I open my mailbox and my heart sinks. Oh no. Here is ANOTHER one. I can tell by the mass, the tell tale-plastic wrap, and wait… Yes, there it is, that smile beaming from the front cover – once warm and welcoming – now… derisive.
O Magazine! With the arrival of this latest edition, I am now officially 10 months behind even cracking the cover. Oh, how I used to thrill at the monthly arrival of this glossy volume of wit and wisdom and what-not-to-wear. We were so close… Suze and Phil, Martha and Lisa… People who regularly made it on to my “who would you most like to have dinner with” list.
Independent, under employed, and living in NYC, I used to read O Magazine from cover to cover – often while I was riding the A train from 181st down to the center of Manhattan and back again for auditions. Now, as a single mother and independent business owner living in beautiful Traverse City Michigan without a train in sight, the only time I can find to read is right before I close my eyes (pass out) at night, which takes approximately the same amount of time I would currently last in a spin class – 3 minutes.
The neatly stacked pile of unread advice and insight mocks me. Typically, I carefully place the latest copy at the BOTTOM of the pile, as I feel I must read them in order to glean the learning in a lateral sequence. Surely there is a method to the release of information that demands that I read them according to the publish date? This neglected O Pile feels like a short finger-waving heap of Motivational Guilt.
As a National Motivational Speaker, I should be reading every word of every self-help, communication-improving, conflict-resolving item that hits the stands, right? It’s what I give to my audiences every time I speak – the best and brightest ideas about life, delivered with my unique spin and embarrassing yet poignant personal stories. How in the world could I possibly not have caught up with O in 10 MONTHS!?!
The idea of tackling this task causes me to develop Organizationosis. As in, “I will start wading through this stack of magazines, but first I really should organize the refrigerator – my socks – my spice drawer” (as if I actually USE SPICES!)
Last Wednesday, in a bold act of self-rebellion, I threw caution to the wind and grabbed an O Magazine FROM THE MIDDLE OF THE PILE to read on my flight to my next speaking gig. Then, on the plane I flipped it open TO THE MIDDLE OF THE MAGAZINE and began to read the article that lay on those pages. Guess what? The world did not end! And I actually learned a lot from the article and it was something I could implement and share right away during my event the next morning.
The relief was palpable. I do NOT have to read the O Pile in order, in order to benefit from the knowledge imparted between the ads for wrinkle cream and diet plans! (Both of which I should probably heed.) I am FREE!
I have decided to treat my stack of O Magazines as my own personal Tarot Card Deck. I will draw out a magazine in random order and believe that God, my spirit guide, or the crazy Ju Ju that rules all things Crystal Ball will lead me to the exact volume I need at that exact moment. I will do the same with the small library of E-books, Pod-casts, and Blogs that I have been yearning to digest for months. Whether or not “Magazine Pile Guides” exist is a small matter compared to the freedom of being released from having to do everything in a precise manner. < Do you have your own personal “O Pile” in your life? It might be your Thank You Card list, your desire to learn Yoga, or just to find out what all “The Good Wife” fuss is about. Try this – Just JUMP IN! Jot a quick note of gratitude to the first person that comes to your mind. HuLu.com any old episode of a series you have been wanting to watch. Fling yourself into Downward Dog! (Well, on second thought, you actually may want to have one or two basic instructions before doing any yoga pose flinging – I speak from experience on that one…)
But really, let’s let go of “orderly fashion” and embrace “grab it and go!” Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go toss this giant magazine randomly ONTO THE TOP of my O Pile – and while I’m at it, I might even root through the whole pack of Starburst just to eat the orange one first!