Now is a good time to start thinking about all the good stuff in your life – a nearly full jar of Nutella, fur ball medication, happy cashiers at the grocery store. OR, perhaps all the people who make your life better. I was reading Noah Lukeman’s writing blog this morning and I started doing the “who makes me who I am” thing. Anybody else prone to such pondering?
Obviously, my kids generate the vast majority of my thoughts and musings – either here or when I’m doing comedy on stage. So perhaps my loudest thank you needs to go to them. But they aren’t why I write. They are usually why mama needs a adult beverage additive to her morning coffee. [giggle] I actually write because of three folks.
There is a photo of me that survives only in my mind. It was lost either in my parent’s house fire, or the chaos of my house. Either way, it is gone. It is me circa 1979 and boy was I sporting a good look. I had this quasi Dorothy Hamilton bowl thing of a hair cut and I’m not sure spectacles come larger unless as part of a clown costume. The photo had been cut so that the bottom third was missing. (My mom used it in one of those “guess who this is” things when I graduated.) So all you see is me sitting on this natty green naugahyde couch, looking down in a rather Madonna fashion. (And no, I’m not talking about the material girl.) What you don’t see is that I’m holding my baby sister. It is a picture of complete adoration.
She came to us as an early Christmas gift, only about 7 years after I started begging my parents for a younger sibling. She was born a pip-squeaky 6 pounds something and I thought she was beautiful. Of course, she was a god-awful baby. Colicky! Holy cow that kid screamed. But the look on my face tells it all: I adored her and she simply lit up my life. And that is pretty much how she still is – she’s the sweet, quirky soul that makes the people in her life smile and see the world in a new light.
Without her, I would not write regularly and I would never have tried stand-up comedy, let alone hit the stage 13 times in the past year. When I need a cheerleader, she’s only a phone call away. When I’ve pondered the futility of it all, she has shored up my quivering foundation. She has been shouting from my sideline for a long time and I’m so thankful for her. She has made me blog more, twitter more, sing more, dream more. She is a really excellent muse and a great writer and many other great things. If you don’t believe me, check out my baby sis over at Opera Buffo.
Of course, the stalwart champ in my corner is my husband. This Saturday is our 17th wedding anniversary and in no time over the past 19 years that we’ve been together has he not been my most consistent muse. It is my husband who says things like, “well, it’s something you like doing, right?” That man can simplify the quandaries of my life so easily when I have reduced myself to the emotional equivalent of Jello trying to figure out what the heck to do. And the best part: he thinks I’m funny even when he’s heard a joke for years. There is no one like that man and I am so blessed that he said “yes” 19 years ago. (Note: romantic story to be shared later if enough folks clamor for it.)
And then there is my third “folk” to my little writing stool. You. I’m cheating here, but please be forgiving. Some of the “you’s” are folks I speak with frequently. Like my best friend who calls me to tell me I made her wet her pants. Or the friend who sees me dropping off kiddos at the school and mentions a story I’ve recently posted. Or people who’ve asked for a recipe, or what have you. Because those of us who do some kind of “performance art” really do think about their audience. So thank you.
Thank you to each and every one of you who has given me reason to give a voice to the characters and stories that float through my head. If you were sitting at my table tomorrow, I’d even share my green bean casserole with you.
Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you. May it be a blessing wherever you are. And now, to quote my 9 year old who just left the room after asking what a muse is, “Peace out dude.”