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The Other Marion McNabb


I got tagged in a post the other day on Twitter. It was for some smartypants person’s event in South Africa or some foreign land. Reading the post in my sweatpants from the comfort of my minivan firmly planted on American soil, (specifically in carline in Sherman Oaks, CA), I realized what had happened. The tagger had mistaken me for the other Marion McNabb. The amazing, crazy successful Dr. Marion McNabb. The globe-trotting, health specialist, medical genius mega human titan Marion McNabb. The brilliant impassioned educator who has devoted her life to helping heal others, globally. Her. That one. Not this kid - the Marion McNabb who shops, cleans and waits on the three most beautiful children in the entire world and writes books and scripts and blogs about the musings and observations of life as a middle aged female writer kicking (ass) and eating too much sugar in Los Angeles. Easy mistake.

Okay so fine, I admit it, prior to the error, I googled myself. I knew about her, about us. I'd seen her - the Super MM. It wasn't hard. She’s been running around with our name saving the world and being awesome and very likable for some time now. She’s implementing digital-based health programs in places like Haiti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Mozambique, Vietnam, Uganda and Tanzania. She's leading a project to to support the elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV in Uganda. What a Marion McNabb! I just love her. And I haven't even gotten to the best part yet - she lives and works in Boston, MA! She teaches at Boston University. Ironic? Uh, hellz yeah. I mean - she could be from anywhere, live anywhere but Boston is her hometown, OUR hometown! That's right world! Another Marion McNabb Red Sox-loving Masshole?! You're welcome!

Ah, so, yeah, I've done my research. But, it wasn't hard, Marion McNabb is a fairly uncommon name. As far as I know we're the only two. It's not something you hear every day. I mean I'm not even hearing it every day! It's truly a struggle for most people to get my name right and then a bigger challenge to remember it. So, I've adapted and I basically answer to anything that begins with an ‘M.’ I wonder if Super MM ever gets her name spelled correctly at Starbuck's. I wonder if her hilarious husband calls her Marilyn, or if her mother-in-law only ever called her Miriam. I wonder if she's married, how old she is, where she grew up, if she's enjoyed being Marion McNabb. I wonder if every time she tells someone her name is Marion that person says they had a great aunt who would've been 102 if she lived, named Marion. But, clearly she's too busy being awesome to wonder about these things - but this one, this Marion McNabb does wonder... about a lot of things...

So, what’s in a name, really anyway? Marion. Hmm. Well, I was named Marion because my maternal grandmother always liked the name and so bam. There you go. End of story. Old fashioned in the hiz-ouse! And McNabb? Ah, well, there it is. It’s just my name. My maiden name. My married name. My name. It's just a 'what it is' type thing. It's as much me as being 5'11" is. But, so - it's a name. I do wonder a bit how Super MM got hers but really, when it boils right down to it, we are all originals. I know this and it got me thinking because, lately, I’ve been getting close to that other, other Marion McNabb. The one that has no name. The one that’s in there, in me. In the 'there’, that is, me. When I close my eyes and I’m very still and my thinking has slowed from the runaway locomotive of thought to brief moments of silence I feel her. The real me, the real Marion McNabb, the one that transcends all this, including the name and is connected to everyone and everything. The one whose calming presence has helped ground me this year in particular. And still I wonder...

But enough about us Marion McNabbs, what about you? Don't you ever get to wondering? Do you wonder what if? What if you'd done something differently, where you'd be? It's that time of year - the It's A Wonderful Life time of year, right? Well, in a multitude of ways I'm getting a glimpse. I'm getting a look at the accomplishments (and being tagged in) of the astounding Super MM and it's almost like I get to ride a little bit on her coattails. I get to "Dr. Marion McNabb" and nobody's lying like I used to do when I signed up for magazine subscriptions... Anyway, I'm grateful she's doing our name proud. And, I couldn't be more grateful to be where I am right now. Or who I am right now. I'm a lucky Marion McNabb for sure. I am me and it's suiting me just fine.

So - we’ve got a new year coming up. We’ll all, well, most of us, will try to reinvent ourselves beginning in January. We'll start over. Hit refresh. Reboot the system. I know I’ll be revisiting my vegan meal plan and taking a break from fermented bevvies come January. The reset button works on some of that outer stuff and is a great idea for sure but that real us will still be hanging out inside, being there, and that's tremendous. We are more than our bodies, more than our names. So, until the January kickstart, with a cookie in one hand and a glass of brandied egg nog in the other, I'll just continue to be grateful to be here, soaking up this blessed holiday season. What a wonderful year of lessons and challenges and love I've had! It's nice to reflect on all of it and know that gifts do come in lots of different packaging. I wish you and yours a most wonderful holiday, a beautiful new year, and love and acceptance of the awesome you that is you. No matter what name you go by.

#ItsAWonderfulLife #MarionMcNabb #mindfulness

© 2016 by Marion McNabb Grace

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