All kinds of things, great and small….
My daughter will be 15. She will start high school in August. HIGH SCHOOL! The baby I waited twenty years to have, the three year old who stepped up on the bus and said, “Bye! I not need you!” How could she be ready for high school already?
This could also very well mean that at some point in the next months, she will be learning to drive.
Did you see me shudder? Perhaps it’s just that I’ve seen her playing the kind of arcade games that are all about driving, and she is, well, let’s just say…hell on wheels. All over the sidewalk. Picking off pedestrians. Batten down the hatches, Hoosiers…
What else? I’ll publish my cookbook sometime in the next few months. It’s a cooking memoir, all about how I came to create certain recipes and learn–by the seat of my pants–how to cook in large quantities for campers all summer long. I should have done it long ago, since I get requests each summer to share recipes. It’s not that my food is so extraordinary, it’s that it’s homemade. Not from a box, not a frozen entrée; salad dressings all homemade to go over salads that are not from a bag. Homemade breads and rolls. I have lost count of the times through the years that the children have remarked that they didn’t know you could make ‘real’ mashed potatoes, or that pancakes aren’t poured from a carton or heated in a microwave. So ‘Homemade With Love’ it is, and it is fun to write, and I hope it will be a success. I think it will.
What else will I be doing?
Finishing my novel, and submitting queries about it. There is an audience out there for Cooper and Maggie, and I will find it. Beginning the next project, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction; I’ve been told I should write about several aspects of my past, though I’d never thought I would write non-fiction, I can see where it might be good to write the kind of book I wanted so desperately to find when I was passing through those dark places. When I looked in the mirror and did not recognize the girl there, could not even see the color of my eyes, because they were simply two deep, black wells. I’d like to think someone else could read what I write about it, and know that there is a way out, and a good life afterward (this always makes me think of my favorite line from “The Natural,” when Glenn Close tells Robert Redford, “I believe we have two lives; the one we learn with, and the one we live with that after that.” I am deeply and gratefully into my second life.)
I want to write more poetry, too, and publish that. I used to say that I’d been writing poetry since my teens, and good poetry since my thirties. Time to write some more. Might even put something here one day where I ask you to give me a topic and I will write the poem for it. That’s how my first poetry got published, when I compared myself to an artichoke!
Learning to play a guitar. I have always loved it when someone plays for me, and since that doesn’t happen often enough, I’ll learn to play for myself. Why not? Music is as much a part of my blood as books. I hope it will help me shed the shyness I have about singing where anyone can hear me, too, but that would be just so much icing.
Learning to paint with watercolors. When I look at artwork, it is usually watercolors I like best, and I want to make some. I know I have never attempted this, but I can learn.
Learning to make quilts. I have saved all kinds of clothing and fabrics for certain projects, and instead of having a dozen tubs of fabric put away, I would prefer a dozen very creative and personal blankets, much nicer to use than anything I could buy.
More? You want more? (You really want to see me get busy, don’t you? You don’t? Well, I do.)
Before this year ends, I will be significantly healthier: slimmer, stronger, more energy, because the more I do, whatever it is I do, the more I want to do. I know what I have to do and I know how to do it, and I love the way I feel when I’m on track.
Before this year ends, I want nothing left in my house that we don’t need or want or use. Someone else needs it? It’s theirs. To be able to find anything I need in a moment’s notice, not “Where did I put my…….” Well, that’ll be a wonderful thing, indeed.
Before this year ends, I want to have gone through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelations, again. I want to go through the devotional book and the prayer journal I start every year, so I can, in the final days of December, see all that I learned–things I should have known all along, in some cases–and all the prayers answered, and marvel, again, that I am His and that He made me. And to hope that I am much more who He intended than I am today.
Before this year ends I want to have closer relationships with my family, and with my husband’s family. More even than that, I want to have a richer, deeper relationship with my husband. More laughter. More joy.
Before this year ends, I want to have forgiven anyone I need to forgive, and have sought forgiveness from those I have hurt.
When you make a to-do list, does it seem daunting to you? Not to me. It kind of inspires me, a sort of I’ll-show-you thing, and the minute I cross off one thing accomplished, I think of more to write at the bottom.
It means I am continually learning, and growing, and stretching. Well, I think that’s what it means, anyway. It’s what I want my life to be…nothing stagnant or stalled. I am never bored, and maybe that’s why.
(Of course, it’s easy to sound so productive when I have spent two days in bed with a really horrific cold). Maybe I’m just hallucinating……???