Here's a fun exercise from Paul who got it from one of his readers. If you want five words from me, just let me know!
Staunch is a word that I need more of. I need to be staunch about lots of things: my exercise, my health, making family dinners, homework, my relationship with Christ, my beliefs, the laundry, cleaning bathrooms. Dust. Getting my hair trimmed. I had to look up the word staunch because my childlike idea of 'staunch' is an unyielding, dried up school teacher with a mean face, a gray bun high on her head and a wooden pointer poking at a flip chart and scaring young children. But staunch is just to be firm, steadfast and true. Having a substantial constitution. And there's nothing wrong with that.
A word in the story of my life. I was a runner once, the fastest girl - and through middle school, kid - in town. I had mini-successes in my young life until adolescence hit and my hips widened, increasing the angle between them and my knees. My knock-knees, a condition known to make it worse. This was my first disappointment in life, my hurting aching throbbing knees. At the University of Pennsylvania's sports medicine I was told that I have loose patellas, knee-caps. They jiggle around when I run, I guess, causing pain and swelling. They likened it to tennis elbow - runner's knee. (Duh, my 16 year old self said.) My track coach called that night to ask what the doctor said. He sputtered, "Huh?" at my answer: "They say I have a loose placenta." "PATELLA!" Mom yelled from the other room.
Lately when I wake up I feel like moss on a rotting log. I'm so sleepy in the morning no matter how much sleep I get. My room doesn't get daylight in the morning, I have dark curtains. I bought them when I was pregnant with Sean because as soon as I got pregnant with Sean, my neighbor had a street lamp installed next to her driveway which shone into my room like a beacon that joined my tummy in screaming: DON'T SLEEP. Though my curtains prevent it, I do like awakening to daylight. It's like the perfect gentle nudge of inspiration.
I was wearing my new black mules. They were quite sleek and I looked pret-ty darn good in them. Especially 'cause I was also wearing my favorite pair of jeans, the ones that complimented my butt and legs just right. You know the pair...you have one in your closet too, just admit it. I headed out to my errands. Feeling good, lookin' good, the day was good. The sun was probably shining perfectly on my hair too. I stopped at Ron's vacuum shop for some double R bags and strode out the front door smiling, confident. The thing about those mules though was that they looked so good, you forgot that the soles were a bit slippery and the thing about the walk in front of Ron's store is that it's a bit sloped. My foot slid out from under me, the guy walking toward me made one of those considerate but not too effective reaches for me as my knee crunched to the gravelly gray pavement. My jeans ripped. My knee hurt. My ego laughed at itself.
I like the way that people create family in their lives. Not the one you were born with, specifically, but the people with whom you find yourself living life. I come from a small town and many people have been here for generations. But I've noticed that it's the ones who moved into town and don't have relatives and longtime friends nearby that reach out and create close friends and family with their neighbors and other people in town. I admire that quality in people who can forge good friendships and open up a bit to make room for creating new special people in their lives. There's something good to be said about extending my idea of family to include people who may not have been born into mine.