As I’ve already passed my half-century birthday, I’ve decided to adopt some new policies about how I live the rest of my life, including:
- I am not going to follow all the rules. To quote a song, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”
- I’m denouncing the American way of putting commas and periods inside
quotation marks no matter what. The British way of putting them inside only if they are part of the quote makes a lot more sense to me. (e.g., I ask what to buy at the grocery and my husband says, “apples”, “bananas”, and “fish.” That period after fish, within the quote, drives me nuts. I want to go get it free it from its wrongful confinement.)
- Also, I’m not going to spend more than 2 minutes obsessively googling who to attribute the original source of a quote I’m using (e.g., Did Janis Joplin write those words or Kris Kristofferson?). I will make it clear from the context that I didn’t make it up myself and am therefore not taking credit for it, but it’s not worth spending the “smaller half” of the rest of my life on minutia like this. (I made up the term “smaller half”. Note that I put the period outside the quote here because “smaller half” is not a sentence and a period wasn’t part of the original quote. Also, because I want to.)
- I don’t have to write in full sentences. So there. But I’d been doing this for a while, so it’s not really new. Still, I feel a bit guilty whenever I write a sentence without a subject and verb. No more!
- I start sentences with “but”. And “and”.
- I like the vacuous word “really”. I really, really like it. So I’m going to use it. I also like the way the term “pretty sure” hedges its bet. As a fence-sitter, it suits me.
Here are some of my aspirational goals:
- I’m going to try to appreciate my super powers more. You didn’t know I had any? Well, guess what? So do you! I was recently asked what super power I would choose for myself, and so I said I would choose the “super power” of being alert and functioning well with a normal amount of sleep. Their disappointment was evident and they informed me that wasn’t really a super power. That made me realize that what is “normal” to most people is a fantasy “super” power to other people. Probably someone looks at me and thinks, “I wish I had her super power of being able to walk on her own two feet unassisted, even if they hurt,” or “If only I had a super power like hers whereby I could channel my stress into an elaborate and simultaneous web medical search of Vitamin B1 deficiencies, hippocampal sclerosis, and essential thrombocythemia WHILE eating an entire bag of popcorn instead of just stress eating an entire bag of popcorn”. So I’m going to try to be grateful for my “super” powers.
- I’m going to put incomplete thoughts and shitty first writing drafts out there, with a lot of typos. It’s going to be like the “walk of shame” when I read it the next day. Then I will rewrite it. I won’t think about the “likes” I got and exactly how it works if they liked the original version and then I edit it and it still says they liked it because I am not going to obsess about it. I am going to be lax.
- I am going to add more to this list. This is incomplete. As in unfinished. Undone. I am going to hit enter now, and then I will go to bed. Tomorrow, when I think, “OMG, why didn’t I just wait until it was done?!” I will remind myself that the goal is not for the work to be complete, but for me to be complete with myself, torn cuticles and all.