When I focus on the word “preserves” I think about the sand plum jelly we made on the farm, and the hours we spent canning tomatoes and green beans.
Those wonderful Mason jars provided us with fresh food throughout the winter months and also preserved memories of cooking with Mom in the farm kitchen.
But a deeper type of preservation intrigues me now. What does it mean to be emotionally preserved? Can I invent a personal thesaurus around the topic of preservation?
Preserved foods always taste fresh, even after years in storage. No matter how we serve them up, if they have been preserved properly — they are a treat.
Psalm 31:23 reminds me, “The Lord preserves the faithful….”
So how can I remain emotionally fresh and alert for each new day? How can the topic of hope keep me fresh in a world of rot?
Self-care comes to mind. Rest and taking care of myself holistically. Exercise to preserve my strength. Throwing away the junk foods, although an occasional treat is allowed. A ten-minute restorative nap. Reading a good book to reboot my brain.
The Availability of Preservation
One reason we canned vegetables was so we could eat them during the months when the garden was frozen. A quick trip to the cellar to bring up the jars. No cost. No trouble.
To be available to others, I need to set healthy boundaries. I cannot help every single person who wants me to edit a book, become a coach or write online content.
Through the years, I have learned my limitations. Saying “No” has become even more important as the years add up. Then I can preserve my availability for what matters.
Some of my boundaries include:
- no more than ten speaking gigs / year
- only attending writers conferences where I coach or teach
- a total of 20 coaching clients / month
- one month allowed for each book I edit
To be available to the creative urges within, my spirit needs to be rested and alert. Then as an idea flirts with me, I write it down immediately. No self-doubt allowed. No hesitation.
Because our foods were preserved well, we never suffered from botulism, e coli or any type of toxic side effects. The pressure cooker was sterilized. The jars proactively boiled. No germs allowed.
Because security is one of my core values, I want people to feel safe around me. As readers pick up my books, the topics must be clear. No fear to approach questions that need to be asked.
Even if I stretch some comfort zones, I strive for truth which creates safety in the ask. Ingesting positive words brings the a-ha moment and builds on hope. Confidentiality within the coaching relationships preserves safety.
No Expiration Date.
Our sand plum jellies lasted for years and were always edible. We skimmed off the top layer of wax, then spread the golden lusciousness on top of warm homemade bread.
No need for a QR code on the side of our jars.
When we reach one of those special age limits, when the AARP mailings begin and advertisements for a final resting place, we have not yet reached our expiration date.
Only God knows the beginning and ending of our timelines. Alpha and Omega at work.
So until that date arrives, I want to keep on task. Develop my writing gifts and coaching processes. Continue in hope, no matter what the circumstances. Accept no dread about that final expiration date.
Share hope with others and keep some of the lusciousness of life for myself. Preserve what is good and share what is best.
©2019 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved
For writers who want to continue with their craft, check out Write and Share Your Story: Creating Your Personal Experience Article.