What creates strong childhood memories?

Our children no doubt have some doozies. In 1977 I tacked my personal manifesto on the front of our avocado green refrigerator. Like Martin Luther I was looking for reformation. He used nails. I used magnets. We both demanded change.

Deb was 10 years old and Doug was 12. I was a full-time college student, part-time employee, full-time wife and mother.  Something had to give. My sanity was slipping away. That had to stop. I read my proclamation with intensity. Don, Doug and Deb sat nearby in stunned silence. I barked, “I need help! I can’t do it all.” Then I spelled out in detail how they could help. We would all do laundry, take turns cooking and be responsible for following through on our chores. 

The kitchen was a blaze with my fiery determination.

This morning, forty two years later, my kitchen is quiet. Outside my window are icy branches.  They sparkle in early morning sunlight. They look beautiful.  I wonder, “What harm might ice bring to these tender buds?” I have time to notice nature.My current manifestos are about how I take care of others and myself. 

Recently in one of the circles a woman read her manifesto. It reminded me of mine. Her’s was also a list of things she claimed for herself. We all felt empowered as we listened to her read. A turning point in her life initiated it. Maybe that’s true for most. We need to arrive at a point where we realize we have not been living true to ourselves before we act. We’ve gone too far. Given away too much. We have come to a point when the best choice is to give voice to to what we want.

Do we need to wait for an outer event to trigger writing a manifesto? 

What if we spent time now to create a statement of how we want our lives to be? A manifesto lets us make a clear statement of what we want and what we will no longer tolerate. Areas we might address are; relationships, work, career, body, health, time, and money. We might include statements like these; I will do work that express my gifts and talents. I will honor my desire to create by making a place and time for it. I found a website article about how to write one helpful, check it out: daringtolivefully.com/personal-manifesto

Mine stayed on the refrigerator for quite some time. It was important for them to see it. It was most important for me to stay clear about my declarations. The changes initiated that day continued for years afterwards. Doug and Deb learned to do laundry, how to shop for groceries and how to cook. Positive changes came out of me speaking my truth.

This morning I read about ice covered buds and was surprised to learn that this coating is a good thing. Ice can act like a blanket around a bud. Orange growers spray their budding trees before a cold snap to protect them from harm. What looks like a bad thing can actually be a good thing. Trust me, when I made my proclamations it didn’t feel like a good thing. It was.  Often difficult communications calls forth potential in others and  ourselves. Our manifesto can feel wrong and risky. At a deeper level it is claiming who we are. 

That is a good thing.

Photo Credit CC: Liz West