The other night I went to a reception–a salon, really–hosted by The Silver Pen‘s Hollye Jacobs for journalist Lisa Ling, who was speaking later that evening as part of the wonderful arts and lecture series at UC Santa Barbara.
Hollye, who is a friend and amazing person, held an informal discussion with Lisa, and invited questions from the audience. It made for an interesting and provocative evening, but my favorite sound bite had not to do with the media, or Lisa’s work on Our America on the Oprah network, or her stint on The View, or even her sister Laura Ling’s capture by the North Koreans.
It was her response to Hollye’s question about how she stayed centered emotionally in the midst of the horror and suffering she often witnesses as a reporter in the field. Did she meditate, pray, or have some sort of spiritual practice that helped her to keep balance between her work and her personal life? Lisa thought for a minute and said, “Every morning I just say thank you.” For all the opportunities she’s had and for all that is good in her life. She went on to say how we spend so much time thinking about what we don’t have instead of what we do have. Amen sister.
As I sit here at my desk with my to-do lists, my first-quarter goals, my Evernotes and my stacks of shoulds–and fretting over the lot of it–I’m going to focus on what I do have. What I have right now. Love, friends, family, work, opportunity, Cherry Garcia ice cream bars, pimento cheese, and all the amazing things I oughtn’t take for granted for one single second. Oh, and Downton Abbey. Thank you.
P.S. Hollye should have a TV show. She’s such a natural and such a delight. And smart. Just sayin’.