Habit Experiment: February Recap, March Kickoff

February Recap

My goals for February:

1) Do daily FlyLady routines more regularly, particularly bathroom swish-and-swipe and morning and bedtime routines.

2) Streamline my weekly cleaning.

3) Add in 15 minutes a day of zone decluttering/detail cleaning.

The daily routines for goal #1 went great. I only missed a total of two swish-and-swipe days, and our toilets and sinks are very shiny. The other two goals, haven’t gone so well. Weekly cleaning is getting done, but it’s still a challenge because I try to do more than just the quickie clean one hour will allow and it ends up taking me two hours or more. I went gangbusters with the 15 minutes a day the first week, despite a snow storm that dropped eighteen inches of snow that needed shoveling, but since then I’ve only cleaned the kitchen and laundry room floors, wiped out the fridge, and used an old toothbrush to clean around the fifty-year-old faucets in one of the bathrooms. For that last one, I called my spouse at work to tell him I’d done it.

“Does it look a lot different?” he asked.

“It’s pretty subtle,” I admitted. “That’s why I called you. Now you’ll be ready to give me ample praise when you see the faucets tonight.”

It turns out I need more praise for household tasks than I realized I did.

This month, without any fanfare at all, I’ve started a daily metta (lovingkindness) practice. It has two main parts:

-Each morning after I wake up but before I get out of bed and each evening after I get in bed but before I fall asleep I do some breathing. I count five breaths just focusing on the breath and then I take two breaths for each of the following statements:

May I be safe.

May I be happy.

May I be healthy.

May I live with ease.

May I be free from suffering.

-During the day whenever there’s a lull or a time when I’m getting irritable, I breathe and repeat these statements to myself.

In the past week or so, I’ve started shifting to saying “we” instead of “I” when I repeat the statements, and I’m experimenting with saying them out loud with my kids before we start lessons each morning. Nothing miraculous has come of this, but I do feel less rattled when things don’t go my way and when I have a tantrum, I seem to cool down faster than before. The kids haven’t even mentioned the change, but they like to ring the Zen chime.

In The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion, author Christopher Germer cautions that when beginning metta practice, it’s common to have an immediate period of improvement followed by a period about five weeks into the practice when things actually seem to get worse. He attributes this to a shift from doing the practice for its own sake to doing the practice with an endpoint in mind. Knowing this, I’m going to try to temper my enthusiasm for any positive outcomes and keep an eye out for disillusionment and, hopefully, remember it’s all part of the process.

And now for March’s goal:

Reduce yelling and swearing.

My goals:

1) Continue bringing awareness to my moods before I lose it through mindfulness and lovingkindness practices.

2) Sign up for Gretchen Rubin’s 21 Day Project “Quit Yelling At My Kids”

I’m hesitant about both of my goals this month, the first because listing the practice here attaches it to my goal to yell and swear less, which could derail the practice, and the second because it costs 5 bucks and involves getting a daily e-mail, which I have in spades already. But it’s only twenty-one days, and I figure it’s worth a shot. Plus I’m curious about what sort of tips Rubin has included in these projects.

People are generally surprised (or at least act surprised) when I tell them I yell and swear at home. I have a reputation for being “quiet,” which I can see, but it’s strange to me just how big a deal this seems to be. I mean, people at church have been going out of their way to thank me for talking in meetings, which feels weird because I feel like I’ve been talking all along.

At any rate, my yelling and swearing comes out when I’m with people I care about and who I know won’t stop loving me if I show my ugly side (although to be honest, this is a constant fear). Kind of a crappy reward for being one of my close friends or loved ones, and I’d like to curb it a bit.

It’s the last month of my Habit Experiment! I’m very glad to be about done with this particular project. It’s been educational, but I’m not feeling it like I thought I would.

Points to Ponder:

Do you ever find your goals to be at cross purposes, with one canceling out or threatening to cancel out another?

Habit Experiment: January Recap, February Kickoff

January Recap

My goal for January was:

1) Write a little something every day.

I’ve pretty much done this in January, but I realized I was already pretty much doing it before January, so I’ve not noticed much of a difference this month.

