We got our own thing

red ink . . .

So pink ink and I were talking on my way home from a board meeting this morning about what keeps us, not only afloat, but sane and happy when things that we can’t absolutely control (like our health or our teenagers!) loom large in our lives.

Without a doubt, friendship keeps us going. The ability to talk to someone unedited, to tell your most random thoughts and to have them received, without judgment, and responded to with love, even if the response is just a heartfelt “Girl….” is crucial. But we decided, as we wound our way through another therapy session, that it’s more than that.

A bit of background is necessary here … you see we can both recall vividly the days when despite our educational backgrounds and training, the only thing we can remember in a given day is feeling great about getting showered and dressed in real clothes when the kids were babies. We get it — just getting through the day when you are a busy wife and mother can feel like an accomplishment!

The one thing that has always been there below the surface, albeit often unstated, is the idea that we both had something that we cared deeply about (in addition to the loves of our lives) that we wanted to apply our skills and talents to, and that we wanted to somehow make a difference and move the ball on some issue. We come by it honestly, because we both come from parents who taught us that by their example that “to whom much is given, much is required” whether their contributions were on a grand scale as a national leader for the Urban League (shout out to pink ink’s dad, Dr. Bernard Watson) or in their own communities as teachers, scout leaders and PTA presidents (shout out to my mom and dad, Walter and Gertrude Baker, and pink ink’s mom, Lois Watson)

Given the prominence of “health” over the last year in both of our families lives, it’s not surprising that we would both have chosen as one of our contributions, causes that promote health and wellness. We have both balanced babies (and husbands) and board meetings, with pink ink serving as board member at Komen Phoenix and Coalition of Blacks Against Breast Cancer, and with me as the chair-elect of a faith-based, large system board based in Chicago. Our commitment to these causes, and to others, have given us an avenue for our creative energies and has made us feel like our time on this planet matters. This spirit of service and giving back has honestly been an umbrella in times of storm. Sometimes, attending a board meeting and taking your eyes off of whatever is happening in your house or your body for a moment and focusing on others is just what the doctor ordered to make you feel better.

Your “thing” can be whatever matters most to you – it can be personal, local, national or even global. And you can have more than one “thing” at a time (I care about health and wellness and mentoring youth for example), and your “thing” can change as your life changes. But for goodness sake, be about the business of figuring out what your “thing” might be now and get to doing something about it! (Side Note: So proud that pink ink launched her new website and blog, focused entirely on wellness. Check it out — http://www.pinkwellchick.com.)

Honestly, having your own thing – that thing that you care about and that inspires you, will get you through – at least, I know that it has for pink ink and me.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. TME
    Sep 26, 2012 @ 03:16:20

    Wonderful post. And an important reminder that everyone should have something that they are passionate about that propels them to get up and plug into life everyday. It is different for everyone but we all share a common thread in life. The thread of purpose and meaning for our lives. Kudos!



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