February: You Give Me Fever and a Legacy Quest
February is a bit of a vexing month. It’s shorter than other months. There is a day that appears every four years. We are steeped in snow hibernating in our rapidly claustrophobic homes. This sense of claustrophobia, could be why there are so many raging hormones and corresponding wacky crimes out there occurring in the month of February. In the United States, February has two major holidays supposedly giving us days for celebratory outings ; including that of Valentine’s Day. Which in itself can be quite a vexing day.
February is also the time where we may be in a more contemplative mode. January has come and gone along with our New Year’s Resolutions. We may feel a bit down because we haven’t been able to follow through on our grand goals we tried to set for ourselves at the start of the New Year. We also start daydreaming of when we will be able to fully bask in the sunlight thus causing concern over that bikini fit. We want to prepare for summer but we also need those cocktails and comfort foods to soothe our sun-less minds. For me February has been riddled with anxiety and cabin fever. February is the month where I will learn the fate of the grants I applied for many months back when the year of 2013 rapidly descended into non-fun writing hell. These days, I am pricing out random trips to Mongolia and Uzbekistan looking for a way to escape the mundane and the profane. Profane being the unrealistic workplace goals that have also been set while I await a grand decision. Is February even a good time to look for a new job? I know it doesn’t seem like a very good time to try to sell one’s house. February gives us all fever – a contemplative fever.
February is a month where legacies get contemplated, made and observed. As such there are some important days of observance in February that highlight the grand nature of February legacies. In the US, we celebrate President’s Day for both Abraham Lincoln and George Washington were born in the month of February and grand legacies they left. The second Sunday of February is world marriage day. The countries of the Dominican Republic, Sri Lanka, St. Lucia and Estonia celebrate Independence Day in February. On February 21st, UNESCO promotes International Mother Language Day as a day to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity. This mother language observance makes me realize that I need to get working on having my son learn both Spanish-the language of his mother’s ancestors -and Hebrew the language of his father’s ancestors. In that respect, the immediate legacy foremost on my mind is that of multiculturalism and multilingualism in the hopes for a better and more understanding society.
Many believe that the word February comes from februalia, which was the Roman festival of ritual purification, and/or febris (the Latin word for fever) which also puts forth the purification or purging connotation. In that vein February should be a time to purge oneself of a wide range of toxins including thoughts, people and chemicals. I ordered a body cleansing juice. Haven’t touched it. I just can’t quiet motivate myself to do a cleanse. Somehow that seems like a lot of work. I must say, though, that I am pretty good in avoiding toxic people and thoughts. However, February does make me contemplate what it is that I want to do when I grow up. Yes, I know that I have ostensibly been a grown-up for a while now.
A few months ago, I contemplated and developed my own personal statement:
I will find laughter in all tiny nuggets of life.
I will judge each situation judiciously and fairly with a steady core of integrity.
As such I can get through anything. Eventually I will bring great change to the world.
We all want to bring some form of great change to the world. I would argue that we want to leave not only a footprint, but an enduring set of prints that can withstand massive waves crashing or big vats of concrete being poured over them.
My legacy will entail in grand part on my son carrying forward the sensibilities of social justice, love and integrity paying forward the grand love that swells within me every time I look at him. My published research articles leave in part a legacy, but honestly how many people even know read those academic journals that are getting more and more esoteric. I will hopefully continue to publish said articles but eventually I hope to publish my own memoir where I get to contemplate how it all came together. I want to be an embodiment of how tenacity, stubbornness, love, mentorship and humor can raise a girl from the depths of extreme poverty.
Overall, I want my legacy at home, in the workplace and on the road to be an insatiable curiosity. Just like NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover , I want to pass on to others the thirst, hunger and willpower to keep climbing past dunes and all terrains (hospitable and not) to better the world. Let’s all give curiosity a big cheer and recognize that February gives us fever for a legacy and to leave the house.
Inspired in part by the Daily prompt of Legacy