Bloganuary 11, 2023: How do you define success?

For the month of January, I’m participating in Bloganuary, a daily blogging challenge.

Today’s Bloganuary prompt:

How do you define success?

I don’t feel I have an excess of mental capacity today, so I’m going to distill my answer down to the basics. To me, being successful means:

  • Waking up each morning happy.
  • Desiring what I have.
  • Challenging myself in ways that help me learn new skills.

Other than that, my mind’s drawing a blank. And I’m going to be ok with this being enough of a post for today.


Follow along and make memories.

Bloganuary 10, 2023: Has a book changed your life?

For the month of January, I’m participating in Bloganuary, a daily blogging challenge.

Today’s Bloganuary prompt:

Has a book changed your life?

Oh, goodness, yes!

After I left my marriage in June of 2020, my career coach casually mentioned Glennon Doyle’s book, “Untamed.” She thought it would help me on my journey to discover me. She was right.

The book highlights how common and widespread it is for women to shrink themselves in society, martyr their desires, and temper their true nature in order to provide a “better” world for those around them. And then, Doyle proposes the idea that women don’t have to do that.

The author comes to this realization while witnessing how a captive cheetah at her local zoo is still capable of tapping into her wild, natural behaviors. Women, too, can uncover and harness those same innate, untamed instincts.

Reading “Untamed” helped me put myself first, and live the life that brings me the most joy. I stopped living with the fear that society would frown upon my decisions, or that my behavior would upset my ex, or that I would somehow disappoint my mother.

Coupling this mentality with my therapist’s homework, My Memory List was born.

I got a tattoo. I adopted a dog. I started dating. And so much more.


Follow along and make memories.

Bloganuary 9, 2023: What is the most memorable gift you have received?

For the month of January, I’m participating in Bloganuary, a daily blogging challenge.

Today’s Bloganuary prompt:

What is the most memorable gift you have received?

I truly don’t know how to answer this prompt. The cursor has been blinking on the blank screen for the past 20 minutes. I’ve stepped away from my computer, hoping the mental break would help. But here I am. Still struggling to settle on what I consider to be my most memorable gift.

It’s not that my mind is barren of ideas. I can remember plenty of presents that people have given me over the years. Some of them way back to when I was a child. It’s the wording of the prompt, itself, that’s throwing me for a loop.

Continue reading “Bloganuary 9, 2023: What is the most memorable gift you have received?”

Bloganuary 8, 2023: How far back in your family tree can you go?

For the month of January, I’m participating in Bloganuary, a daily blogging challenge.

Today’s Bloganuary prompt:

How far back in your family tree can you go?

This is a tough one for me. Growing up, I think it’s fair to say I knew less of my family than my peers knew of theirs.

My immediate family included my mom, my dad, and my brother, who’s 7 years older than me. Both of my grandfathers passed away before I was born, and my grandmothers both remained living in Montreal, Canada after my family moved to the Toronto area.

My parents divorced when I was 5, and for about two decades afterwards, contact with my dad’s side of the family was lost. In that time, my paternal grandmother passed away.

On my mom’s side, I saw my grandmother once or twice each year. All I really knew of her was that she worried a lot, spent a good deal of time making sure her hair was perfect, and cooked really delicious food.

If I had been given a family tree assignment in school, on my own I wouldn’t have been able to get further up than my grandparents on both sides. Even with the help of my parents, I likely would have only been able to get the names of my great grandparents, and that’s it. Thank goodness I’ve been able to spend more time research my genealogy as an adult than I would have ever been able to dedicate as a kid on a school project.

Continue reading “Bloganuary 8, 2023: How far back in your family tree can you go?”

Bloganuary 7, 2023: Write a short story or poem about rain.

For the month of January, I’m participating in Bloganuary, a daily blogging challenge.

Today’s Bloganuary prompt:

Write a short story or poem about rain.

Any time I’m asked to write a poem, my mind immediately goes to Haiku. It’s short and, thus, not only does it feel manageable, but it forces me to try and be poetic in 17 syllables. Let’s do this!

Falling from the sky.
Washing away history.
Creating new life.


Follow along and make memories.

Bloganuary 6, 2023: Why do you write?

For the month of January, I’m participating in Bloganuary, a daily blogging challenge.

Today’s Bloganuary prompt:

Why do you write?

For whatever reason, this prompt triggers me. I have the impression that only writers write. And although I’m here, actively stringing words together to form sentences, combining those to make paragraphs, and composing it all into posts, I struggle to call myself a Writer.

I feel too casual with this. I’m simply telling the stories of memories I set out intentionally to make, which I found myself repeating to family, friends, and colleagues.

I knew that these stories were ripe to be posts on a blog but, ugh! I had been one half of a lesbian travel blog for about 7 years, and I wasn’t overly excited about it. I actually came to despise it. Setting out to begin a new blog, on my own, didn’t enthuse me in the slightest.

So, begrudgingly, I published My Memory List.

That was then, though. Today, I’m extremely grateful for this blog. I’ve discovered myself through this blog. I’ve found joy through this blog.

Why do I write? I guess I fell victim to overthinking again. I write because I want a way to document my life, through stories, in a way that resonates with people.


Follow along and make memories.

Bloganuary 5, 2023: What brings you joy in life?

For the month of January, I’m participating in Bloganuary, a daily blogging challenge.

Today’s Bloganuary prompt:

What brings you joy in life?

Oof! There are way too many things that spark joy to whittle down to a single answer. So, I’m not even going to try.

