365 true things

10676230_888066327884559_3498549890553000225_n - Version 2

365 True Things About Me
a daily practice
start date: january 13, 2015
end date: january 12, 2016

  1. I’m a very private person.
  2. I’m a rule follower.
  3. I’ve never kept a journal.
  4. My favorite kind of day is not one where I climb mountains but one where I don’t get out of my pajamas.
  5. I’m giving up trying to be perfect in favor of trying to be human.
  6. I am rich in family.
  7. I need time to myself.
  8. I love traveling–airports, airplanes, becoming airborne.
  9. I crave order but perhaps I need more chaos and whim.
  10. The jobs I’ve held don’t say a thing about me.
  11. Let me rephrase—the jobs I’ve held don’t say a thing about who I am on the inside.
  12. I was a child in the 60’s, and I still think hippies are cool.
  13. I tend to save things rather than use them.
  14. I’m a take-charge kind of person, a problem-solver.
  15. I’m learning how to talk about myself, learning how to tell my story.
  16. It’s not that I want to be a rule-follower.
  17. I overthink things.
  18. My own mind–I lost it along the way.
  19. And now I’m following the breadcrumbs back.
  20. Office supply freak.
  21. So not a morning person.
  22. I’m a southerner in fact but I’m a New Englander at heart.
  23. It’s rare that I sit still without a distraction.
  24. I can get lost in music.
  25. And when I have the words too, well, connecting the words to the music is quite something.
  26. I am suggestible.
  27. I am a woman with no middle ground.
  28. Give me a mess and I can organize it; making order out of disorder is one of my specialties.
  29. When I turned 57 last year, I stopped trying to hide how old I was.
  30. I’m a list-maker.
  31. Snow fills me with wonder.
  32. And so does water, especially large tidal changes.
  33. My father told me I could do anything I set my mind to, and I believed him; I still believe him.
  34. I’m NOT trying to stop being a private person.
  35. I love getting rid of stuff and fantasize about a life with only the minimum.
  36. I’m not an emotional person.
  37. I have to think before I know which is my left and which is my right.
  38. I love playing with books.
  39. Despite the number of years I’ve been a mother and a wife, I hardly ever think of myself that way.
  40. I did not lose a sense of myself from putting my family above my own needs.
  41. My own particular brand of weirdness–I like that phrase.
  42. Project junkie.
  43. Windows fascinate me.
  44. I have Attention Surplus Disorder and can focus like you wouldn’t believe.
  45. I need to remember that the interruptions are life too.
  46. Not a dog person.
  47. I had no childhood desire to be a writer.
  48. I start on the outside and work my way in.
  49. These days I’m an introvert.
  50. All my journals are blank.
  51. I’m either in a rush or stopped.
  52. At just under 14% of the way in, participating already feels easier.
  53. I want to give the reader enough space to find her own path but not so much space that she loses the trail and gets frustrated.
