Inspired To Action.

A funny thing happens sometimes, when you’re busy with life, going through your daily schedule and getting things done (or not): your mojo can start to slip away. It can slip when you’re tired, and it can slip when you aren’t organized. Mojo can fade away when you’re not paying attention.

The silver lining in all of this is the fact that, it’s easy to get a jumpstart for your mojo, and I had not one but TWO jumpstarts today.

First, after insanely aggravating traffic that, due to nothing in particular except for some rain, caused me to be in the car for a full two and a half hours to get to Wrigleyville–normally a fifty-five minute drive from my house–I attended the Chicago leg of the Hallmark Tour. I will write about the event in more detail soon, but what I can tell you about right now is that we Chicago bloggers in attendance had the extreme pleasure of hearing from three of the great folks from Hallmark corporate office. Molly Wigand was one of them. She’s been a writer for Hallmark since the early 1980’s, with the exception of a break to raise her family. I really enjoyed the creative exercise Molly put us through. She gave us all an envelope that contained fifty words, each on their own small piece of paper. We were to randomly pick three to five words and then write–by hand, even!–a blog post. Right there. And share it. When Molly told us what we were going to do, I immediately began worrying about what kind of quality I could produce in such a short time. I was pleasantly surprised at what I created.

My words were: “Rainy Day”, “Sparkles”, and “Window”. Here’s what I came up with, in less than ten minutes:

“Lately I’ve been overworked, overtired, and over-challenged with a schedule that just won’t quite. Sometimes, it feels like an impossibility to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I’ve discovered that if I can keep my eyes open for the smallest breaks in the chaos, I feel a great sense of relief.

Yesterday gave me one of those rare moments. It was a rainy day, and as I went to the kitchen to refresh my cup of green tea, something in the window caught my eye. The raindrops, mixing with a fine mist, attached themselves to the glass in a magical and beautiful way, looking like sparkles in the sunlight which was just peeking through.

I gently clutched my cup of tea, and instead of returning to work I sank down into the soft couch cushions, enjoying nature’s show.”

I felt invigorated as I read it to the group, and silently laughed at how worried I had been. I had a conversation recently with a friend (who had just written a beautiful blog post in very little time) about how odd it is that when we anxiously take extra care and time to write something “just so”, it’s rarely as good as what we can “toss together”. I was happy to prove that theory to myself, again. Just to put the pen to paper–TO WRITE!–felt really, really good. I brought my envelope of words home and, who knows, you might see some more of my writing exercises right here.

I went from the Hallmark event directly to meet my “city half”, Margaret, for lunch. I don’t see Margaret as often as I’d like to since she’s usually giving tours when I’m in the city, but Tuesdays are her day off so we joined forces at the Pick-Me-Up Cafe for a meeting of the minds. I’ve written about Margaret here a couple of times, and I just can’t stress enough that if you are in the area and don’t know her, you need to get to know her. (Ahem, take a tour!) Every single stinkin’ time I leave a meeting with Margaret, I am PUMPED UP, ready to take on whatever tasks are on my to-do list (and sometimes new ones that Margaret helps me come up with!) with total gusto, and I think she is, too. We talked about what our current projects are over some awesome sandwiches and delicious French fries, and then two hours later we may have given each other a fist bump as we said our goodbyes. I came home and finally tackled the mess on my kitchen desk, which wasn’t technically something I discussed with Margaret, but if you could have seen how high all of the stacks of papers and such were before, you’d completely understand the relation between my getting it done and my inspiring lunch with Margaret. Tomorrow I will conquer the world.

Mojo? Recharged.