Three years ago I wrote a quick homage to some creative prompts found in an Oprah Magazine article. I thought I’d revisit as a nice segue into 2018. The difference this year? I’ll be writing and sharing my responses right here rather than just in my journal. So, here we go:
01. What younger you would like about older you
A friend from long ago met me for tea last year and reminded me that I was a fiercely independent and fun-loving teenager. Apparently I had some way-out-there ideas at the time. Radical feminist stuff like: I did not want a husband and wanted to be a single parent to at least four kids and those four kids were going to have my last name since I was going to be their only parent. Funny how life managed to give me exactly what I wanted. The journey was brutal, but necessary. I believe my younger (say, 14- to 16-year-old me) would feel terrible for the struggle but end up liking how my life has turned out so far. And she’d really like my kids!
02. The watched/read it list
The last movie I watched was Enchanted April (which lead to writing down a list of 20+ British period films I’d like to watch) and the book I’m currently reading Save the Cat! and The Vanity Fair Diaries (which, between NaNoWriMo and Applied Astrology, I cannot seem to find time to read, I keep having to start over). I don’t think I need to keep track of these things. I’m pretty consistent in my enjoyment of light-hearted books and movies. I have never been a fan of blood and gore and find a lot of the psychological thrillers (that used to be a favourite) to be over-the-top and so specific it’s like a blueprint for any psychopath to use!
03. The mistake you never want to make
I never want to take for granted my relationship with each of my kids. Each is unique, different and sacred. I am blessed to have them all. They can all trust me and I like to believe I can trust them. From first-hand experience we all know too well that a parent-child relationship is not a given, it needs patience, work and regular attention.
04. Your ideal outfit
A tunic-length top, black leggings, duster sweater, fun scarf, kick-ass boots, chunky jewelry and an upbeat attitude. This is pretty much my daily uniform, certainly in the winter months. Replace the leggings with crop pants and the boots with flip flops and you’ve got my daily summer outfit. I’m lucky to wear my ideal outfit every day.
05. A deep dark (shhhh) secret
My goodness, I gave up those years ago – I don’t have the memory or the interest in the drama created by secrets! And it is one of my #houserules – no whispering. Drives me bonkers. I don’t know that there are any more secrets to share – they all come out in the end anyway. Hmm.
06. The most unexpected complement you’ve received
When I was developing private label non foods (health, beauty, and general merchandise) products in the U.S. years ago, one of my many vendors grabbed my hand and with tears in his eyes told me he was so happy to have worked with me as I was such a “mensch”. The Yiddish word had me stumped, though I said thank you, as soon as I could I called my dad to ask him what it meant. It turns out this vendor thought me to be a person of integrity and honor. High praise especially given the business I was in – and the people I was working with – at the time.
07. That one quote
One of my most favourite projects of this past year was my #100daysoflinarstudio project. With 100 quotes, actually 101, made into cards, I am reminded often of one:
That’s some serious truth, right there.
08. The best surprise you’ve ever had
When I was 14, I was friends with a boy who was 19. My parents were not particularly thrilled about our relationship. I don’t remember the specifics, but he went away, out of town for what felt like an eternity – certainly the whole summer and then most of the fall. One night the doorbell rang and I heard my mother holler upstairs that there was someone at the door for me. I had no idea who it might be and was in no particular hurry to get to the front door – until I saw who was casually leaning against the doorjamb. I flew down the remaining flight and had the best hug of my life. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt that level of joy either before or since. I’m happy for the memory.
09. Your true happiness
The most wonderful habit I have fostered in the last few years is that of gratitude. No matter what the day holds, I look at everything with a sense of gratitude. Good and bad is simply a perception. Life may not always be what I expect but for all that I have I practice gratitude. In it, I have found a happiness and positive outlook I never experienced before. It’s more than “positive thinking” or “mindfulness”. It has altered, in the best way possible, how I live my life.
10. Your favourite failure
My marriage. Honestly. I did the best I could. He did the best he could. There was just such a huge disconnect between his best and my best. Our expectations and maturity were so different that it was doomed to fail before it began. I recognized that sad fact exactly 50 days after our wedding. I married a fixer-upper and failed. What I succeeded in learning is that I can handle just about anything. I also have four fantastic children as a result and I wouldn’t trade that reality for anything in the world.
11. An amendment to your bucket list
I have published two “Mighty List” entries over the years at a now defunct blog. I pulled them up and took a look. Each held 40 and 50 things I wanted to accomplish in no specific timeline. If I were to write another “Mighty List” it would be significantly shorter and would have a specific timeline. Nowhere on either list was found: buy and move to a big house; get a dog, and then another; or, have breast reduction surgery! At this stage of my life, the one thing I would add would be to walk, and track that I have walked, every day. Not with a Fitbit, but with a piece of paper and marker.