So a few places I’ve been finding inspiration lately.
First, and especially since our move, I’ve been feeling pretty inspired by my cat Ella. She has this arthritis in her back legs that clearly bothers her and makes it hard for her to move around, but she’s so sanguine about it. She keeps doing all the things she wants to do, even though it maybe takes her longer or is clumsy. I don’t just want to be more like that; I have to be more like that. I mean, if my cat can handle life with such grace, can’t I?
Another place I’ve been finding inspiration is at my piano. For several months, I abandoned my practice book so I could focus on learning Erik Satie’s First Gymnopédies, which, after hours upon hours upon hours of work, I’m kind of starting to get. So I thought maybe it was time to go back to my practice book, and what I found is that while I was doing all that work on the Satie, I became slightly less horrible at sight reading music. This isn’t to say I’m good at sight reading, by any means. I play a lot more from the sounds in my head and what my hands have memorized than I do from those marks on the page, but, still, that teeny tiny wedge of improvement makes me feel optimistic and energized. It reminds me that work itself can be inspiring. Seeing an effort I’ve make produce a positive result–even a small one–opens up my mind and makes me feel like things are possible. It’s also a good reminder that most big changes involve a lot of miniscule steps and improvements.
Last, I get a lot of ideas from reading the newspaper, particularly the business section of the New York Times. I don’t even understand a good third (or maybe even half) of what they write about there, but it always makes me think–sometimes reinforcing my ideas and sometimes forcing me to see the world from an entirely different perspective. I especially love their Sunday Corner Office series, which is a weekly Q&A type chat with a manager about what he or she does. I’ve been reading the column for at least three years now, and the bias is definitely toward innovation and more progressive theories, and because the tone is conversational, none of it seems like anything I couldn’t do myself if I were so inclined. It’s also really interesting to learn about all these different companies and what they do. It’s a good counterbalance to the articles that talk about how much people are suffering in our current economy (which, for a librarian, are their own brand of inspiring–or maybe motivating is a better word).
I’m going to try to keep posting about things I find inspiring for a while. I’d love to hear what some of you are inspired by, too.