As I’ve continued to reevaluate my Habit Experiment, I found this quote from a letter Hunter S. Thompson wrote to a friend in 1958:

“So if you now number yourself among the disenchanted, then you have no choice but to accept things as they are, or to seriously seek something else. But beware of looking for goals: look for a way of life. Decide how you want to live and then see what you can do to make a living WITHIN that way of life.”

I’m not sure if a twenty-two-year-old Hunter S. Thompson is the best person to take advice from, but I like the sentiment. It reflects the shift in perspective I’ve been experiencing towards my Habit Experiment. I’m not ready to jettison goals entirely, but I’m trying to see them in the context of what I’d like the big picture of my life to look like (I’m not even to the point of figuring how to “make a living”). Conclusions are in short supply at this point, but I trust that asking the questions is a good place to start.

And now for February’s goal:

Implement FlyLady routines

My goals:

1) Do daily FlyLady routines more regularly, particularly bathroom swish-and-swipe and morning and bedtime routines.

2) Streamline my weekly cleaning.

3) Add in 15 minutes a day of zone decluttering/detail cleaning.

So, how do these goals promote the way of life I’d like to have? I’d like to have less stuff so I’m more mobile (and less embarrassed when movers come to pack up our house), and I would like each of the things I own to have a purpose. The stuff I have I’d like to be tidy and clean, but I also don’t want to spend all of my time cleaning and organizing my stuff. My hope is that routines will help me keep things decluttered and tidy with a minimal outlay of time and energy.

I must admit, my heart’s not really in this one. I’ve been off-and-on following FlyLady routines for nearly nine years now with off-and-on success. I could blame my children, but if I really wanted to keep to cleaning routines, I bet I could. I suspect that it doesn’t matter as much to me as I think it does. I’m not sure that “recommitting” to routines is going to help now, but I’m giving it a try. (I should probably make next month’s goal, “Brush up on my pep talks to myself.”)

Points to Ponder:

Do you focus on goals or on a way of life…or both?

Habit Experiment: December Recap, January Kickoff

December Recap

My goal for December was:

1) Read for thirty minutes a day.

I didn’t read every day, but this month did help me to shift my perspective on my Habit Experiment. I’ve not been responding well to the detailed plan, to the metrics and all of that, and I’ve not been keeping to my habits very well.

I can think of a few possible causes for this:

1) Trying to do too much at one time.

2) General fatigue at the end of the year.

3) Some habits actually take longer than 21 days to develop.

In addition, I’ve noticed that the habits I’m keeping best are the ones that I do right after I wake up. When I exercise as soon as I wake up, I exercise daily. When I get out of bed and meditate, I can do that every day. Same thing if I write just after the alarm goes off (I’ve been working ahead). Of course, the trouble is that once I do one of these things, the spell is broken (and the kids are awake). I’ve tried going back to bed and starting again, but it doesn’t seem to work that way. I get up, do one habit, then the rest of the day is a wash. Not really, but that’s how it feels when I focus on the habits I’m not doing habitually.

So, I’m letting myself re-interpret my goals. Instead of forcing myself to take a walk in the cold, dark New England morning, worrying that every shadow is a skunk ready to spray me, I’ve been doing free workout videos from Fitness Blender in my basement. It’s not the great outdoors, but there are no skunks (knock wood), and I get to watch the thermostat go up as much as two degrees by the end of my workout.

Instead of making myself meditate on my cushion, I’ve been cultivating mindfulness in random moments throughout the day and bringing my awareness to the sounds in my bedroom while I’m falling asleep at night. Starting in January, I’ll also be multitasking reading and mindfulness by reading about mindfulness. I’m pretty sure multitasking mindfulness kind of defeats the purpose, but I’m going to try it anyway.

Instead of trying to enforce a bedtime for myself, I’m developing a habit of thinking of the hours between 8pm and 6am as “sacred to sleep.” I don’t necessarily sleep that whole time, but I keep my focus on winding down and keeping things sleep-like during those hours. There are a couple of evening meetings I’ve not been able to weasel out of, so this gets derailed about once a week or so, but perfection isn’t really the goal, is it? (Certainly not the stated goal, at least.)