  54. I’m trying to uncurl.
  55. I wasn’t ready for 2015 to begin.
  56. In recent weeks I’ve felt more comfortable with my life than I have in years.
  57. Here’s the kind of toddler I was: I climbed over the side of my crib in the dark and let go.
  58. I’m a believer in signs, especially from the universe.
  59. I don’t like people telling me what to do.
  60. When I’m sick, I’d rather not be by myself.
  61. I can pull something positive out of almost any situation.
  62. One of the reasons I write is to find out what I’m thinking.
  63. I cannot do math.
  64. When I set my mind to something, I go after it.
  65. I prefer cozy to huge.
  66. It’s even better if the window where I write faces the sea.
  67. But it’s the best of the best if that window faces Provincetown Harbor.
  68. I don’t like conflict.
  69. And I don’t like basketball.
  70. I’ve been dividing myself, but perhaps it would be better to add my selves together.
  71. Money motivates me.
  72. At just under 20% of the way in, I feel as if I’m less judgmental.
  73. If I like a slice of words enough to write the words down, I want to know as much about them as I can.
  74. Even though I’m writing an individual piece each day, a whole is being created.
  75. I requested a single room when I went to college.
  76. I show up.
  77. In my next life, I’d like to come back as a singer.
  78. Sometimes I don’t know.
  79. April Fool’s Day really is my birthday.
  80. I have disconnected from this house.
  81. But maybe I want to change that.
  82. Once I get on a train, I have a hard time getting off.
  83. I can’t do it all.
  84. Another disconnect: between the clothes I like in the store and the clothes I like when I get home.
  85. I don’t like to share.
  86. I’d rather be in than out at night.
  87. I’m loyal.
  88. I enjoyed talking to a lot of people–that is unusual.
  89. What I’m doing with this practice is making a difference.
  90. My writing is the best it’s ever been.
  91. Too matchy-matchy.
  92. Not your mother’s grandmother.
  93. After is when I think of it.
  94. I read a lot of books at one time.
  95. I’m not a gardener, but I love flowers, especially tulips.
  96. Writing is hard, and it feels good to know we’re all in this together.
  97. Marriage is what I find interesting.
  98. That’s what I write about.
  99. I love the slim volumes of poetry.
  100. Making tapioca pudding for my sweetie with my grandmother’s Sunbeam Mixmaster was fun.
  101. My preference is an aisle seat but not in the bulkhead.
  102. Reading my work out loud is tedious but essential.
  103. I’ve often been called scribe based on my note-taking abilities–with a specialty in the category of inane detail.
  104. Too much sitting, not enough moving.
  105. I’ve still got it; I can still meet a deadline.
  106. Wherever I go, I always take at least one book of poetry.
  107. When water or a bleeding pen mars a book, instead of thinking ruined, I try to remember the moment–I was in Provincetown, it was dusk, the tide was coming in–and then something is added to the book instead of taken away.
  108. One day I finally knew what I had to do, and began.
  109. Ahem, I’m not very patient when I’m driving.
  110. When I’m with family, I’m looking out instead of in.
  111. I felt the earth move–literally.
  112. I remember wondering, mid-thirties maybe, how I would feel when there wasn’t anything exciting to look forward to.
  113. Growing up, I was always the narrator in school plays.
  114. Happily ever after is how I want it to end.
  115. I started out writing about women.
  116. This minute, I’m doing the next thing.
  117. Columbus, Minneapolis, Boulder, Provincetown, Culver City, Provincetown–my last five Saturdays.
  118. At some point when the kids were little, I claimed Mother’s Day as a day off from being a mother–a day to be myself.
  119. My inner wild: an airstream trailer, an I’ve-given-everything-away-empty closet, a place looking out on Provincetown Harbor, and a blue streak in my hair.
  120. I hate calling attention to myself and/or attention being called to me.
  121. For years and years I did the next thing–usually very happily, but it took writing to make me present in the moment.
  122. Despite the fact that I was so so ready to no longer be a full-time parent, I still love movies and TV shows about families.
  123. I’m not in the mood to write one true thing.
  124. Often what I need is a little adventure.
  125. I love candy–more than fancy deserts or chocolates, more than ice cream.
  126. I’ll just be going about my business and hear the water and think, here it comes…
  127. I travel so much, yet I like to be around if someone needs me.
  128. I can get absolutely exhausted, so that I have nothing left.
  129. When I have a lot of stuff going on, I pick up speed as I go–spinning like a top with the tiny point the only connection to the present moment.
  130. Last year during our family vacation, I tried, but failed, to take a little time for myself each day.
  131. As this day takes shape within the last week and the week and the month to come, I realize how behind I am, but I’m just going to focus on this good day.
  132. Tonight I happened to notice, through the trees, that the sun was about to set, and I sat down and watched it slip into the ocean.
