Tonight's Assignment? How to Live...and then some.

I am over the moon happy that I made the decision to pursue a master’s degree.  It’s been a crazy year- taking classes, working and then going on a sabbatical. Frankly, I’ve been doing things I never ever thought I would do - which just reminds me that you never EVER know where your path will lead you.

The master’s project has awakened something in me I didn’t know was there.  Hell, it’s kind of FUN to be challenged!  (Who knew?) The class I am taking this semester (Improving the Teaching of Writing)  is being taught by a kick-ass professor. She LOOKS like you or me, she acts like the next door neighbor you WANT to be friends with, have coffee or wine with, and who you want to vent with after a long day.  However, in reality she is the GODDESS of Writing Instructors who can light a fire under even the most disausted kindergarten teacher after a long day in the classroom.  That is a miracle, my friends.

Tonight, as soon as we gathered for class, she read us a poem. It was called “How to Live, I don’t know how to live” by Sharon Olds.  You can read it here and be inspired yourselves!  Then, at the start of class, eight tired teacher/writers were inspired to write their own “How to Live” quickwrites. I share my unedited version here, and challenge YOU to share some of your “How to Live” snippets in your comments. I would LOVE to hear them….

How to Live


Smile often, even if you don’t want to. Greet each day as if you didn’t make a SINGLE mistake the day before.

Be glad when you wake up each day, and thank the Powers That Be when you make it successfully into your bed each night.

Play dominos, card games, board games and charades every change you get. Sing Karaoke even if you CAN’T carry a tune.

Dig in the dirt every spring and summer and rediscover why it’s important to get your hands dirty.  Catch some fireflies, whisper a sweet message to them and send them on their way.

Tell each young girl you meet how absolutely beautiful she is- and mean it.

Cry a little, or very  hard, every now and then. Those tears hold important sadness and they need to be washed away.  You’ll feel better for it, and those future tears need somewhere to hide.

Eat Middleswarth Barbeque Potato chips, great black bean and cheese dip, fresh lobster rolls, a huge cheeseburger and very crispy chicken wings.  But probably not all at once.

Try not to spend too much time angry at anyone.  They probably don’t deserve a moment more of the precious time you have left. Anger, while sometimes deserved, is really a heavy winter coat that should be hung in the back of your closet.

Be thankful for all of the very hard moments in your life- for they pave the road for all of the glorious ones.


Sheila said...

Ooh...I like that.
I'll have to think about this.
Thanks for such a great post!

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Vodka Mom said...

Sheila- this was so much fun! I hope to see yours!

Cindy said...

Every morning before work (I too work with children) after brushing my teeth I look myself in the face and say out loud "You are fucking delightful!!" I then laugh and am ready to face the day!!

Gigi said...

I love both of these! I particularly love this "Greet each day as if you didn’t make a SINGLE mistake the day before."

This is something I struggle with on a daily basis.

Vodka Mom said...

Cindy- I am TOTALLY DOING THAT TOMORROW!! That is classic....truly classic.

Vodka Mom said...

And Gigi, I tell the kids in my class that "Every day is a new day!" And I believe it.


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