Kind and gentle reader, this week has been nutty goo goo. It’s the last week of classes here at Colorado State University, so I have been in the thick of grading, meetings, tying up loose strings and putting out fires. A few things had to be postponed, which is why I haven’t reverbed for two days, and why I’ll be publishing multiple posts today as I catch up. Yes, I could just skip them, but like I said before they are way too much fun.
The full prompt is: Who have you taken for granted? Write to them a handwritten letter expressing how you truly feel about them. Then mail it. (Author: Linar Studio)
This might sound like a strange answer, but I have taken my body for granted. When I first started working on this prompt, I had every intention of writing the letter, scanning it, and sharing it here. But I wasn’t too far into it before I realized that it was too personal, too private, and way too long to share.
My body is a precious thing, but I have for so long ignored and denied and abused it. It is an awful, ugly, messy business. The apology has been made more than once, earnestly and wholeheartedly, but as with any relationship where trust has been broken, the restoration is going to take time. I have to prove that I’m not going to break my promises. I have to stop saying “I love you” and start proving it.
The full prompt is: For next year, I’m letting go of…
- Busyness. I have no idea how I am actually going to do this, because I am a doer, I go go go, I want to do all the things, do/be more, do/be better–but I am finding that way of being is no longer sustainable, healthy, or even productive.
- Smashing myself to bits. Again, not sure how this is going to work, because I’ve been trying already, but it needs to happen, so I’ll keep trying.
- Letting what other people say or think (or what I think they think, even though I can’t possibly know for sure) stop me. If I have confidence, an open heart, and am doing the work I feel called, compelled to do, it doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks. I am not trying to be popular or to fit in or get rich, that isn’t the point at all, so I can let go of caring or worrying about it.
- Stuff, lots and lots of stuff. I mean physical things here, the clutter and nonsense and mess that has accumulated in my life. If I don’t use it or love it, I am going to let it go, clear out some space.
- Shame and regret. These have never served me, never added any value to my life, so buh bye.
- Judgement and criticism. This one is quite possibly the stickiest of them all, maybe the one at the heart of the rest, but I am going to try.
The full prompt: Five things you do not want to forget from 2012? List out 5 things you do not want to forget from this past year, and write a bit about why you do not wish to forget…
If you’ve been reading my blog lately, you know my Dexter is dying. There’s a good chance he won’t make it into 2013, (although, I am happy if he does). Right now, in this season of goodbying, I am trying to memorize everything about him.
- The way he runs back and forth across the kitchen and down the hallway when I am getting his breakfast ready, whining with excitement, tail wagging the whole time.
- How much he loves his Little D. How he carries him around in his mouth, looking just like his real baby might, following me down the hallway in the morning to my desk, where he rests by my feet, chewing on Little D’s bones (the beans in his feet). Or how he lures me into the bedroom when I get home from work, gets on the big bed, Little D in his mouth. He runs in circles, shakes him, drops him or even throws him off the bed to let me know it’s my turn. I pick him up, whisper “ready, set, go” while Dexter crouches and stares intently at his boy, catching him and having a little party when I finally throw it.
- How when I pet him, he pets me back. He reaches out and rests his paw, curling his toes and pressing them into my arm. If I stop petting, he pats me this way a few times in a row, “more, Mom.”
- How I can tell him something and he knows just what I mean. Like “where’s your toy?” (his ears will perk up and he’ll go find it) or when I get ready to go to work and I say “I’m going to work, you have to stay here with Sam” (he’ll run and get in his bed, knowing he’s not going with me), or I can ask “where’s Dad” and he’ll go find him. He knows so many words, understands so much for a boy who can’t speak English.
- All the normal things we do, routines we have. Our walks, at almost the exact same time every day, to the same few places, on the same trails. Cleaning up the yard, patrolling the neighborhood, checking for deer or beaver or foxes or cats or other dogs or people doing weird stuff that people shouldn’t be doing, watching out the front window, taking out the trash, yelling at the trash collectors and mail deliverers and little kids walking to school and people walking dogs, sharing food, sitting on the couch watching tv, taking naps, hanging out in the backyard, brushing our teeth, meditating–all of it.
The full prompt: What has been your favorite book (or books if you can’t pick just one) that you’ve read this year?
- Funny books I read this summer, written by women I admire: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson and Bossypants by Tina Fey.
- Books that drew me in as a reader, inspired me as a writer: Wild by Cheryl Strayed, This I Know by Susannah Conway, A Field Guide to Now by Christina Rosalie, Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon, and You Can Buy Happiness by Tammy Strobel
- Books I can’t wait to read or to finish: Daring Greatly by Brene’ Brown, Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change by Pema Chödrön, Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed, and Help, Thanks, Wow: Three Essential Survival Prayers by Anne Lamott, etc.
The full prompt: What was your dream destination in 2012 and why? It can be a town, city, country or region — real or imaginary — and doesn’t matter if you actually got there or not!
My dream destination wasn’t so much a place as a state of being. I longed this year to get to a place where I would be utterly and completely confident, wise, compassionate, healthy, strong, sane, awake, and at peace. I’m sorry to report, kind and gentle reader, I didn’t quite make it. Maybe next year?