Reverb #18-20

I’m way behind, so I’m going to be quick.

December 18 – Try. What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it?

Like a friend of mine, I feel I’m starting to repeat myself.

Big answer I’ve already addressed: writing a book.

Smaller answer: I really wanted to take a dance class at the rec center, and had it narrowed down to belly dancing and salsa. (Why not?) But the schedules and locations were not ideal. I’d still like to do this, and Tiny Church is light enough on evening meetings that I think I could pull it off, but it’s a disruption to the family rhythms. I do a lot of self-care stuff already; I don’t feel a lack of me-time. So maybe it’s a matter of letting some more intellectual me-stuff go to make room for a more embodied experience.

December 19 – Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?

I wrote a lot about my dad this year, and that was healing. Dad died suddenly almost 8 years ago, and I have always felt cheated out of saying goodbye. I think I’d convinced myself that the long goodbye was better, because at least there could be closure.

Well, I still think the sudden death sucks in a lot of ways, but I’ve walked with enough people this year to see how very agonizing it is to see someone linger for a long time. The truth is, the human body is damn stubborn, and sometimes keeps on trying to live past the point of mercy. I also think I had put more faith in the power of palliative care than is really appropriate.

Maybe the best we can do is to live as if each day could end with a goodbye. I’m not saying we tearfully pour our hearts out to our loved ones—every day—but that we live and love such that, if the unthinkable happened, we would at least have the peace of knowing that our dear one knew he or she was deeply loved.

In 2011 I would like to do my best to avoid drama and rank negativity, whether it’s in Internet blog comments, cable news (which I don’t watch anyway) or in person.

December 20 – Beyond Avoidance. What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?)

Aside from the dance classes, I actually can’t think of anything I avoided… which may say less about my courage and more about the modest nature of my dreams.

This is a little off-topic to the question, but I’m going to do a lot more writing on paper next year, as opposed to the computer. I’m curious to see how the experience of writing is different this way. I’ve bought a couple of journals for specific purposes. One is for Sabbath book stuff. The other is a new thing I’m trying in which I’m going to write one sentence about each of the kids each day. Just one sentence. I’ve already started this and it’s very fun. It takes five minutes before bed and I think it’ll be fascinating to look at the course of a year. (Like many of my ideas these days, this one comes from Gretchen Rubin.)

It’s also a place to put my kid one-liners so that Facebook doesn’t have to be the default.


One thought on “Reverb #18-20

  1. anne says:

    three of our parents died the long lingering way. one died on a sunday afternoon while she was talking to her sister on the phone. sudden good-byes are harder for the family in some ways but those long lingering deaths also take an enormous toll on the family!

    if i got to choose, i’d opt for sudden. and having made and voiced that choice DOES make a difference in how i think about life (though in the end it may make no difference in how i ultimately die) . . . keeping shorter accounts, forgiving more quickly, saying i love you more often, expressing thanks sooner, etc.

    i often wish you were in the next room so i could walk over and have a conversation with you in person after reading a post. other times it’s fine that you’re not in the next room. this would have been a good conversation starter.

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