In 2009, 2011, and 2013 I wrote posts about the “alphabet” of my life at that moment. I like the construct as a way to capture the specific nuances of a moment, and reading Deborah Copaken’s piece The ABC’s of Adulthood, reminded me of it. Seeing that it’s 2015, it seems time for my bi-annual Alphabet of Right Now.
A is for Aquaphor. I’ve said it before, but it’s true: Aquaphor is my duct tape. The stuff holds the universe together. I slather it on everybody’s faces, because we all seem dry and chapped and it fixes small cuts and bruises. There are very few questions for which Aquaphor isn’t a great answer.
B is for Billy Collins. I’m on a huge Billy Collins kick.
C is for coffee. Every morning. I am looking forward to my morning coffee by about 5pm the night before. It’s not an exaggeration to say it’s one of the highlights of my day. When Matt brings me a cup in the morning, made exactly the way I like it, I view that as the height of romance.
D is for dog walking. Grace walks a puppy on our street twice a week. She absolutely adores the dog and I love the responsibility she’s taking on. I have decided that 12 is the perfect age to start having this kind of ownership; when Whit is 12 I hope he also has a job a couple of days a week.
E is for Exeter. My alma mater just named a wonderful-sound woman to be the principal. A graduate of Princeton who is a sholar of American literature. Sounds good to me!
F is for family dinner. We do it as much as we can, averaging probably 2 or 3/week. I love setting the dining room table, lighting candles, and sitting down together. The actual dinners sometimes include some bickering and people being annoyed at each other, but the memories are all absolutely golden.
G is for gratitude. Not a word I love, but a practice I feel very committed to. Sunday night compliments, talking before bed, noticing and making mention of things that touch and impress and move us: all priorities for our family.
H is for hockey. So. Much. Hockey. Grace has now started playing too, and that means all three of my family members are passionate hockey players. Two kids playing on three teams between them results in a LOT of practices and games. Not to mention a LOT of gear in our living room.
J is for Just Be Here Now. I wear a “be here now” necklace a lot. I think of the Colin Hay line all the time. It’s fair to say this is my mantra.
K is for Kilimanjaro. An experience that Matt and I shared that I think about all the time, and wrote about recently.
L is for #likeagirl. I loved the Superbowl ad that promoted the tag line and have loved that footage since I saw it for the first time a while ago. I won’t lie though: I feel a lot of anxiety about the plunge in self esteem that happens to most girls in puberty.
M is for meditation. I meditate regularly – 5 minutes! – and which I’m happy to see Matt adopting as part of his regular routine. We both read 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story by Dan Harris this summer and adored it.
No is for no. Learning to say it. Maybe too well.
O is for On a Beam of Light. My current favorite picture book (and Whit’s, too). Love.
P is for poetry. Poetry has been an important part of my life since before college, but there are certain seasons in my life when I feel its pull particularly strongly. I’m in one now.
Q is for quiet. I prefer quiet. It’s not always fair to my children, who are rambunctious and occasionally not-quiet. But it’s simply my preferred way of being, and I’m sorry to say (for them) that that preference is get more pronounced as I get older.
R is for reading. Fiction, non-fiction, essays, poems, Young Adult, graphic novels, magazines: anything. Read it all. Watching Grace and Whit read is one of the central joys of my life. You can see what I’ve been reading lately here.
S is for snow. It was a very dry winter and then, in the blink of an eye, Juno changed that. We got 24 inches Over the 26-28 and it has continued to snow. Another 16 inches with Linus. Driving is a nightmare. Even Grace and Whit are sort of over it (which is really saying something).
T is tween. Help. This stage is proving complicated, and in no small part precisely because I don’t want to talk about it.
U is underneath. How things feel right now. Over 5 feet of snow and more coming. In 3 weeks. I’m a Bostonian and Matt is from Vermont and we do not generally find snow to be daunting. But this is a whole new world.
V is for vacation. We’re off soon on a trip to Europe with my parents. I look forward to introducing Grace and Whit to the city in which I lived as a small child.
W is for writing. I still struggle to own the title of “writer” but it’s clear to me at this point that I will write for the rest of my life. Hopefully here, maybe elsewhere. Writing for me means paying attention and marveling at what I see, turning the small murky stones of my ordinary life over in my hands to see the shimmer of mica on their surface, and it is integral to who I am in this world.
X is a really hard one. X-ray? Xylophone? Any ideas?
Y is for yoga. I’ve been a pretty-regular yoga practitioner for 15 years now, a fact that shocks me when I write it. I recently read my friend Rebecca Pacheco‘s gorgeous book, Do Your Om Thing: Bending Yoga Tradition to Fit Your Modern Life, and I’ll be sharing my review in a week or two. Spoiler alert: the book is fantastic.
Z is for zzzz (sleep). Turning off the screens half an hour or more before bed, going to bed at the same time, rarely drinking any wine, meditating. All are helping me sleep. Which is my drug of choice these days.