For those interested in my other goals:

“Mindful Internet Use”: Reading Plato’s Republic this month has made me look at the Internet and all “shadows and reflections” differently than I did before. Plato has a way of taking the fun out of lurking on Facebook or reading strangers’ funny text messages. I’m not sure if I’m using the Internet less or not, but I’m certainly more mindful of how I’m doing it.

“Drive Less”: I drove 639 miles in December (odometer reading went from 120,952 to 121,591), even more below the 800 miles/month limit I gave myself. Where the heck did I used to go that I’m not going anymore? It’s a mystery, but I like it.

And now for January’s goal:

Establish a Daily Writing Practice

My goal:

1) Write a little something every day.

In light of my December realizations, I’m going to leave this very open. I can write about what I’m reading, or I can draft a blog post, or I can write thank-you notes for Christmas gifts, or maybe I can type a silly story for my kids on the typewriter my mom sent my five-year-old for Christmas. (It’s a totally awesome typewriter. It’s a Smith-Corona Vantage that my dad bought in 1979. My mom and I had to send away to upstate New York for a new ribbon, but it was worth it. My kids love it, and so do I. And being able to load a sheet of paper into a typewriter and adjust the margins has to be a valuable skill for a 21st-century kid, right?)

So, my goal is just to put down some words about something every day. Easy-peasy. (Maybe.)

Points to Ponder:

What do you do when you find yourself falling behind your goals? Do you push harder? Reevaluate and modify your expectations? Eat more chocolate?

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What began as Mason Currey’s blog, which began as a way to procrastinate writing projects, Daily Rituals is a compilation of the rituals and routines that creatives in various fields follow (or followed) to get their work done. The contents of the book are gleaned from the reports of biographers, friends and family, or from the reports of the authors, composers, artists, and scientists themselves.  It would be easy to read this an entry or two at a time, but I gleefully went from entry to entry and read the book straight through.

This book has been a comfort to me on so many levels. The biggest help it’s offered is to show me that there are really a ton of different routines productive creatives follow. Read More

Origins

When I was four, after my brother Josh’s death but before my sister was born, I had a dream that a giant dog was running around our San Diego house. I could see the dog’s fur outside the window as it raced by, and I could feel the ground shake with each of its steps. I knew it was up to me to warn people, to protect my family, but I couldn’t reach to close the windows and no one would listen to me. When I woke up, I told my mom about the dream. “I felt so old, Mommy,” I said. “I felt like I was five!”

After Josh died, my dad came home from cruise early. A black car with white military lettering on the door dropped him off in front of our house. I ran across the grass and jumped into his arms, pressed my nose into his warm khaki Navy uniform shirt, and breathed in his smell of jet fuel, cigarette smoke, and Coast soap.

Later, the three of us sat at the dining room table. We just sat there, the silence buzzing in our ears. I tried to express the impossible reality that we had been a family of four but now we were only three. Into the silence I said, “Sometimes it seems like I can still hear the baby crying.” Or at least that’s what I remember saying. I wasn’t even three yet, so it’s possible it came out differently.

My dad carried me into Josh’s room and showed me the empty crib. “See, no baby,” he said.

My dad had misunderstood me. I knew the baby wasn’t there anymore, I just didn’t understand how that could be. I didn’t try to correct my dad because I could tell that my question had hurt him, and I didn’t know how to say it another way anyway. So I kept quiet and felt the chasm of aloneness widen around me.

I first remember feeling the aloneness the night of Josh’s birth when my mom was away and I was frightened and my dad was asleep. I felt it the morning of Josh’s death, when I stood with my mom in our pajamas at the end of our driveway, watching our shadows stretch long on the pavement, waiting for the ambulance. I felt it in the months after when my mom would fall asleep on the couch; I would blow air into her nostrils to wake her up. She said it was because Josh had fallen asleep and not woken up and I was afraid that the same thing would happen to her, but I just remember feeling alone and wanting her to be with me.

Even then I was trying to figure out the nature of existence. How is it that a baby—my brother—could appear and then just no longer be there? Where did he come from and where did he go? I knew he was supposed to be there at the cemetery where I wore my crocheted sailor suit and wasn’t allowed to pick the flowers. But how was he not with us anymore?

I had sat on the sofa with a pillow under my plump little arm and held him in my lap, had pushed him in his walker and made him laugh, had lain next to him on the living room rug and hugged him, and now he was no longer there.

