Tomorrow – May 24 – is International Tiara Day. Obviously, for all Divas and Divas-in-Training, this is a High Holiday and one that should be celebrated vigorously. There are as many ways to observe this wonderful day as there are Divas to celebrate the day, so do as you will. Perhaps you’ll want to have high tea in a flowered dress, heels, and a delicate rhinestone tiara. Maybe you’ll want to spend the afternoon hiking in a local park with your head raised high, pretending you’re wearing a tiara. You might drive around town dropping off books at Little Free Libraries and canned goods to Little Free Pantries, pausing occasionally to balance your gothic crown. Or you might while away an hour blowing bubbles on a carousel horse, with your diadem rakishly tilted over one eye.
You do you, Diva. Just do it out loud.
Since last I posted, I’ve been working hard to find joy. And to scatter it. I really can’t recommend a “loving-kindness” journal enough to keep myself on track with this. Mine is a 4 x 6 inch slim notebook that I write in at night. Now, this isn’t a detailed diary – each entry is only a few sentences long. The trick is to find at least one thing that day that was kind or beautiful, or whimsical, or smile-producing. That can be something I did, something I noticed, or something that was done for me. (Accepting those bits of grace is something I don’t do very well, so I appreciate getting practice in that area.) Keep this journal every day for a month and it becomes a practice. There is Great Truth in the adage that “as ye seek, so shall ye find.” Look for the Good Stuff and you’ll find it, baby. So the journal forces me to slow down and really look around at the good, GOOD things that are going on in my life, even when I don’t think there’s much there.
Here are a dozen things I’ve noted that have helped me both take care of myself and realize that other people want to help me take care of myself since the last post, some small, some big:
- Made time to paint
- Received a HUGE sloth blanket and a nearly embarrassing amount of Skittles from a good friend
- Made a “bike date” with a good friend
- Cooked dinner from scratch
- Accepted a gift of a stunning tiara, which I plan on wearing tomorrow. It suits me
- Sought out the County Art Show and took my time going through the exhibits – the photo on the right doesn’t do this painting justice, but I had to try to capture it
- Took advantage of an “Airstream rally” on the town square where I met some wonderfully daffy people who invited the public in to see their refurbished chrome homes
- Discovered the historical fiction of Fiona Davis, who sets her lush tales in New York and tells two stories from different decades, centering on a building such as the Dakota or the New York Public Library
- Picked up a copy of Marjorie Hillis’s Live Alone and Like It, which was a source book for a character in Davis’s The Lions of Fifth Avenue. Hillis wrote this book, along with Bubbly on Your Budget, just after the worst of the Great Depression and, while some of the advice is dated, it’s shocking how much of it is applicable and stated with common horse sense and cheeky good humor
- Fussed over graduates facing the future and trying to figure out how to wear a mortarboard
- Spent quality time with my beloved god-daughter
- Traveled on an educational trip with two dozen college students to Puerto Rico, where I learned about the ecology and history of the island, wore ylang-ylang in my hair, swam in a bioluminescent bay under a full moon, drank magnificent coffee, snorkeled, asked for a specially-made mocktail (and was rewarding for my impertinence with a fantastic passionfruit delight!), and learned the basic steps of salsa dancing. Now, I am far from being a coltish ingénue, but I had quite a wonderful time. (As a chaperone, I also had to deal with a few less-than-pleasant bits, but that comes with the territory. Pack a thorough first-aid kit and get on with it.) It was a terrific opportunity and these were such good kids – you can learn a lot by just listening, you know. It was a privilege to be with them.
Tomorrow is Tiara Day. If you need one, make that your excuse to treat yourself gently and with compassion. Be kind. Be joyous. And be your best self!