This I Believe?

Recently I’ve become addicted to NPR’s “This I believe” essays. I love them. Each little essay takes five minutes to read and is packed with hope, clarity and gorgeous writing. Consider a few recent titles: “How to Refill an Empty Life”, “Tomorrow will be a better day”, “The Making of a Poem.” They’re so pretty, Daddy, I want one.

I decided to try and write my own. Why not, right? I poured myself a fresh cup of coffee, put on warm socks, locked my cats out of the den and opened up Word. How long was the screen blank? Long enough to finish my coffee, grab a cookie and find a pillow for my back. I tried again…and again. I decided to just jump in and just type. I could fix it later. But after typing, “I believe” I just sat there.

Turns out, I don’t believe anything. Maybe it’s my age, or maybe the mundane details of my life have eroded my insight, but I got nothing remotely NPR-worthy to surmise. In fact, I feel devoid of any strong beliefs right now. I’ve been actively trying to be tolerant, but in espousing tolerance have I become indifferent? Have my edges gotten so soft, they’re dull?

Ah, screw it. I’m not having any defining moments, just a lot of basically fine ones – which are less poignant, but less messy, so I believe I’ll take them.

Today I believe I’m a fat mess and too old to be considering a maxi dress from Old Navy. I believe I’m the only one who picks up after herself in my house. I believe American Idol sucks this season. I believe my kitchen floor hasn’t been washed in over a month. I believe no matter how many vegetables I cut up and place in my fridge, I will always push them aside to find the cookies. I believe a nap cures all.

I believe I’m done. Anyone else out there with beliefs? Do share: what do you believe?

15 thoughts on “This I Believe?

  1. I believe you’re a good writer!!! Can’t tell you how much I enjoy your writing…..warms my heart and brings a smile to my face every time I read your “musings”. (Your mom is an old friend of mine) (we’re both very old!)

  2. I believe you are absolutely, totally and completely right about American Idol, the cookies, and the beauty of an afternoon nap! I believe that I am the only one in my house that knows how to change the t.p. and flush the toilet. I also believe that reading every night before bed helps me sleep better and that there is no sweeter sound than the belly-laugh of my kids. I believe that we are too busy sometimes to notice simple pleasures in life. The first sip of morning coffee, a new toothbrush, freshly washed sheets, a family dinner, a summer baseball game, and holding my husband’s hand while we take a stroll.

    I believe that life goes by too quickly…………(sigh)

  3. Glad you’re back at it again. You’ve got some good stuff to write about. “I believe:” gardening is good for the soul, neighbors in my drive way (on their hands & knees) looking for their cat is hiliarious, naps in the afternoon are necessary, falling down in restaurants is nothing to be ashamed of, etc.
    You have made me Laugh Out Loud many times. You are good enough to be read anywhere. Believe.

  4. I believe that I have also contemplated writing an “I Believe” for NPR, and gotten nowhere. I believe that I don’t know what an Old Navy maxi dress is. Is it somehow related to a maxi-pad?

  5. You always make me smile! What a fantastic post. I think you could be the next [younger version of] Erma Bombeck.

    Speaking for myself, I do think tolerance can dull us. I think the trick is finding a way to balance strong beliefs with gentleness and compassion. That way we don’t become obnoxious fanatics who try to force others on board.

    What do I believe? [I’m tempted to write the lyrics to a song here]. In short, I believe the tomb is empty! I believe that the love of Jesus is bigger than I can imagine. I believe that I am blessed beyond measure and have done nothing to merit any of it. I believe that family and friends keep me afloat. I believe that heaven will surprise us all. I believe that love wins.

  6. I believe I should listen more regularly to NPR so I know what you are talking about and be a more informed citizen. I believe you should buy the maxi dress! I believe I should go finish this paper…

  7. I believe I’ve contemplated writing one of these essays, too, but it’s always when I’m listening to NPR in the car. Then, I get home and my brain shuts down. I’ve toyed with the idea of setting up an office in my car. If I pull in close enough to the local Caribou Coffee, I can pick up their Wi-Fi.

  8. I believe my house is a mess and we are leaving for spring break tomorrow so I’m sorry to leave just one response to all my kind commenters – but! I believe I love all of you.

  9. I believe you are a great writer and you should not take any more wrting classes because they are screwing with your head. I believe you are incredibly like your grandmother. I also believe in family and feel terrible that we haven’t seen each other in a long time. Let’s get together soon.

    1. Oh we will…there’s a baby shower coming up and guess who’s hosting? You and your daughters (+in law) are coming. You are. No excuses.

  10. Have you ever read ‘Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life’ by Anne Lamott? For some reason, reading this post reminded me of that book. If you haven’t, I highly recommend it. I think you would like it. And thank you for recommending ‘The Six Wives of Henry VIII’ to me…I enjoyed it very much 🙂

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