More than thirty years later, I’m still trying to figure out how it’s possible that someone who is so firmly there one moment can be so thoroughly gone the next. With my own babies, I could feel the possibility of their absence even as I felt their warm weight in my arms. I can still feel it, and they’re a ways from being babies anymore.

I used to write about Josh a lot, but until my blog post last month about the night he was born, I hadn’t written about him since a high school writing class more than twenty years ago. In the weeks since I wrote that blog post, I’ve been looking back and it seems like everything I write is about him, or at least about the confusion and aloneness that I’ve felt in the wake of his life.

It’s possible I would have been confused and alone even if Josh hadn’t died, that this is just my temperament. I was so young when he lived that I can’t remember if I was different before his death. Whatever the cause, my earliest memories are of being confused and alone, and I think that this confusion and aloneness birthed my writing life even before I could read and write. There were things that I had to try to figure out, but because they were things I couldn’t talk about to my parents—the only people who’d known Josh and the only people I felt might have the answers—I had to try to figure them out alone. I paid close attention to everything around me, trying to pick up clues to the answers to my questions about where we come from and where we go, why we’re here for such a short time and what possible meaning there can be in this cycle of birth and death, joy and sorrow.

For more than thirty years, I’ve asked these questions—and, when I was too afraid, avoided asking these questions—in fiction and in essay, in my dreams and in my middle-of-the-night panic attacks, in my irascibility and in my taciturn pouts. I’ve asked and I’ve asked, and I’ve not found any answers. I’m not even sure there are answers to be had to these questions, at least not satisfying ones, but if there are, I feel sure that I can write my way to them.

And so I write.

From Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke (found in Elizabeth Andrew’s Writing the Sacred Journey:

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

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Written for the Weekly Writing Challenge: Writerly Reflections (March 24, 2014). 

 

A Writer By Any Other Name

When people ask me, “What do you do?” I get all squirmy inside. I should really come up with a technically true but nevertheless evasive answer, like, “I develop and implement curricula for children learning outside the traditional classroom setting.” Or I could go with, “I read and write reviews about the classics of western literature,” or, “I spend my days repeating tasks only for them to be undone so they can be repeated again.”

Back in my college days and in my early 20’s, I would say with confidence, “I’m a writer.” In our writing classes, we were encouraged to say this as a kind of affirmation. “I am a writer!” And if I didn’t completely believe it, the evidence supported the claim. I wrote every day and then I workshopped my writing with other self-proclaimed writers. I did public readings and published my poetry and prose, if only in the campus literary magazine. The future was ahead of me. Surely I was destined to be published widely and appreciated in my own time.

These days—post-corporate career, post-self employment, post-birth and breastfeeding—I answer with only feigned confidence. “I’m a writer.” The response I used to get was, “Oh? What do you write?” to which I would answer, “Creative nonfiction, mostly personal essays, but I also write short stories and I’m working on a novel.” I could still use this answer because it’s all still true, but now the question is different. It’s changed from, “What do you write?” to “What have you written?”

I’m not sure when or why this shift happened, but I suspect it’s because the wrinkles around my eyes and the silver highlights in my hair mark me as someone who has had ample time to achieve at least some of her youthful ambitions.

It seems a particularly cruel question, but I doubt it’s intended that way. I should, I guess, take it as a compliment. I seem so capable and well-spoken, the questioner just assumes that if they’ve not seen my name on a book cover or in the byline of an article in The New Yorker, it’s the result of their own oversight.

I could just tell them, “I blog,” but I hate to disappoint them. Or perhaps it’s less about disappointing them than admitting that blogging isn’t really what I intended back when I first called myself a writer. It exposes the doubt I feel when I claim that I’m a writer.

But just like in college, the evidence supports my claim. I write every day. I give occasional public readings, primarily in front of my UU congregation. I even publish my writing, albeit in a venue that doesn’t involve getting past editorial gatekeepers.

In her book Writing the Sacred Journey, Elizabeth Andrew refers to writers who write because “writing brings them nearer to the ineffable essence of life.” I write for this reason, and I think this is why I’ve always written. I write for connection. To paraphrase Andrew, I write because it helps me birth myself. I write because I just do. If life tossed me a Robinson Crusoe and I was alone with little hope of ever seeing another human much less signing a book for them, I would still write.