  133. I’d rather watch people playing a game than play.
  134. I’m not reading enough, especially for a summer vacation.
  135. I’m often tense without realizing it.
  136. Perhaps this practice will also teach me to be more aware, and thus more able to avoid, the stress that separates me from the present moment.
  137. Everything does not have to be done by me.
  138. I have no desire to cook anymore.
  139. I’m noticing I’m present more often than not.
  140. Life is good, and I am so grateful.
  141. I believe in myself.
  142. I’m self-sufficient.
  143. And the thing is, I LOVE being self-sufficient.
  144. I wish I knew lines I loved by heart.
  145. I feel peaceful–not a regular trait of mine.
  146. Provincetown gives me the New England life I’ve wanted since I was thirteen and the bicycle life by the sea that over the years I’ve come to crave.
  147. No matter how long I’ll be gone, I no longer check a bag.
  148. I talk loudly on the phone–only on the phone.
  149. Sometimes I behave badly.
  150. When I hit tired, I have nothing to draw on, no reserves. 
  151. I’m a two-towel person.
  152. Truth is what I’m after.
  153. There’s less of a gap between who I am on the inside and who I am on the outside.
  154. Sometimes I don’t unpack my suitcase for days.
  155. As opposed to math where I have no interest or conceptual understanding, with computers and gadgets I have both, and I don’t mind working to figure stuff out because I have a certain amount of confidence that I can.
  156. I can’t read a book without a pen or a pencil in my hand.
  157. Even forty–yes, 40–years ago as a teen-ager, I was obsessed with catching what is fleeting–moments then and the all-too-swiftly-passing days now.
  158. Except in the heat of summer in the south, I keep a window open all the time.
  159. I cannot stand fancy clothes and heels.
  160. On Sunday afternoons when I was in high school, I used to go down to our basement to watch golf while I did my homework.
  161. What I’m noticing lately are two seemingly contradictory things about me that both appear to be true.
  162. Being myself means more saying what I think and less deferring until I have time to evaluate.
  163. Who I’d like to be is not who I am.
  164. I am almost never unplugged.
  165. I generally go north.
  166. I have now been to paradise.
  167. One of my favorite things is doors that slide into each other so you can be inside and outside at the same time.
  168. I’ve now been married to Cal more years than I had been alive at the time I married him.
  169. I prefer a place that is more natural.
  170. I’m not too old to take a tropical vacation.
  171. I get a little quiet and sad when the last evening rolls around–the time before packing and traveling begin but when you can see them coming and have to start making plans. 
  172. I feel guilty to report that sometimes I go from one beach to another beach.
  173. I love, love, love standup paddleboarding.
  174. I notice, and am grateful, when people are nice.
  175. My photos help me see things I would otherwise miss.
  176. I used to keep my books in alphabetical order by author, but now they’re a mess–maybe that’s progress.
  177. I don’t dust very often.
  178. Despite 10 years of ballet, I’m a heavy walker.
  179. Some days nothing is wrong, but I just don’t feel quite right.
  180. In Provincetown, my life becomes being rather than doing.
  181. During the summer of ’69–the summer of the moon walk, Hurricane Camille, Woodstock, Chappaquiddick, and Charles Manson–I first became conscious I had a body.
