A few weeks ago, a client’s young daughter wouldn’t leave my arms to go back to her mother. The client seemed insulted. To cover the moment, I grandly pronounced that, of course the child clung to me — after all, I was the Empress of the Universe. The tension eased; I walked the client to her car, handed the baby to her, and made a quick retreat.
I’m emotionally rocky this week and looking for ways to reclaim my positive outlook. I’ve had my writers’ workshop participants construct Vision Boards, to which they affix images and words that symbolize where they want to reach with their work. I decided to make an “affirmation board”, and happened to see a pretty bulletin board at a thrift store aptly sporting a crown — for Queen Corinne, Empress of the Universe.
I’ve filled this board with little notes from various folks: An angel Christmas card from my dear friend Paula; one of the last postcards that my mother sent me; a Valentine note from my son circa 1996, a Mother’s Day card sporting Wonder Woman from my stepson; a letter from my father telling me how proud he was of me; a get well card from my nieces Amy and Chelsea. Mixed among the letters and cards, I’ve added pictures of people whom I hold in my heart: My brother Stephen, some nieces and nephews, my son, Susan Jeffay and Kati the cousin, Paul Orso playing pool at my grandfather’s house.
This affirmation board hangs in my kitchen, where I cannot avoid it. I will see it in the early morning, on sleepless nights, while I’m hauling laundry or making tea. I can stand, and study each small item, and think about the people in my little universe, some of whom might actually regard me as their Empress. I cannot help but smile. I cannot help but feel affirmed, if only for the brief moment when my gaze falls upon my board.