I suppose if I wanted to stifle any follow-up questions about what I do, I could go with, “I write to birth myself.” It’s true, but it’s just not what people think of when someone says, “I’m a writer.” But for me, at least, I think it’s the part that has to come first. If I write from my heart and write the truth—even if it’s fictional—and that leads me to a life that looks more like what people think of as the life of a writer, with book signings and publicity tours and a Wikipedia entry with my name on it, then that’s fantastic.

But if not, I’m still a writer.

Evidence: A pile of completed notebooks. (Not pictured: everything on my hard-drive, nearly 1,000 blog posts (and 100's more on my other blogs, past and present), and dozens of other notebooks.)

Evidence: A pile of completed notebooks. (Not pictured: everything on my hard-drive, nearly 1,000 blog posts (and 100’s more on my other blogs, past and present), and dozens of other notebooks.)

Scaring Myself Out Of—and Back Into—Writing

Miss Kowalik had curly salt-and-pepper hair that was beautiful to my eight-year-old eyes. She gave us half-sheets of blue-lined paper, that kind that shredded under the slightest pressure from a pink eraser, and told us to write a paragraph just describing something using the five senses. “Don’t exaggerate, just describe,” she instructed. My first creative writing assignment.

I put my pencil to the paper and entered the Zone. I loved it.

And I also loved the praise I got for my writing. I was the shortest kid in class, the perpetual “new kid” because we moved so often, and my mom made me wear little flowered dresses every single day of school. It was a relief to have something I could do that made me stand out in a good way.

All the way through college, I wrote frequently and I wrote recklessly, tossing words onto the page and leaving no corner of my life secret to anyone who happened to read my writing. I felt nervous, sure, but I also felt courageous and capable. The zone was always there for me, and I always loved being there.

In the years since college, the nervousness has achieved more of a foothold, and I rarely feel courageous and capable about anything anymore. I held onto a writing community for a while, but moving and motherhood provided convenient excuses to let the fear get the upper hand. For a long time, I stopped writing except for my journals and our annual Christmas newsletter.

Then I started blogging. Blogging didn’t involve much fear for me because it didn’t mean much to me. I was just talking, and I didn’t care much whether people were reading or not. It actually feels comforting that I’m  small potatoes. I like my solid following of thoughtful readers. According to Gertrude Stein, Picasso once said of young artists, “even after everybody knows they are good not any more people really like them than they did when only a few knew they were good.” I’d like to be good, but fame doesn’t necessarily mean the writing’s any good.

But blogging doesn’t give me that Zen-like calm that writing’s always given me, and blogging—or at least the way I’ve been blogging—isn’t really helping me to improve my writing, either.

So, I decided that I was going to get serious about my writing. I would take it to the next level. No time like the present. I’m not getting any younger. Go big or go home. Fish or cut bait. I recited to myself all kinds of motivating slogans.

And then I froze.

CIMG3359Writers talk about the paralysis they feel when faced with a blank page/screen. I’m familiar with that terror, but this wasn’t it. This was a fear of trying, not because trying is inherently scary but because trying makes failing hurt worse, and failing is always scary, even when it’s for the best.

While I was just kind of “La, la! I’m blogging about today’s lunch!” it didn’t really matter whether my writing was good or not. But here I was thinking about really, truly trying, putting my neck out there and saying, “Here, World! Here’s the best I’ve got!” and waiting for the World’s reaction. Bad reviews would be bad, but the most likely reaction would be silence, and that might well be worse. As Oscar Wilde writes in The Picture of Dorian Gray, “there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”

In the week since I froze, I’ve thought up a plan to help me to write more, write better, and to support me through the scary bits:

1. Trade r-selected blogging for K-selected blogging.

I’m good at writing lots of posts, but that involves lots of writing and very little editing. In order to do my best writing, I need to edit. So, I plan to publish a lot more selectively and put more time into each post.

