I did a radio interview the other day and one of the questions thrown at me was, "Who do you admire?" I wasn't thrilled with the answer I gave. I babbled something about how I've always responded to the wrong role models. If someone I know does great things, I tend toward apathy after spending time with them. I'm happy for them, but I wander around in a daze for awhile, trying not think about how much I have left I want to accomplish in life and wondering how they managed to do so much with theirs.
On the other end of the spectrum, put me in a room with a deadbeat for 10 minutes and I'll stay fired up for a week. Projects, done! New proposals, done! Networking, marketing, housework, exercise, done, done, done, done! Something about seeing people flounder around in their own lives motivates me to do more with my own. (Nice, I know.)
But after a luncheon meeting yesterday with my Madison Writer's Group, it hit me. I am surrounded by role models, people I really, truly admire, in every aspect of my life.
Take the Madison Writer's Group. A couple of the woman in this group are in their early 70's. (Which just floors me. They don't look or act like what I think of when I think "70-year-old.") One woman has spent over a year collecting stories from veterans that she's going to publish in a book. Another is involved in singing and theatre and decided the other day that she's going to try her hand at writing. One woman in her sixties had great success as an author in the 80's and is revising some manuscripts and having great fun with getting back into writing. All of these woman are funny, intelligent, active, and going after life. I love being around them.
Then there's running. People in my running group, men and women who are in their 50's and 60's, routinely whip my ass. There's a quote that says you don't stop exercising because you get old, you get old because you stop exercising. These people are living proof that good health and strong bodies are available at any age.
My friends who are writers are all inspiring. Most work full-time yet still pursue their dream of writing full-time with a passion.
I teach workshops at the Women's Resource Center and the woman in the New Choices program are working hard to build new, better lives for themselves. Completely inspiring.
My best friend is a single parent and kicks ass at it. Honey, I would have dropped dead from exhaustion years ago.
My sister makes motherhood look like a walk in the park. How on earth? Amazing.
And don't get me started on Blair. I know I'm not the only one wondering how I managed to end up with the most wonderful man on the planet.
Who inspires me? I think the better question is, who doesn't? I stopped this week to take a look at my life and was just blown away with what's been in front of me all this time. Warm, caring, generous, inspiring people that I can hardly believe I'm lucky enough to call my friends.