“That they might have joy” column by Jacki Wood
As a little girl, I had a lot of dreams and plans.
I dreamed of having a home with my husband and children nestled in the mountains of Colorado, where I could look out my window and be inspired by the view to write great things.
I also wanted to one day play basketball at Stanford and become the first white woman Harlem Globetrotter. I dreamed of being a great teacher and coach. I planned to write a book, start my own sports camp for underprivileged kids and own a beach house in Chile.
Some of these still might be in my future. But some, like being a Globetrotter, most likely won’t happen.
And that’s okay.
In recent years, I’ve been trying to move away from following some of these plans or things that I thought I wanted and move more toward following my bliss, a phrase coined by American writer and lecturer, Joseph Campbell.
“We must let go of the life we have planned,” he said, “so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”
He said it’s not just a matter of doing what you like or doing as you’re told to do. But it’s determining what you are truly passionate about and trying to give yourself wholly to it.
I was reminded of this philosophy when I attended a small ceremony on January 13 at the library. Mayor Chad Jackson proclaimed the day as “Diane Houston Day” in honor of her recent retirement.
As Diane spoke, I realized she epitomized following your bliss.
Looking back, she said she didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life. But when she first walked into the library, she knew it was the place she was meant to be.
Thirty years ago when Diane took over, I was three years old and attending my first Story Hour there.
A flood of library memories came rushing back to me…dressing up for Halloween, eating homemade cookies, walking carefully down those steep steps to the scary old basement, falling in love with Paddington Bear and numerous other storybook characters, checking out books each week.
There was always a calm, quietness to Diane as she would read and share her love of books with us. And there still is.
For over 30 years, her passion for books and people have served this community well, and she will be missed.
She may have had other plans and dreams growing up, but she accepted the one waiting for her. And I’m grateful she did.
“Follow your bliss,” Campbell said. “Find where it is, and don’t be afraid to follow it.”
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