writers' conference circuit began, starting with The Write Stuff conference in Bethlehem, PA April 7-9 where I taught 3 workshops. The next weekend, I was in Lancaster for Lancaster Christian Writers Super Saturday, a one-day conference. I repeated a workshop from the first conference. At the end of the month, I'll present 2 workshops at Writing Success 25 in Stoneboro, PA and less than 3 weeks after that, I'll travel back to Lancaster for the annual Pennwriters Conference, where I'll teach 3 more workshops. All together in this short period of time, I'll teach a total of 9 workshops, 4 of which are brand new. That's a lot of preparation. Throw tax day into the mix and maybe you can understand my brief hiatus.
But what does this have to do with pockets? Everything. I was walking across campus at Lancaster Bible College on Saturday and I couldn't help thanking God for this time in my life. This pocket. It's my favorite one ever. As a matter of fact, I don't know if I've ever been happier. Leading workshops, teaching, writing, coaching... these are the things that make my heart sing. I feel incredibly blessed to be doing what I love. And I do not take it for granted. I know what it's like to hate a job. I vowed to myself back in 1978 that I would never work a job I hated ever again. I would never allow a boss to treat me like crap. I would never allow myself to be belittled or abused.
I do not ever fail to thank God for the talents, abilities, and gifts He's bestowed on me. I know not everyone can say the same about their jobs. Some people are trapped. They need their jobs, despite the fact that they hate them. They wake up in the morning and dread the day ahead. I am so, so sorry if that is where your current pocket is. I hope that somehow you can find your favorite pocket in the midst of that kind of misery. Figure out what it is and crawl into it whenever possible. It's our favorite pockets that make the rest of life bearable or, if we're lucky, downright enjoyable.
I'll be 59 next month. Numbers scare me. The thought of being 60 in another year freaks me out a bit. Yet, this is the best time of my life so far. Yes, I loved being a stay-at-home mom to my girls. Yes, I loved being a young wife. Yes, I loved my college years. But somehow, the second half of my 50s has been remarkable. And doing conferences and teaching classes for Carnegie Mellon's Osher program and leading an amazing writers' group is my pocket. It's where I feel most alive.
What about you? Where is your favorite pocket?