21 November 2013

Today is a Thursday, and I’m counting it as my Thanksgiving Day. Next Thursday is the real Thanksgiving, and we’ll be with family. I’ve always started my personal new year’s with Advent, so Thanksgiving is traditionally when I reflect on the year that is past.

Some year.

Usually, I’m not a what-have-we-learned kind of girl, but this year? Yeah, I’ve learned a few things.

*) You need a friend who will feed you when you don’t feel like eating. And a friend who will call you when you don’t feel like talking.

*) Sweet Marley’s in Fredericksburg is the best place for a big talk. Frozen yogurt with toppings is optional.

*) Being in the background and helping other people shine is fun.

*) Classical music helps put my mind on a good track. It’s not that it’s relaxing, but that I begin to think in the language of music and notes and intervals and rhythms, which is freeing.

*) I should’ve bought the Harry Potter audiobooks years ago.

*) Clara in “Lonesome Dove” is my hero.

*) If you’re suffering, it’s nice to be Catholic.

*) My dad’s advice makes more sense to me than anyone else’s.

*) Sometimes good things are happening that you can’t see.

*) Patty Griffin radio and Andrew Duhon radio (on Pandora) have brought me much happiness.

*) Poetry puts me in a different place than any other writing I do. It’s a space I can stay.

*) Buying Bath & Body Works soaps is worth it just for the joy of happy scents.

*) Apparently, the Holy Spirit lives in the Wellness Center pool. That’s where he speaks to me.

*) A good haircut and a mani/pedi are better than therapy.

*) A hot bath is also sometimes better than therapy.

*) Giving up running was the right decision. I’m missing it now that it’s getting cooler in the mornings, but today was the first time in five months that I could walk the dogs for over an hour and not be in any pain.

*) Sometimes I need fiction, and sometimes I need nonfiction. What I do not need is self-help or inspiration. Bleah.

*) Sunday afternoons are best spent either at a matinee—preferably at the theater, but the movies are a good backup.

*) New cycling routes are good for the soul. I so wish my tire weren’t flat today!

*) Dark chocolate is a must.

*) Wednesdays are a good day to clean, if I can spare the time.

*) Tea really does have curative powers. At the moment there are nine different kinds in my cabinet.

*) People can actually surprise you. I’ve had support from people I hardly know. I’ve had condemnation from people I love.

*) Creativity and anger are not compatible.

*) New is necessary.

*) Facebook isn’t all bad, and Twitter isn’t all good.

*) I actually do like the beach. A lot.

*) “This American Life” is cheap therapy.

*) I can be petty and cruel.

*) There is a limit to how much of your pain other people can take.

*) My dogs can take all of my pain, as long as I rub their bellies.

*) Fall decorations bought in September are totally worth it.

*) Football is a welcome diversion in times of stress. Baylor, you picked a great year to have a great season. Also, invest in stadium seats if you’re over 21.

*) What I think we should do is not always what we should do.

*) Oatmeal tastes amazing after a three-hour bike ride.

*) The only good thing about my mom not being here is that I learned how to ride the grief train. It’s demystified this process.

*) My mother was right.

*) There is no point in defending yourself when a person has already made up their mind. Wait patiently for truth to be revealed.

*) Routine is balm to the soul in dark days.

*) Veggies make me smile.

*) It was 2013! I should’ve known it would be a rough year. They don’t have 13th floors, do they? Why must we endure 13th years? At least I know I won’t be around to witness 2113, unless I live to 142. Which, please, God, no. Come, Lord Jesus!

*) I actually can live without going to Colorado every summer.

*) Sometimes the reason you go on a retreat is not the reason you were meant to go. To my 12 special friends, you were last year’s reason.


  1. 2013 was a horrible year! One of the worst! But — I’ve written some of my best stuff when I was pissed off!

  2. Really love this. Especially since, oh-so-many-years-ago, you were the friend who fed me when I didn’t want to eat.

  3. my mother was right.
    i can sooo relate to that.

    i loved reading each and every one of these.

  4. These may need to be on refrigerator magnets. So we don’t forget.

  5. Robert Johnson says

    These are awesome, and so are you.

  6. Omigosh. I LOVE THIS LIST. You inspire me in so many ways, Megan. I can’t even begin to list them. SMOOCHES, honey. And have a great weekend, okay??

  7. Sign my name to this! I just read it with my oatmeal. Each point could be a springboard to another piece. I am going to read it aloud later today on a long car trip. I know my driver will love it as well.

  8. Heather Garcia says

    What else are Sunday afternoons best spent doing? I’m at the edge of my seat! (Unless the “either” was intended for theatre or movie)

  9. Did you just say the frozen yogurt with toppings is optional?!

    On the dark chocolate, I just bought myself a Green & Black’s 70%.

    I’m with you on the fiction.

    The one about defending yourself is hard. That takes a lot of maturity and a kind of discipline. But I have tried it once or twice, maybe three times, and it was good.

  10. The good news is that no matter how much pain you have, God can handle it all. And I can handle quite a bit of it. 🙂 xoxo c

  11. What an insightful, wise young woman you are. I can identify with so many of these Megan. It’s been one of those years here too. I think I’ll come back and reread this occasionally. It’s that good.

  12. I wish you had had a better year. Truly. But I’m so glad you had people who supported you, and your faith, and poetry and dogs.

    I absolutely adore this list–esp. the parts about tea, dark chocolate, Harry Potter, and retreats. Also friends who feed you. 🙂

    Love you and miss you so much! Thank you for the Christmas card, sweet friend, and please know that my door is open ALWAYS.