Welcome to “What’s Your Story?”, the occasional Tuesday space where I invite YOU to participate in the writing. Every episode, I offer a new writing prompt. In 200 words or less, YOU get to practice telling YOUR story.
In Episode 59 (Looking for the Good), I wrote about some of the good things in my life. Having shared that with you, I’d love to hear about something good in YOUR life. Even if you have to sift through piles of crud, I’m certain that you can come up with at least one good thing. Let’s fill this thread with a whole lot of GOODNESS.
Tip of the Week: If you’re too shy or too busy to write 200 words, write just a sentence or two. Go for it! Write the first thing that comes to mind.
Keep it 200 words or less! (Word Counter) Be honest. Have fun. Don’t hold back. Leave your contribution in the comments. I’ll go first.
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When I moved into my house in 1996, the backyard was almost entirely paved. It was a hot field of concrete with a six inch curb. The previous owners had paved it to make a large turn-around for their car. With the garage in the wayback, this made for an easier exit out the narrow driveway on the side of the house. I can still feel my burning resentment as the sun baked off that hot white pavement on our first summer here.
After Hallie was born, I decided to build her a sandbox in the back corner of the yard. The action of clearing brush and building the box inspired a multi-year process of concrete removal. Today, I'm grateful to say that there's not even enough driveway to pull the car all the way to the garage. It's mostly green now. In place of the cement, there now grow perennials, shrubs, a vegetable garden, a peach tree, a fringe tree, 6 blueberry bushes, some grass and a bunch of dandelions for mowing. My backyard is one of the good things in my life.
I began the process of moving in with my partner this weekend. I was almost sure this would lead to a crash, but maybe I managed to dodge a bullet? Trying to pace has a way of making every thing I do be a bit more paranoid about the investment required, and I'm still learning the ropes on how best to communicate that to others. There was some hard moments for sure, but we did most of the work no problem.
My partner has been nothing but understanding of my diminished energy/increased fatigue. She let me rest as much as I needed. I'm grateful for her patience and understanding, for however long it lasts. We also caught up on the end of the Disney series, Owl House. I wholly recommend it if you want a touching come of age story with magic and goofy one liners. Living moment to moment, and everything has its difficulties, but if you want to look, the GOOD is always there.
Back in early March, my best friend’s parents gave me an extraordinary gift: my first car. I’m almost 26, and despite having mostly lived in car-centric communities, I didn’t learn to drive until I was almost 24 (for a variety of reasons not suited for a story about the good.) Mr. and Mrs. Dyet were ready to part with one of their old cars for something newer, and they so kindly observed and responded to the need of their son’s best friend.
I have fibromyalgia. For this reason alone, my car has already transformed my life. Another way to put it: my Melba is named Betsy, and she is a grey 2010 Pontiac Vibe. I am no longer exhausted when I arrive at work, whereas I used to have to walk 20 minutes each way. And tomorrow, I am planning to do the longest drive I’ve ever done, though it’s only about 40 miles. I’m coming to visit Kent, in no small part due to this podcast putting it on my radar. I’ll see if I can make a stop at KNF :) other suggestions are also welcome.
After four years away from my family, and during that time the birth of a new niece, I was able to return home to Australia. My niece was sleeping when I arrived. She was also one and a half years old by that point so she knew me from FaceTime. It was the best to see her wake from her nap, see me and register that I was in 3D. Within an hour we were running around the backyard as best friends and I got the full tour of her "clubbyhouse" as she calls her cubby house. It was the best.
I am in my hammock listening to the birds, watching adolescent geese stroll by. Since they can’t fly until July, it’s all legging it for now, pond to pond. Happily, I have nothing compelling to get me out of the hammock for an hour, unless my restlessness takes me out and off on my legs. Today is an anniversary date that makes me sad, and the sadness feels okay settling in my skin. And rocking it all in the hammock, even better.
Living in an old house can be daunting at times. There is always something that needs fixing and days when the creaking floors, the rattling windows and the peeling paint feel like extensions of my own character flaws. They are a reflection of my personal shortcomings—things I haven’t yet been able to focus on and make nice. And some days that weight can be overwhelming.
But this weekend I made an effort to focus on the good of living in this old house of ours. My husband and I spent part of the Memorial Day weekend washing down the front porch and tending to the garden and filling planters. I decided to take breaks to enjoy the day as we worked. I rested my head back and looked up at the brilliant blue sky through our big oak tree, the new leaves swaying in the breeze. I watched a couple of robins hop around the yard, drawn by the sprinkler and the possibility of a worm or other bug. And I thoroughly enjoyed sitting on a freshly washed porch, a cool drink in my hand, looking at the passersby and admiring the newly planted flowers. Life is good here. Thanks, Hal.
On the way home from my sixth grade annual picnic, I sat alone in the school bus and didn't feel a stinging in my chest when I looked at the empty seat beside me. That was when I realized that I had broken free of the need to fit in, to have friends and to be liked by all the other kids. Me, the sound of my humming, the feeling of having my eyes closed, and a small smile on my face - that was enough. The empty seat beside mine on bus no. 35 was one of the good things in my life.
Thanks for these opportunities to write, Hal.
With this set of illnesses, I have learned I am even stronger and wiser than I thought. And yet weaker also, and the older I get, the more absence if wisdom I also look back and see. But I have learned I can endure hard things.