Ten Things: 1/7/23

I’m trying something new this year. A few months ago a friend emailed me and asked What’s Up. I responded with ten things about my day, both good and bad. I had fun writing those ten things down, and I came up with an idea that instead of journaling in the morning and evening, I would write five things in the AM and five before bed. To be fair, I was getting tired of my morning pages habit that I got from Julia Cameron after I read one of her books and became very disenchanted with her and her methods.


On Saturdays I am going to randomly pick ten things from my weekly writing and post them. There will be gratitude and angst and happiness and sadness, as well as all the other human emotions that we often pretend that we don’t have.

  1. Old neighbors of our moved, but we were still invited to their traditional New Year’s Day brunch. everything is new and modern, but it took five minutes to figure out how to flush the toilet
  2. Saw Shadow of a Doubt at Film Forum, one of my favorite Hitchcock’s. Alas the daughter and the husband did not like it as much as I did.
  3. My gym recently added a relaxation station. What this amounts to is three massage chairs. Now I go to the gym to use the chair as a reward for the workout.
  4. Made spaghetti (homemade) and vodka sauce (homemade) for dinner. Both came out great. I realized that with fresh pasta you can start cooking it in boiling water but finish it in the sauce. So good.
  5. Giants shockingly make playoffs. Jets not shockingly don’t.
  6. Annoyed that I just missed the bus both coming and going
  7. Looking forward to playing pickleball again- so much fun
  8. Beat my family at Trivial Pursuit
  9. Happy that all the holiday decorations are put away
  10. Sad that a coat I like has a frayed collar because I don’t know if it can be fixed. It was old but I liked it.

Anything Can Happen Friday: The Best Marriage Ever

I recently bought a book at Barnes & Noble and the receipt showed up as BN/Paper Source. I had completely forgotten that BN bought Paper Source last year.

My very two favorite stores in the world got married.


My two most favorite browsing experiences are in stationary stores and book stores- the mere thought that all this paper and ink goodness has become a union is almost too exciting for me to handle. I am awash with glee!

Insert smiley face, hearts and exclamation points…

I don’t normally push recently married couples to have children, but really, I am anxiously awaiting the day when there is a BN/PS superstore… Can you imagine the planner section? The journals? The range of happiness and you go girl books on personal growth? And what about tea and all its accoutrements? Coffee table books about art and the color Pink, and maybe even the singer Pink…The possibilities are endless.

This is the marriage I am most rooting for- this is the marriage I really want to make it for the long haul…

So congratulations to my two favorite stores. Remember, communication, respect and an occasional compromise are key to a successful marriage. May the honeymoon period last forever.

Gratitude and Mindfulness: 5/28/22

I take Betty when I run many of my errands. I was in search of an organizing thingie, and had struck out at Container Store and Bed Bath and Beyond. My next stop was Muji, which is a store with an odd assortment of good, including clothes and organizing products. (it also has very reasonable prices, so that’s a big plus…)

So Betty and I are in the store, and there’s a mannequin. Betty went up to the mannequin looking for to be played with… (I never claimed my pets are smart) I said:

“Come on. It’s not a real person.”

To which other shoppers started laughing.

(OK- I may have said “It’s not a real person, dumbass”)

I am grateful that I can bring joy to other people with my dog and my antics.

My mindfulness/journal prompt for this week is HOPE

Hope is used in the books I’m reading in the following ways:

  1. The sweeping minor chords, the pining lift into hope, into desperation, into joy, catapulting into that quick, fast, danceable celebration of light and wind across the water- it was all there. Brendan Slocumb
  2. I have an affection for the road yet (though it is not so pleasant a road as it was then), formed in the impressibility of untried youth and hope. Charles Dickens
  3. If we surrender to the idea that we can’t and needn’t control everything, our expectation is significantly reduced, leading to less disappointment if things don’t work out as we had hoped. Kate Peers
  4. Getting married is an act of hope and optimism- an affirmation of life. Caroline Kennedy
  5. The sheen of spring’s hopeful freshness blanketed all- the bags, the sidewalks, our lives. Qian Julie Wang
  6. When you tackle even a single drawer, you’ll experience success, boost your confidence, and start to feel hopeful, even excited, about tackling the rest of your home. Shira Gill

What I am going to think about as journaling:

  1. When did hope become so narcissistic? Always? It’s rife with narcissism in Dickens
  2. I am a big believer in hope- I think that hope is essential to resilience and yet, when I read how hope is used in books, I can’t help but feel demoralized…
  3. Is hope about trivial things going your way, or is it about the big things?
  4. To feel hopeless is the worst feeling in the world- how do we make people feel less hopeless
  5. This has been a lousy week for both my friends and for the world- is hope enough? When does hope become an action word
  6. One of the quotes that I almost used was something along the lines of, don’t hope you can- believe you can. What’s the difference between hoping something and believing something?
[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Source: Complete Poems: 1904-1962 (Liveright Publishing Corporation, 1991)

Gratitude and Mindfulness

One of my friends had a tough week. There’s very little that’s worse than someone you care about having troubles, and there being nothing you can do to ease their pain, whether it be mental, physical or emotional. It’s hard to be grateful when you know someone is hurting.

But I am grateful for my friends, and that we can talk to one another. I’m grateful to know that there are ears willing to listen to me when I am down, and that others trust me enough to talk to me.

My mindfulness/journaling word for the week is Authenticity.

It’s used in the books I’m reading in the following sentences:

  1. Polly had given Laura a ride to the store, but rater than wait for SnaggleBuggle to extricate himself from an argument with Clare about brand authenticity, Laura had decided to walk home. Abbi Waxman
  2. That’s all right: boredom is an authentic emotion just like any other, and you’re allowed to feel it. Kate Peers
  3. In a world where language is too often used to manipulate, poems can help us find our authentic voice. Caroline Kennedy
  4. Memory is a fickle thing, but other than names and certain identifying details- which I have changed out of respect for others’ privacy- I have endeavored to document my family’s undocumented years as authentically and intimately as possible. Qian Julie Wang
  5. Make sure to carve out some time and space so you can tap into your deepest, most authentic desires. Shira Gill

How I’m going to think about authenticity this week:

  1. Do we have trouble being authentic?
  2. Do we want to be authentic, or is this a word we throw around because we are struggling to find out who we are?
  3. What does authentic really mean in our day to day lives?
  4. Has authenticity become a marketing term? When we think authentic do we think brand?
  5. Am I authentic?
  6. Are we afraid to be authentic?
  7. Quote 3- is poetry more authentic than prose?
  8. The word authentic was used the most times in a home organization book- in our homes do we try to show who we want to be instead of who we are?
The Smaller Orchid by Amy Clampitt

Love is a climate
small things find safe
to grow in- not
(though I once supposed so)
the demanding cattleya
du cote de chez Swann,
glamour among the faubourgs,
hothouse overpowerings, blisses
and cruelties at teatime, but this
next-to-unidentifiable wildling,
hardly more than a
sprout, I’ve found
flourishing in the hollows
of a granite seashore —
a cheerful tousle, little,
white, down-to-earth orchid
declaring its authenticity,
if you hug the ground
close enough, in a powerful
whiff of vanilla.

Poem Attribution © Amy Clampitt, The Smaller Orchid