Jan 18, 2012

Good Things: The Above and Beyond Award

Many, many thanks to the crew over at Beyond The Margins for presenting me with their Above and Beyond Award.

I was talking to my daughter last night, discussing all the things in our lives we cannot control.  We usually think of this in terms of tragedy: personal disasters, disease, sudden deaths that leave us without words.

In the face of bad things, there is no better response than embracing life with joy and passion.  Why be so obsessed with living if we curl up in a ball and refuse to live?

So we accept the things over which we have no control, do our best to make good choices among the choices we do have, and continue to project good into the world.  It's all we can do.  It's enough.

I reminded her too that there are so many good things over which we have no control.

I used this award as an example.

Never in a million years could I set a goal to receive this kind of acknowledgement.  I can't even fathom it.  A group of amazing writers from the Boston area, writers with publishing credits and awards, writers who gathered together around Grub Street---they're going to get together and decide to give me an award?  What's the likelihood of that?

J.C. Rosen wrote this amazing response and members of my online communities overwhelmed me with congratulations. On top of that? The other nominees embraced me in a way that scares me just a little, because I'm pretty sure I'm not worthy to be among them, not to mention selected.

And yet this happened and I am that kind of thankful that makes me cry.

So yes, sometimes the bad things in life are out of our control, but sometimes the good things are too.  In the best-case scenarios, we go about our days projecting the best of ourselves into the world and we become the out-of-control good in another person's life.  I can't imagine anything better than that.


  1. Fantastic -- well done and very well deserved.

  2. Johanna, Well done. You inspire me.

  3. I love the way you framed your conversation with your daughter. You bookended the bad with the good in a way that can include the tragic random and the wonderfully benign. I spent hundreds of pages in my novel circling the notion of living with helplessness in an arbitrary world, but you said it in such a lovely way right here. There are the bad things we cannot control. And there are also the delightful surprises. Congratulations again.

  4. Thank you, Holly. You inspire me too!

  5. Thanks, Nichole. I can't wait to read your book. I'm thinking it's out this summer. Is that right?