you say you want a resolution :: 2017 edition

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I love New Year’s resolutions. That doesn’t mean I remember them, or actually achieve them…but I love making them. They are different every year. One year I resolved to learn to poach eggs, text with two hands and be funnier. One year I wrote a list of changes I wanted to make (I don’t think that one worked out). In 2013 I resolved to take naps every Sunday afternoon (I did pretty well with that one). One time it was simply to pay attention.

This year I have a really long list. 60 resolutions and counting. I predict a 20% success rate. Percentages.

Steve and I started our New Year’s weekend in separate cars. He drove with Dave to Bodega Bay to play golf, and Vicki and I drove to Freestone to spend the day at Osmosis Spa and Sanctuary. Before my (75-minute!) massage, I had an hour and a half in the meditation garden and began Mary Oliver’s new book, Upstream. On page 7, this quote whispered my name:

“May I be the tiniest nail in the house of the universe, tiny but useful.”

I thought about that quote all day, all night and the next day. It’s the first of my resolutions.

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We spent the night at Bodega Bay with our friends (and we know they are the best of friends, because we get to celebrate the new year together, but all agree that 10:00 is late enough) and I woke to a clear dawn over the bay, and a sense of  possibility for 2017.

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I made some coffee, pulled out my notebook and felt like my life could be intentional this year, and fun, and productive and worth every bit of energy I could muster. So I started my list of resolutions, and kept going until I got to  50. That seemed like plenty of resolving before breakfast.

3. Be nice to Steve

4. Be nice to people I don’t even like

7. Write every day

10. Clean up after myself—real messes and imaginary ones

13. Have a solo weekend adventure

14. Have a weekend adventure with both Kate and Alex

22. Shed weight (at least some)

23. Don’t be afraid to sweat, or huff and puff

28. Fix up the guest rooms, so they aren’t just storage rooms with a bed

After breakfast with the deep blue sea before us, our friends left for home, and Steve and I explored Bodega Head, and a few small villages. I saw a street sign the previous day, and I wanted to find it again. Steve is always game for an adventure, which is one of the reasons I keep him.

30. Research writing retreats

31. Apply to one

37. Meet up with online friends in real life. Make the effort.

41. Skip the news until after my first cup of coffee

47. Wear my Fitbit

48. Don’t cuss so much (actually, this is about one specific word…which I say often, but can’t seem to write…it’s the big one)

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I kept thinking about my list, and the sense of ease I felt…it’s been a while since I felt like life was manageable. I know the importance of slowing down, not rushing…but I also know how the minutes, days, years can slip by us, without constant reminders of what’s important to our hearts.

During our drive, I added “update iTunes library.” I also resolved to keep my new car clean.

49. More dinner parties. At least five. Brunch counts.

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We drove home, unpacked and cleaned up a bit. I kept adding to my list:

52. Floss twice a day

54. More ukulele

56. Stay politically engaged (don’t give up, don’t be bitter, learn, use my voice)

57. Learn to cast off (when knitting)

59. Moisturize

60. Consider the long view, especially when it belongs to someone else, rather than always going for the short cut.

I’m not sure how this will work out. I imagine checking my notebook on Sundays, and reminding myself what I did, and what I still can do. Taking a moment to remember what’s important, and that there is indeed a long view. Perhaps I miss a few, or most. But when I do, I can always pick up the ukulele, or floss my teeth, or make a cup of tea for Steve.

And that will be a start.

And if not, there is always next year.

 

 

the more things change and other thoughts on this new year’s eve

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Sigh. It’s almost over, isn’t it? Please tell me we will get a do-over soon…I can’t possible drink anymore sorrow, or eat any more emotion, and goodness knows, my deep sighs are wearing out their welcome.

I need a new year. I need a change.

I understand the risk of change. I know that the more things change, well, the more things change. And it’s not always good. In fact, sometimes it sucks. Sometimes change shows up as “this wasn’t the change I imagined and I would like to trade it in now” variety.

Still. Change.

My change this year has to do with the moving parts of family. I have lived 500 miles away from my parents since I was 19, and this spring they will sell their home and move within 5 miles of me (that’s a good change, in fact, I am almost giddy for that one). My in-laws are also moving, out of the home Steve’s grandfather built in the hills of Redwood City, when his mom was ten, more than 70 years ago. It’s a very special house, and all of us will feel the loss…but we know San Diego is a lovely place to be. My daughters are still far away, and I am not sure where they will root, but I know I miss them. I try not to feel sorry for myself when my friends get to see their daughters just because. I am not always successful.

I am on the back end of my career, and working to forge a new path with this well traveled one. I want to write more, walk more, read more, travel more, photograph more, make more, cook more, explore more. I’d like to see more movies, visit with more friends, have more parties. And while we’re at it, I’d like more time.

Also, I am already missing the Obamas.

The new year always comes when we need it the most. When the Christmas tree branches are dry and brittle, when our bodies have finally demanded vegetables rather than sweets, when the nights are the darkest. When we’re tired and worn and need inspiration. When we are cranky with the universe (and baseball is still months away). When we need a refresher for life.

A new year. A new chance. And the courage to change, even with the risks.

Steve and I are headed to the coast with our dearest friends. The guys are playing golf, the women are spending the afternoon at Osmosis Spa and Sanctuary. After my massage, I am going to hang out in the hammock forest with my new Mary Oliver book of essays, Upstream. We will drink, eat, laugh, and walk on the ocean bluffs.

And then we will wake to a new year and begin again. Changing, hoping for the best. Working and reworking our moments and days and lives, until we get it right. To paraphrase (with apologies) Gandhi, may we be ready for the change we see in the world, and may we be willing to change ourselves.