2. Embrace prompts.

When I feel scared about writing, prompts help me get back in the zone. The two I’m planning to employ for blogging are the now-monthly Remember the Time Blog Hop and WordPress’s always-weekly Weekly Writing Challenge. I won’t always publish the posts I write from those prompts because I don’t want to encourage my habit of just posting to have something to post whether it’s my best work or not, but I do plan on playing around with the prompts and if something good comes out of it, I’ll put it here. I’ve also got a shelf and a half devoted to books about writing. There are plenty of prompts there to keep me busy in my non-blog writing, too.

3. Be judged.

I’ll be looking for writing communities, both online and off, so I can get used to writing my best stuff and requesting feedback, which I’ve not done for quite a long time. I’m not ready to make a plan for submitting my writing for publication in literary journals, but this is a baby step in that direction.

4. Find a writing mentor.

I’ve always loved singing, but I’ve also always been terrified of singing in front of people, so when I joined our church choir last year, I also made the leap and started taking voice lessons. Now I’m still terrified of singing but I’ve got a professional helping me along. Christina gives me challenges tailored to my voice. She gives me labeled praise and constructive criticism, most of which I think is gentle, but it’s hard to tell because really, even the gentlest criticism stings a little. But I don’t mind the sting because I can see my progress, and that’s enough encouragement to keep me working.

I want the same thing for my writing. I want someone who will listen to my writing voice, identify my strengths and weaknesses, and help me figure out how to make it better. I want specific, personal suggestions from someone who knows about writing and knows about all of the emotional blah that goes along with writing. I’m on the lookout.

Do you ever frighten yourself out of doing things that you love to do? How do you work through the fear?

How Can I Keep From Singing?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret:

I’m average.

I’m a regular mom, not a Supermom. I write and sing and play the flute, but I don’t stand out above the crowd. I’m not bad at these things, I’m just…average (except in height; there I’m below average). I get the job done—and I enjoy doing it—but I don’t have anything in particular to crow about.

Which leads me to wonder: Why do I blog? Read More

Weekly Photo Challenge: Escape

This is my photographic response to this week’s photo challenge by The Daily Post. I like taking photos, especially for this type of challenge. I find it leads me to see the world differently. And seeing the world differently is something I always find enriching.

I don’t require a lot for “escape.”

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I’d love to take a big road trip or a long hike or a week (or so) in a cabin in the woods, but after a week with my spouse away on business, all I really want is my Moleskine, my favorite pen, selections from my TBR list, my noise-cancelling headphones, and a view of the bird feeders (and not the patch of poison ivy it turns out I’ve been walking through to fill the bird feeders).

In this vein, I’m also taking this opportunity to kick off a week-long social media fast. I hope to spend this week reading and journaling and catching up with my postal correspondence and just in general trying to get Facebook and my blog to loom a little less large in my life than they have been recently. If I finish a book and decide to review it on Goodreads, I’ll crosspost the review here, but otherwise, I’m just going to unplug.

While I’m away, you can look forward to a couple of fun (and slightly different) posts that I have in the works. One is the premier Sisters Book Club book review (of Ian McEwan’s Sweet Tooth), which has been much longer in the making than I’d planned. The other is a Reader Request post, about which I’m quite excited. So, have a pleasant week, and I’ll see you back here for some fun stuff when I return!

Just Plain Grapes

After my post the other day about feeling conflicted about the recent success of one of my former high school classmates, I wanted to demonstrate that I’m not all sour grapes about other people’s success.

Last week, an article by one of my junior high school friends appeared in the L.A. Times. In eighth grade, on a trip to state finals with our writing team, this friend informed me of the possibility of shaving one’s legs in the shower, thereby revolutionizing my hair removal practices. For a school project, we once made eerie clay-headed puppets and a cardboard cutout of a sort-of Cadillac, which we painted hot pink. We had the puppets perform a sort-of music video to The Troggs’ “Wild Thing.” (The point of the school project is long since lost to me.)

And although I’ve not used her shaving lessons in nearly a decade and still retain a minor phobia of puppets, I feel nothing but just plain grapes to see her byline in the L.A. Times, and I wouldn’t hesitate to read a book she wrote, once she publishes one. Unless maybe if it were a self-help book, in which case I’d have to re-think everything.

In the meantime, enjoy Maggie’s column!

Newlywed’s year of solo travel enforces a bond