Finally! A use for that very cool word. ("amalgamation", not "lists")
For the last couple of weeks the same thoughts and images have been stuck in my head right before I go to sleep at night and right when I wake up in the morning. I feel scattered lately - all higgledly-piggledly. I can't settle down yet it's only on the inside. Outside I'm a slug. My body just kinda hunkers into the sofa while my mind jumps around like a Mexican jumping bean. (Remember those? Are they still around?) But my mind jumps around the same thoughts and images so it's not exactly jumping, is it. More like obsessing. No. I don't like the word "obsess". It's a crazy-town word.
I. Am. Not. Obsessed.
2012 was probably the most emotionally wretched year of my life and I'm guessing with all the year-end looking back being talked about EVERYWHERE.....maybe my mind has picked up on that. It's like a tire stuck in mud, turning around and around but going nowhere.
I'm not a list-maker. Never have been. But at the beginning of 2012 I decided to keep a list of movies I watched and books I read so I could do a proper year-end wrap-up like people who are organized do.
Here's my book list:
Books Read 2012
Under the Tuscan Sun***
Wild by Cheryl Strayed *****
Here's my movie list:
The Descendants - George Clooney ****
The Debt - Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson ****
The Ides of March - George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman ***
The Girl With the Dragon Tatto (Swedish) - *****
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest *****
(Five stars is the best rating.)
(I put the actors names next to the movie titles to help me remember the movie. I have a horrible memory.)
As you can see, I didn't start listing in January. I just thought of it then and it took me a while to actually start. Of course I read more books and watched more movies than there are on my lists. I'm just not good about keeping up with lists. I forget about them.
Here's my 2012 To Do List:
2012 To Do List
Make Vegetable Lasagna - see Under the Tuscan Sun, page 223
I didn't do it.
I am pathetic.
Oh, I just found this unfinished post that I was writing about Cheryl Strayed's book on my Google Drive (where I keep my not-lists). I don't think I'll ever finish it but, hey, why not paste it here in this amalgamation? Here it is:
Book Review: Tiny Beautiful Things
First let me say that I am not a reviewer of things like books or movies. I don’t have an analytical mind and I freely admit it. I only know what I like and what speaks to me and from time to time I will share it . So I will write this review the way I would tell it to my friend, as if we were sitting in a coffee shop and just chatting.
A couple of months ago I read Wild by Cheryl Strayed and I intended to write about it but just never got around to it. Not because it wasn’t a meaningful book: it was. Very much so. It’s just because life got in the way. This book was the first book in longer than I can remember that I could not put down. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me say yes! Yes, I have felt that too! It was so wonderful that it made me want to read everything Cheryl had ever written and so I immediately read Tiny Beautiful Things next.
I have to come clean. I wrote a not very nice post about Cheryl before I read anything she had ever written other than her advice column, “Dear Sugar”, on “The Rumpus”. Truth be told, I only read maybe two or three of her columns there and made a snap decision that she was a poseur. I freely admit that I don’t like advice columnists. You can read my thoughts about that in the aforementioned post. (Mega mea culpa on that.) But the synopsis I read about Wild intrigued me and I have to say it was a work that grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go.
Tiny Beautiful Things grabbed my by the gut and wouldn’t let go. I didn’t know when I picked the book up at my local library that it was a compilation of work from “Dear Sugar”. I’m glad I didn’t know because I might not have read it and that would have been my loss because Cheryl has one huge thing in her favor that other advice columnists don’t have or, at least, don’t exude: empathy. Cheryl doesn’t tell her advice-seekers what they should or must do to right their wrongs, she tells stories from her own experiences that correlate with the seekers’ situations and shares the lessons she has learned.
In this book ( and obviously in her column) she doesn’t talk to her seekers as if she’s on a perfection pedestal looking down on the rest of us poor pitiful sloggers but as a partner down in the mud with us, holding our hand as we both push through the muck and mire.
Maybe one day I'll finish it but that's it for now. I highly recommend both of Cheryl's books. Put them on your to-read list.
In May I started a monthly list of Big Things That Happened just so I wouldn't forget. 2012 began so well; January and February were pretty awesome. But the March through August lists are bad. Nothing good happened. Just reading them makes my stomach knot up. I have nothing down for September - I must have been recuperating. October's list has two good things and one bad written down but I know there was more. I just stopped at that point.
One list that was successful (relatively speaking) was a list of lit zines I wanted to submit work to. Out of the eight zines I chose, five accepted me (three of them more than once) and three rejected me. I'm good with that. Those rejections will go back on my list for 2013.
I hope 2013 will be a better year. It doesn't have to be spectacular, just normal. I would love just normal. Wait. Make that "uneventful and quiet" instead of normal just in case all the past year's drama was trying to be my normal.
Sometime in the middle of 2012 I came across a phrase that made a lot of sense to me and I spoke it to myself more times than I can count. It was, "Sometimes the best reaction is no reaction". It really worked for me in so many instances.
I need a new phrase for 2013. I'm considering "All love, no fear" because the past year has made me fearful in ways I never thought of before and that's not me. (My husband has me firmly in the "risk-taker" column.)
So here's hoping 2012 is a fearless, uneventful and limited yet successful list-making year.
All Love, No Fear.