Making sense

Anne Lamott, on writing ...

"We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little. But we do. We have so much we want to say and figure out.”

Friday, January 2, 2015

50 in '15 ...

After a MOST-shitty year, I bid 2014 adieu with an assortment of curse words and finger maneuvers.
I was ready to celebrate a BRAND-NEW year and was damned near giggling and all bouncy like a thirteen-year-old who got kissed for the first time when, within hours of greeting 2015, I learned that several friends were having the worst new year of their lives: death of a sibling, a new cancer diagnosis, a return cancer diagnosis, a long-term marriage dissolving like wet sugar before all the Christmas cookies had even been eaten.
And yet ... .
I am still standing (*cue Elton John's survival anthem*). We women are remarkably resilient, even when we think a sad Hallmark commercial will be our undoing. We persevere. We might drink too much vodka or sneak a cigarette or eat ourselves into the nearest Lane Bryant for leggings, but we will find ourselves back on our two feet, even if we're wobbly or feel a tiny bit dizzy. It's what we women do, isn't it?
This year-2015-is a BIG year for me: I celebrate (if this is the right word) a thirty-year wedding anniversary in April AND I turn fifty in August. Two BIG life events, both in the same year.
Now that I recognize fully that no one is guaranteed a tomorrow (I didn't always think like this; youth is a stage filled with optimism and a sense of immortality~), I want to carpe diem every day of 2015.
Here's a list of fifty things I want to do the year I turn fifty, listed in no particular order:
50 in '15
1) Take a girls-only trip to Memphis to see Graceland.
2) Take a 5 a.m. drive to CMSU, the university where I met my husband. Drive around town, eat breakfast by myself (not sure I've ever done this), and then see if the little chapel where I got married is still standing. (I want to start driving when it's still dark outside. A little weird, but this is my list.)
3) If little chapel still exists, travel there with husband on anniversary weekend and get new picture taken, right there on the very same bench we'd sat on thirty years ago as newly married college students, broke and scared to death. (Also: pregnant)
4) Go to the zoo.
5) Go to a drag show.
6) Do amateur night stand-up.
7) Get a literary agent.
8) Lose twenty-five pounds. I would say fifty, but why set myself up for disappointment?
9) Walk fifty miles. (Too easy?)
10) Bicycle fifty miles. (Still too easy?)
11) Run fifty miles. (There we go.)
12) Write fifty poems.
13) Write fifty essays.
14) Write fifty blog posts.
15) Submit work to fifty journals.
16) Get turned down by fifty different agents (food memoir; novel; YA novel).
17) Meet fifty new people.
18) Throw away fifty things.
19) Donate fifty items.
20) Write and send fifty hand-written letters. (If you'd like to receive one, please leave your mailing address ~)
21) Attend fifty cultural events.
22) Read fifty books.
23) See fifty movies.
24) Play fifty games of SCRABBLE.
25) Drink fifty glasses of wine.
26) Eat out fifty times.
27) Take fifty walks with the dogs.
28) Attend church services fifty times.
29) Go fifty days without television.
30) Go fifty days without playing Bakery Story.
31)  Save fifty dollars a week for 2015 Christmas Fund.
32) Get a job that pays enough for me to save fifty dollars a week.
33) Get a literary-themed wrist tattoo. As of today, I am leaning toward Maya Angelou's "Still I Rise."
34) Take a trip to Galena, Illinois, with Shawna and Kelly (cousin and sister)
35) Eat a foot-long corn dog at the Liberty Fall Festival. With no guilt.
36) Drink fifty glasses of gin and cranberry juice.
37) Learn fifty conversational phrases in Spanish.
38) Learn fifty conversational phrases in French.
39) Go camping at Watkins-Mill.
40) Talk husband into selling our house and moving somewhere where there are some fucking trees.
41) Continue daily yoga routine.
42) Journal every day.
43) Learn to meditate.
44) Hang out in a Barnes & Noble at least twice monthly.
45) Take a daily shower with ZUM soaps, especially anise-lavender
46) Visit aging relatives.
47) Finally read Thoreau's Walden.
48) Get Mom and Dad's ashes buried. (I feel extremely guilty for posting this as #48)
49) Make a shrine to Mother Mary. (More guilt, double-downed)
50) Read poetry every day.

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