Thursday, September 18, 2008

Begad! It's the 18th!

It's me goal to start a new Highlowaha ritual - even in the midst of settin' sail for National Talk Like a Pirate Day,  which is TOMORROW!!!

As many of our longstanding readers know, the number 18 is special to the highlowaha community.  The 18th, according to highlowaha legend, represents the date of our first post.  I say, "legend" because we later learned that the first post wasn't actually until the the 19th of February... not the 18th.  This little factoid compliments of Cheryl - Mad Ethel Bonney. 

No worries.  When presented with such Bilge(!), the highlowaha community rallied and determined that, rather than sweating recovery of the "lost day," we would embrace it as a symbol of what highlowaha stands for.  So today #218 (February 18) carries special meaning.  It means living a life where, no matter how busy you feel or how long your list of things to do is, we make time the little things - the things that make this world a nicer, more civil, and more joyous place to live.

Living the spirit of 218 will mean different things to different readers.  To me it might mean saying "yes" instead of "no" when one of my sons asks if I will help him paint.  It might mean sending a care package or writing a note to someone who I know is down in the dumps.  It might mean walking to the local park on a beautiful day, instead of rigidly following what's on my calendar.  It could mean attending a lecture when I didn't plan to... or reading an article that I might typically write-off as unimportant.  For you it will mean something totally different.

In some ways, highlowaha is embodies #218.  The blog itself is named "highlowaha," because of the simple Beeny ritual of sharing our high, low, and aha each night over dinner.  No matter how busy or bad our day is, we always come back to the safety of the dinner table where together where we settle into this comforting ritual.  

It's also about the writing of this almost-daily-blog.  My writing this blog started as a lark.  I was bored, on maternity leave, and curious to see if I could meet the challenge of posting a new idea each day for one year.  In the beginning making my posts took 15 - 20 minutes.  Seven months later our community has grown and we are busy!  We're earning patches; raising money; reading books; helping those in need; doing random acts of kindness; baking, baking, and more baking; tracking down readers in all corners of the map; painting the town red; and competing in Olympics.  Not to mention giving birth to blog mascot, Ray Wattson!

What used to take me 15-20 minutes now takes 50-75... what with all the announcements and record keeping that must happen.  But, I love it.  Highlowaha is my guilty pleasure.  It's one of those things I make time for, in spite of the fast paced life I live.  It's a small time-out that makes my world a nicer, more civil, and yes... more joyous place. 

The number 18 is additionally special to me, because it is the date of my mother and father's birthdays.  My mother's birthday is August 18 and my dad's is July 18.  Anyone who knows me, and knows my parents, can see glimpses of them in my daily posts.  From my dad I probably get his self-deprecating humor and love for writing (though not his mastery of the English language... and the usage of lay, lain, lie, etc...).  From my mother I get my creativity, my sense of occasion, and of course the life tip that serves as this blogs inspiration.  ...Foster your creativity by never using the same idea twice.

What a long prologue to today's simple post...

On the 18th of every month, no matter what theme week we might be in the middle of, we will stop to reflect on our highs, lows, and ahas.  You can share your high, low, aha since you posted a month ago, since last week, or since you woke up.  Your choice.  The point really is to live the Spirit of 218.  Stop... make time for friends and... make time to reflect on all that's going on in your life.

I'll start.
  • High: The weather in Texas has been beautiful for the past four days and I LOVE sunny weather.
  • Low:  My husband has been out of town for most of the week and I miss him.
  • Aha: I learned a new organizational tip yesterday.  To better manage the paper in your life, try this...  Read whatever the paper is.  If you can't deal with it right then (which of course is the ultimate goal) then write the expiration date in the top right hand corner.  If, for instance, it is a birthday party invitation and the party is on September 27, then you might use October 1 as the expiration date.  Then, when talking on the phone or watching t.v., simply file through your stack of papers and discard any with an "expiration" date that is passed.  This tip allows you to more efficiently manage the stack of papers that can invariably overtake our counter(s).
Maybe we can add this to the mix.  Cheryl and I bantered back and forth about whether highlowaha readers would value/wear a t-shirt bearing the numbers 218 on front.  It would serve as a visible way to communicate the spirit of highlowaha and to celebrate the values behind the numbers.  Vote with your hands.  If you like the idea of the t-shirt then post your high, low, and aha today and your name will go in a drawing for the inaugural shirt! 

Signing off until tomorrow... when we are in full pirate swing and making final preparations for Virtual Pirate Bingo!

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