In no particular order, here are some of the things that bring me joy:

  • Seeing my dog, Toby, get excited (because it’s such a rare occurrence).
  • Listening to a song that has well-written and poetic lyrics.
  • Getting a really solid hit in softball.
  • Watching the Toronto Maple Leafs win.
  • Hearing the laughter of those I love.
  • Seeing a beautiful sunrise or sunset.
  • Playing (and solving) the daily Wordle, Letter Boxed, Quordle, Worldle, and Susie.
  • Spending time with my mom.
  • Sitting in the lanai with a hot drink in the cooler, winter mornings. (It’s too hot in Florida, otherwise.)
  • Roasting marshmallows and making s’mores.
  • Cooking and baking delicious food.
  • Photographing flowers.
  • Spotting animals in the wild.
  • Traveling to a new place.
  • Playing video games.
  • Reading a good book.
  • Harvesting fruits or vegetables that I grew myself, especially from seed.
  • Seeing a rainbow.
  • Waking up in the morning and remembering I get to spend the day with the love of my life.

I know in my heart that this list is incomplete. Clowning has taught me that it’s possible to find joy in all things. Joy is everywhere. The worthwhile challenge is to surrender one’s self enough to revel in it.


Follow along and make memories.

Bloganuary 4, 2023: What is a treasure that’s been lost?

For the month of January, I’m participating in Bloganuary, a daily blogging challenge.

Today’s Bloganuary prompt:

What is a treasure that’s been lost?

Immediately, my mind goes to people whose more recent deaths left a hole in the world’s heart: Maya Angelou, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Betty White. Of course, I could go back even further in history and list out all the people that were treasures of humanity, but that’s not how I want to answer the question.

Instead, I feel more called to be more abstract in my response. For that, I need the definition of treasure.

Treasure
noun
1. any thing or person greatly valued or highly prized

One of my fondest memories while traveling is when I was hungry and needed dinner in a small, Tibetan village. I hesitantly poked my head into a hole-in-the-wall place that I suspected was restaurant. The two elderly women eating noodle at a small table in the corner confirmed my suspicions. When a third woman appeared from behind a draped sheet, she may have been surprised to see a tourist, but she knew why I was there.

As was my custom traveling through Tibet, I first asked “Tashi delek? Ni hao?” in order to determine whether I needed to communicate in Tibetan or Mandarin, respectively. She echoed emphatically in the former, which meant I had exhausted all my Tibetan language abilities. But, I always do my best to come prepared. So I pulled out a small, folded up piece of paper that had the phrase “I am vegetarian” written in Tibetan. The woman flashed a look of concern, stuck up a finger instructing me to wait, and then ducked behind the curtain.

A younger man, presumably her son, appeared in her place. He looked at my paper, thought for a second, and then excitedly ushered me behind the draped sheet. I was standing in the middle of a small kitchen.

He pulled back a towel cover a large bowl to reveal a mound of noodles, and then looked at me for what I could only assume was my approval. I nodded and smiled. Then he pulled out a small bunch of green onions, and again waited for me to signal that the ingredient worked for me. He was wracking his brain for anything vegetarian he had to offer! I grinned broadly and nodded with more gusto.

Then he froze. He had run out of food ideas. I didn’t particularly like the idea of having a dinner of noodles and green onions, so I thought eggs could help round out the meal and add some much-needed protein. I drew from my charades experience and pretended to crack an egg. He beamed his understanding, and I could tell he was excited to get started with cooking.

I returned to the tiny dining room, and sat at the only other table, across from the soup-eating women. They were mesmerized by the unfolding scene, and looked on just as inquisitively for my mystery meal to arrive.

The young man came out with a bowl of noodle soup, green onions floating throughout, and a fried egg placed on top. He also gave me a small bowl of peanuts. It was an incredibly delicious meal. I savored it, literally, that night, and have been doing so, figuratively, in the years since.

There was something magical in the way we came together to communicate. We only knew how to say “Hello” to each other, and yet, we had such a wonderful conversation.

With real-time translation apps and services so widely available, I think these types of interactions are long-gone. Today, if I found myself in the same situation, I would have opened Google Translate on my iPhone, typed in what I wanted to say, and have the AI voice speak the translated words for me. The restaurant owners would have done the same for me.

The treasure of communicating across language barriers, without the assistance of technology, is lost. At least, it is for those without an extra bit of patience.


Follow along and make memories.

Bloganuary 3, 2023: What is the earliest memory you have?

For the month of January, I’m participating in Bloganuary, a daily blogging challenge.

Today’s Bloganuary prompt:

What is the earliest memory you have?

Am I the only one that has trouble plotting memories on a timeline? I have flashes of things from my past that play like an old-school projector in my mind, but I’m never confident I know when they happened.

My only clue is the setting. In what house or school does the scene take place? Because that will at least give me a time period of a couple years to narrow things down.

But my earliest memory? I think it’s the movie reel called “The Vanishing Flagpole.”

Continue reading “Bloganuary 3, 2023: What is the earliest memory you have?”

Bloganuary 2, 2023: How are you brave?

For the month of January, I’m participating in Bloganuary, a daily blogging challenge.

Today’s Bloganuary prompt:

How are you brave?

If this had been a prompt from last year’s Bloganuary, I’m sure I would have reflected on living unapologetically as a lesbian. I work hard to normalize it, because it’s indeed still a challenge to be out in certain situations, places, and conversations. There are still times that I find the need to be courageous.

But it’s no longer last year. So much has changed in the past 12 months. I’m a parent now, and how I’m brave shows up in a very different way.

Something I’m currently working on is surrendering to the fact that I have very little idea of what I’m actually doing, as I help to raise these 2 beautiful kids. Instead of any practical knowledge, I must rely on my gut, my instinct, my Knowing.

Doing so is scary. And yet, I’m still here.


Follow along and make memories.