  182. I take care of myself in every way except for food.
  183. At the halfway point in this practice, I’m watching the sunset as the seals dance by.
  184. I did not realize how much I love flowers in gardens!
  185. I’m a walker.
  186. Seeing the wash hanging on a clothesline makes me feel good.
  187. Grassy lanes make me think of summer.
  188. I read Sunday’s The New York Times cover to cover, but I mostly just look at the cover of The New Yorker.
  189. I grew up wearing slips, but these days I’m trying to be more transparent.
  190. I don’t like eating at the beach.
  191. When I was 25, I got a divorce; marriage was the first big thing at which I failed.
  192. I have a thing for little houses in a row.
  193. I am fascinated by the aging process–what stays with us over the years.
  194. I’ve started a private list of true things about me.
  195. Post by post, I’m recovering myself.
  196. I’m a polite person most of the time–too much of the time.
  197. Train cases–I wish we still carried them.
  198. I hate spending time on my hair so I’ve given up control–it can do what it wants.
  199. Periodically going to a spa and letting someone else take care of me has kept me sane all these years.
  200. I like trying new things.
  201. This month I’m going do one good thing for my health each day.
  202. I don’t like yoga but I want to…
  203. I stretched.
  204. My first impulse is to let the other person have it–whatever it is.
  205. I don’t eat 3 meals a day, more like 5 or 6 mini-meals.
  206. Until now food has always been about fun.
  207. Four days out from the spa, I still have this lovely base-level calm.
  208. I’m so happy to be back in Provincetown.
  209. Of log trucks I am afeared.
  210. I just want to grab some food and get on with it.
  211. After only 7 days on the Whole30, I have to admit I feel better.
  212. I don’t feel like I have to finish every book I start.
  213. It took me 11 years to crack the code on one story.
  214. 70 degrees with a breeze is my perfect summer temperature.
  215. I like motion, but I like stillness just as much.
  216. Even I realize that I can make time for something that only takes one minute.
  217. After a million years of eating crap, I’m finally eating for health.
  218. I often listen to a TV that other people are watching.
  219. I’m trying to be here.
  220. Whole-30 late bloomer in the energy and good sleep departments.
  221. It’s been 40 years since I went off to college free as a bird.
  222. I’m hanging on by a thread.
  223. I enjoyed cooking in my new pots and pans–gone are the scratched-up ones I bought at Publix because I didn’t care.
  224. When I was little, there were no seat belts, much less carseats; we used to roll around in the back of a station wagon.
  225. I don’t give up easily.
  226. ZipLoc-bag user.
  227. Sometimes, just leave me alone.
  228. Not easily offended.
  229. I want a lot; I always have.
  230. I’d like one “look,” like a signature fragrance, which I don’t have either because I don’t wear perfume.
  231. My August was healthy.
  232. You have to really, really want to hurt my feelings in order to hurt my feelings.
  233. It shocks me that people will just out and out lie.
  234. Whole30 veteran–woohoo!
  235. I’m a calendar girl.
  236. I’m obsessed with the Kennedy’s.
  237. According to a postcard written by my grandmother in 1976, I’ve always loved to travel and that I’ve never liked being the center of attention.
  238. I always feel behind.
  239. Grandchild tally–4!
  240. Left-overs, Lonesome Dove, and a bottle of wine.
  241. There’s only one way to fold a towel.
  242. For a party tonight I did not even consider wearing heels and was entirely comfortable in sandals and a dress purchased post #159.
  243. In the house where I grew up, we added on a family room, and because of my mother’s fondness for owls, which we seized upon at every gift-giving occasion, the new room became known as “the owl room.”
  244. Football I like.
  245. My favorite part of taking care of a newborn is the night–that feeling of just the two of us in the world.
  246. I wish I knew more about what different writers have contributed to literature.
  247. On Thanksgiving night in 1966 I was so mad that I still remember it 50 years later–my parents made me go see the giant Christmas tree on top of Rich’s Department Store, thereby preventing me from finding out if Batman was going to get married.
  248. For someone who doesn’t have a math brain, I do like facts and figures.
  249. My longest streak of at least 10,000 steps a day ended at 7 weeks and 2 days.
  250. Blogger for 7 years.
  251. For the first few years of this blog, I disabled the follow-by-email feature because I didn’t want anyone to receive a copy of what I first posted.
  252. On the evening of September 21, 2015, I am one of 7,368,680,828 people in the world.
  253. As much as I want to be comfortable in my clothes, there’s still that little part of me that wants to look like she knows what’s going on.
