Awhile back I won a Mother’s Day writing contest. No not 1st place, I received 4th. The winning is special, but not as special as the judges reading my words and liking the way I put them together. It made me feel good. No, I take that back-I felt great.
The prize doesn’t matter (okay it does). What does matter is being told that what you do and how you do it touches someone else in such a way that they want to recognize you for it. Especially when they are NOT related to you in anyway!
My mom and dad get teary-eyed and give me a hug. My significant other (my own personal knight in shining armor) can say "wow". The children I gave birth too can say something akin to "I didn’t know you could write like this" and mean it in a sincerely complimentary way.
But when wonderful people, such as those of you who are reading this right now, take the time to let me know that this is a job well done-Well! That’s when my heart and head just soar!
When someone asks-so what did you win? I honestly don’t remember what my prize was! I was just so overwhelmed by the recognition that I forgot that there was actual "loot" involved. This time the essay was included in a book! What could possibly be more exciting, except someone offering to publish a real book of my own??
My son-the handsome, tattooed, UCI graduate was more practical, he used my talents to edit what was to be his last undergraduate term paper. My pleasure, I also happen to be terrific with a red marker.
My former co-workers thought it was hilarious- "Carine-you get 4th place out of about 170 entrants and you don’t care beyond that? Why not?"
I suppose it’s a legitimate query. My daughter just shook her head-"Mom, you’re so good at writing-quit the day job and go for it" Obviously she is my adventurous one.
I eventually listened. Although it was more of a “have to” that a voluntary decision.
The answer to the above questions? When I write, I put my all into the words and they are what matter. Whether it’s an article about "The Importance of Early Intervention in Rheumatoid Arthritis", a restaurant review, an article on baking or my weekly blog-it’s a big part of who I am.
To be recognized for the worth of your passion is the prize, the rest is some mighty nice extras.