Happy to you. See you next year.

 

 

Photo by Kim Tackett. Yosemite Valley, New Year’s Eve 2015.

gathering good :: 16 december 2016

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Does anyone else feel like the holidays just plopped themselves in the middle of life? Which is how it always is, I guess…but this year they feel especially ploppish. And maybe the distraction is a good thing. Let’s go with that, shall we? And while we’re going, here are a few links of cool stuff I found.

This Women Who Draw open directory for illustrators makes me so happy. Even if you’re not an artist, it will make you smile.

Need another smile, and also some quick homemade gifts? Jasmine Tea Infused Vodka. Next year, my friends.

A little spring for your winter, in the form of 25,000 paper flowers. Sometimes we just need a little pretty, you know?

These house numbers are awesome. We’ve had the same ones since we moved in, 24 years ago. I think we should be embarrassed by now.

This graphic helped me calm down a bit and remember that I don’t control everything.

RBG says this is how to raise a kick-ass daughter.  I actually did pretty well here, though I can’t take all the credit.

Chai Sugar. I love to make gifts for neighbors and friends, but since I don’t bake, I’m always looking for new ideas.

Beautiful Brie.

50 of the year’s best images from National Geographic. Like a vacation in my computer, that’s what.

Pantone’s color of the year, Greenery. I like it!

Toni Morrison writes about the role of an artist in times of turmoil. We have work to do, my friends.

50 ways to do good by doing well. I love these and want to put each one of them on a post it note and place all over my body, so I won’t forget.

That’s it for this week (and maybe even for the year). See you on the flip side.

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Photo by Kim Tackett. Yosemite Valley, New Year’s Eve 2015. Altered in Prisma.

 

always short and almost true stories :: adulting is hard

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Today’s 35-word stories about the challenges of being mature. I’ll let you know when I get there. More stories here. Thanks for reading, my friends. -K

 

Adulting is hard, I said.

I’ve never been good at it, she added.

There we stood, at 59 and 82,

amazed we made it this far,

without

life vests,

safety goggles,

or 24-hour supervision.

 


 

Bandaids, three just this morning.

Rivulets of blood, seeping through.

Sore, throbbing, and a little embarrassed.

This is why I can’t have nice things.

Like sharp Japanese knives, thinly sliced persimmon,

And evidently,

fingers.

 


 

With children,

one must feed them,

day after day, year after year.

Luckily, we made it.

They’re grown and gone,

and I’m grateful that

frozen cookie dough

was acceptable as dinner,

once in a while.

 


 

Banking, taxes, and mortgages,

eating without spilling on myself,

changing my car’s oil,

cleaning under the refrigerator produce bin,

understanding the voting propositions,

baking,

farting silently and scent-free,

Grown up activities I will never master.

 


 

Adult things she can  do:

Make a fantastic salad,

be on time,

say I love you,

listen carefully,

hand write notes,

forgive,

coffee,

pee anywhere,

nap anyplace,

ideate and create,

look you in the eye.


Photo by Kim Tackett. Clarion Alley murals, San Francisco, CA.

gathering good :: holiday edition

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Every year I attempt to scrooge my way through Christmas, and every year I fail. I am hoping that since we had the Virus That Ruined Thanksgiving, we can skip the Scrooge act all together. These treats might help:

Bloody Marys, from Preservation (right around the corner from the studio). Lucky us.

In my fantasies, I am a fabulous waffle maker (a maker of fabulous waffles, not the equipment). I’ve tried, and I kind of suck. But this keyboard waffle maker is inspiring, yes?

Seven writers on their favorite bookstores. I feel better, just reading their words.

This book. I mean this lamp. I mean this book/lamp.

The NYT Best Books of 2016 list. Can we stay home and just read for two weeks? Please?

These cookies are almost enough to turn me into a baker (I am so not a baker). Chocolate and World Peace, in one morsel.

However, I am a drinker. Red Wine Hot Cocoa. A Christmas miracle in a cup!

I love everything about the We Keep Exploring collections.

I know one daughter and son-in-law who would love the Salami of the month club. Heh.

Kind of amazing Gingerbread Houses. Ours don’t look exactly like this.

Finally, nativity scenes for the minimalist.

See you on the flip side.

 

 

Photo by Kim Tackett. Yosemite Valley, 2015.

 

 

 

 

more 35-word stories :: orange, this time

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Here’s my newest set of 35-word stories, brought to you by Election, 2016. I tried to be funny, but you know, it’s just too soon. Maybe later, much later (like in 2020). More short short stories are here. Thanks for reading. -K

 

The evening started with Nasty Woman cocktails,

popcorn, and expectation.

We watched,

shocked,

as the map turned to blue,

and realized that orange would take over.

I called my daughters

to mourn and apologize.

 


 

Pride, patriotism, progress.

It was a great eight years

and caring is a tough gig to give up.

Wondering,

how we can turn our backs

and turn away,

on what might have been.

 


 

Resistance by punctuation.

I won’t speak, or write

his name,

and president will always be lowercase,

never our but the.

No one else will notice,

but I will know what

I did and didn’t do.

 


 

A joke would help.

Some humor about the orange one’s small hands,

flyaway hair and big boast.

Laughter heals.

Not yet, because it still hurts.

Though that scotch-taped tie photo,

that was pretty funny.

 


 

How must it feel to be an other?

Not aspiring to be

rich, powerful, strong, or great.

But wanting only to be

fed, warm, well, safe, and equal?

How do you feel today,

other America?

 


 

To my friends, the others.

You are loved, you are welcome, you belong.

We will watch and work, and wait.

We will change,

slowly,

backward and forward,

and we will hope for the best,

again.