  254. Sometimes I do a lot of living and no writing.
  255. The only thing I ever stole was a roll of blank white price stickers that were sitting on top of cereal boxes at the grocery store.
  256. I recently found a red plaid dress that I wore across Europe when I was 10, and I’m not sure I can part with it.
  257. There’s no place in the world I’d rather be than Provincetown.
  258. Cool weather and clear skies, Italian food and supermoon, football and fudge, and my sweetie–all is well.
  259. Submitted a story to a journal for the first time in years.
  260. I jumped off the end of my deck–something I’ve wanted to do since I first started staying here a year and a half ago.
  261. After watching the movie Grandma by writer/director Paul Weitz, it feels cool to be a grandmother.
  262. As Joshua Ferris says, I am faithful even to the scraps.
  263. I’m not as smart as I thought I was, and I would think I could make headway on this, but I still seem to be losing ground. 
  264. I put in my earphones and set off into the wind, and when my phone beeped that it was time to turn around, I kept going.
  265. I’m starting to understand how I got to this moment.
  266. How we spend our days is endlessly fascinating to me.
  267. I don’t feel like I have to answer the phone just because it’s ringing.
  268. The last few months I’ve been noticing the flowers that won’t stay in their gardens, that insist on escaping through the slats and over the tops of fences.
  269. My first instinct is to believe what a person says.
  270. I am a revision queen.
  271. Nobody is not who I am.
  272. The nobody ghost is gone.
  273. I’m a night shower-er.
  274. Unusually distracted from writing by life.
  275. One of the ways I stay motivated is by seeing progress.
  276. Sometimes, there’s a light at the end of my street.
  277. I look a lot like my father.
  278. Fall used to be my favorite season; now winter is.
  279. I may not have ever kept a diary or a journal, but I have kept planners.
  280. I think I can fix everything, but I can’t.
  281. Prunes, I like.
  282. I don’t write well on the spot.
  283. I’m not just getting myself back; I’m expanding.
  284. Despite the fact that it looks stupid, I intend to keep wearing two pairs of glasses at a time as needed.
  285. I want to be one of those people who does not get nervous–whose heart does not jump out of her chest, whose voice does not shake–reading in front of people.
  286. Today I wrote a bad sex scene on purpose.
  287. I’m obsessed with the changing colors of fall leaves.
  288. I don’t write poems and yet I wrote a poem.
  289. Going with nice over the truth day after day, year after year, might have sent my ship in the wrong direction.
  290. Last night I dreamed I was giving a reading from my published novel.
  291. My new black ankle boots are me.
  292. I got married and had kids because that was the next thing–there was not much thinking involved.
  293. I wanna be me.
  294. I was once a girl with a ukulele.
  295. My mind is often elsewhere.
  296. I’m doing the work I need to do.
  297. I still like The Rocky Horror Show–maybe now more than ever.
  298. When sixth grade started, I was 11 and all me, no holding back; by the time it ended,  I was 12 and starting to watch the world instead of charging forth.
  299. Until I started writing, I was not a noticer.
  300. Just because I move on from something, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a real part of me.
  301. I’m still paying my State Bar dues.
  302. I woke up with the sun today.
  303. I’m having trouble getting any momentum on my novel revision.
  304. My photos reveal my obsessions.
  305. When I was little, I was so scared of rain that I used to hide in the back of our coat closet at the first drop.
  306. I’m so sad about what happened in Paris.
  307. I once made a Davy Jones button with my button-making machine.
  308. My love of France and all things French began in kindergarten when the mother of a classmate did a puppet show in French.
  309. When I was seven, after my grandfather’s funeral, I realized that he had never met my sister; fifty years later I still remember that moment and that my mother shushed me.
  310. “Here Comes the Sun” is the song I wake up to when I set my alarm.
