I recently celebrated a birthday and loved the fact that people want to give gifts. We all love receiving gifts, of course. So, that got me thinking. What if the giver and receiver were the same person? Can you give a gift to yourself?
Well, yes. In fact, I did just that many years ago. I gave myself the gift of time and did something that is supremely selfish - I wrote a book.
Let me give you some background. Sixteen years ago I was a working mom of two young boys. I left my job as a VP of a Boston bank, kept my kids' day care arrangements in place, holed up in my freezing cold home office and let the book take shape. Looking back, I had been giving to others - kids, husband, jobs. You know the drill. I was in a career that I loved but wasn't really "me". I had this crazy story rattling around in my head looking for an escape hatch. Stepping off that well defined and highly worn career path and into the weeds is not for the faint of heart. Being responsible to others and for others was the dominant force in my life. Giving to others is just how I was wired then and now.
But there was this story, you see, about a girl who loved the land and loved horses. She experienced a huge loss and met someone that sparked her alive again. There were some complications in their love story - pesky little details like the IRA and a terrorist cell. Her story ripened inside of me and needed to be told. I wanted to see if I could be the one to voice it.
So, I did. I gave myself the gift of time. I gave myself permission to write.