Redoubling

One of my favorite things to do after we bought 909 and put the garden in – pretty much everything that’s back there, the bones of it, anyway, was put in that year, which was 2005 – was to go out with a cup of coffee, survey the scene, and sigh happily. I still do it. Here it is today:

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That kale on the middle left is OUT OF HAND. Every year I grow a ton of lacinato kale, and every year I’m like, what the hell am I supposed to do with all of this? (Give a lot of it away and make kale salads) The garlic, formerly planted just above my (drippy) coffee cup, has been harvested and is curing in the garage – which, speaking of the garage, I can see a couple of improvements there to be added to the list. I have lots of thoughts about our garage, which is enormous and loaded with a lot of stuff we haven’t looked closely at in years. While most of those thoughts have to do with clearing it all out, I also quite like it at night when it’s lit up from the inside and I’m in the driveway and it looks like a crazy painting or collage. I’ll have to post a photo. Anyway.

I’ve been doing some research from my own library, trying to wrap my head around a thesis/mission for a project I have percolating in my brain.

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That second book from the top, Taking Charge of Our Lives, was a total gamechanger for me when I first ran across it back in the very early 2000s. It might have even been the late 1990s. How did I hear about it? Hmm. I have no idea. I still love it. It’s all the earnest optimistic goodness of the 1970s that I remember and benefited from in my childhood; it was published in 1981, so what we think of as “THE EIGHTIES” was barely visible on the horizon, like a duststorm of uncertain strength.

Anyway, it might be the punkest book I own, and my library is large. I keep returning to the ideas in these books again and again and have done so, in some way/shape/form, since I was in about 7th grade. Life protip, not that you asked: Find a way to honor that thing that grabs you and doesn’t let go, even if it grabbed you when you were a kid. Don’t push it away. It’s telling you something.

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An online friend recently wrote about the beautifully absurd moment she decided she was done “playing small” with her life. And she was, most definitely, DONE. She’s gone on to do amazing things in the relatively short time that’s passed since coming to that sudden realization that it was time for her to ditch fear and shame.

Fear and shame are powerful business. It seems so much easier, most of the time, to retreat into what already is and opt out of learning the new thing, taking the leap, ditching the habit, making the hard choice even when it’s the better one. We all do it. But agency realized – having the power to just say f*ck it and get on with whatever amazing huge thing you want to do in whatever way you can, and then actually doing the thing because you KNOW it’s right – it’s a huge commitment. It fascinates me. I wrestle with it.

But I’m trying to honor that 7th grader. She knew what was up.