  311. I believe we should open our doors to Syrian refugees.
  312. I’ve been showing up for the novel revision, and it’s finally paying off.
  313. My favorite thing about Columbus is the RiverWalk.
  314. In 1978 I was selected as the first female Assistant to the President of Davidson College.
  315. It’s rare, but sometimes I don’t do what I plan to do.
  316. When I was Assistant to the President at Davidson, I got to know Dean Rusk, who was a Davidson graduate and at the time a Trustee.
  317. I went to school with Martin Luther King Jr.’s children.
  318. I’m thankful for this day full of color and light, family safely tucked in here and there, friends sprinkled across the country, the vision of artists and writers, musical notes, bountiful food, health, hope, and this moment’s peace.
  319. These days I’m trying to do 4 things: work on my novel, work on the family photo project, get 10,000 steps, and write this post.
  320. One of my current favorite things is Spotify’s Discover Weekly.
  321. I still copy or type up my favorite quotes.
  322. I remember how it felt to lie in the dark with my homework done and my clothes laid out for the next day, listening to a radio station playing “The Long and Winding Road.”
  323. I went to Spring Street Elementary School, which still stands in what is now midtown Atlanta.
  324. I used to love Christmas but not anymore.
  325. One of my favorite things to do at this time of the year is to plant trees for friends.
  326. The cozy small Pomodoro restaurant in Boston’s north end is one of my favorite restaurants.
  327. At a museum, I’m generally only good for an hour.
  328. I have green eyes–seriously dry green eyes.
  329. Yes, I have been watching Madame Secretary, and I like it.
  330. I enjoy being intrepid.
  331. I usually take the safe course rather than the risky one.
  332. In my efforts this year to be one whole person all the time, I can see how natural my inclination is to divide myself up.
  333. To me the foghorn is the sound of being alone while knowing somebody’s looking out for you.
  334. Under the right circumstances I can enjoy Christmas decorations.
  335. Foxes are my kind of animal.
  336. I graduated from college in 3 years.
  337. These days I can write anywhere, but usually I’m writing in Provincetown or in my study in Columbus.
  338. I like to sleep surrounded by pillows.
  339. I woke up at 4:15 am, tried for an hour to go back to sleep, and then got up and started doing all the things I’d been lying there thinking about.
  340. I cannot stand how this phrase is now used. Am I the only one?
  341. My first Christmas, fifty-eight years ago, I got a red wagon from Santa.
  342. Hiking all 23 miles of the Pine Mountain Trail in one day each of 13 out of 14 years was a challenge I both looked forward to and dreaded.
  343. I don’t have to be one way or the other.
  344. I don’t hate everything about Christmas.
  345. Today I got my 10,000 steps without one second of exercise or even a walk.
  346. When I was growing up, on Christmas Eve we would eat in the dining room, and at the end of the meal, my father would say, “What’s that I hear? Could it be reindeer on the roof?”
  347. I had a wonderful Christmas day.
  348. Christmas makes me crazy.
  349. Between Here & Gone is the title of one of the novels I’ve written, but it could be the title of all four.
  350. Getting a massage is the main way I manage stress and take care of myself.
  351. When I was ten I chose the monkees over the beatles.
  352. I’ve given myself over to the chaos–happily; okay, mostly happily; okay, trying to learn to love the mess.
  353. This year, there’s no sense of not being ready for the ball to drop; I’m ready.
  354. My theme for 2016: get rid of / declutter / less is more.
  355. During this practice, this blog has been a net for catching me.
  356. This year, with intention, I joined my selves together–past, present, and future.
  357. I have been a mother for 35 years.
  358. I’m a writer who wants to be read so thank you to all of my readers.
  359. Attentiveness is something that, historically, I haven’t been very good at, but it’s something that writing is teaching me and also something that this year has prioritized.
  360. I love Cal.
  361. What this year did was make me more comfortable with the uncomfortable.
  362. Sometimes I can be fun.
  363. I am fiercely independent.
  364. And a thinker.
  365. I have a new voice, which I recognize as my own.