56. Read one non-fiction or business book each month for a year.

In December 2012, I applied for and was accepted to the Actionable Book Club. This probably means nothing to you, but it meant that I would put into action Mighty Life List Item #56.

And there were deadlines involved. 12 of them, to be exact. Because participants of ABC are required to write a summary of their books, which provides for the group actions we can take to improve our lives and work. Here’s how it went down:

January: Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

February: 18 Minutes by Peter Bregman

March: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There In Sales by Marshall Goldsmith, Don Brown, and Bill Hawkins

April: Play by Stuart Brown

May: Disrupting Class by Clayton Christensen

June: Good Boss, Bad Boss by Robert Sutton

July: The Business of Belief by Tom Asacker

August: Finding Your Element by Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica

September: The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

October: Focus by Heidi Grant Halvorson and Tory Higgins

November: Creative Intelligence by Bruce Nussbaum

December: Wonder Women by Debora Spar

The best part of all this reading is that I get to do it all again for 2014. Follow along at Actionable Books.

Swing Wide the Gates

I will live half-submerged in the late hours of the day while my hand traces endless patterns in the water and I will use the next sixty days or so to consider a shift, or plans; to look back or look ahead or just swing all the fence gates wide and let the water fill the space that divides and see what floats through the openings.

From: The Return of Summer by Pam Lewis at OutsideVoice

41. And then learn to roller blade.

Because I’m obviously not a very good ice skater

And because a short snow skiing lesson turned out to be seriously fun…

And because I like a good challenge…

And mostly because I want that feeling of floating and zipping and zooming along.

Last weekend, we bought some inline skates so that I could practice in our neighborhood, which has a surprisingly unused recreation area. (There is a tennis court, a basketball court, a volleyball court, and a 1/3 mile track. All in a mild state of disrepair, but perfect for me – because nobody goes there and will thus be spared my humiliation.)

We also bought a couple tennis rackets. Partly as a protest against a horrible 7th grade tennis coach who basically said, “you’re a horrible tennis player, go find some other sport.”

I’m still holding a grudge. I really liked tennis then, poor player that I was, and I was heartbroken that she didn’t want to help me learn.

Flash forward twenty-six years (dear god!) to a slightly rundown court in a disused quarry in the heat of a hill country afternoon…there you’ll find me, grinning like a fool in love, tennis racket in hand.

I’m still bad at it. I just don’t care anymore.

Unwillingly Left Handed

So remember when I told you about learning to eat left handed? About that…


Two weeks ago, I fell during an ice skating lesson and broke my wrist. It’s a nice, clean radial fracture, but you cannot imagine the pain. Worst in my entire life, I kid you not.

Since that fateful Saturday, I’ve been stuck in a Short Arm Fracture Brace, Open Thumb. Which is actually a modern, removable hard cast that you can get wet.  Regardless of those amazing features, I still can’t actually use my right hand. My dominate hand.

So, I’ve been eating (and everything-else-ing) left-handed.

I’m totally over it.

But not really because I have to spend at least 3 more weeks in the brace. Doctor’s orders and all that crap.

Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me

In high school, I won a choreography award, beating out dozens of young women who had been dancing since they could walk. I had only been studying for three years.

In college, I was very nearly persuaded to change my major from education to art. I changed it mathematics. I should have chosen art.

I worked as a legal assistant during one summer break from college. I loved picking juries, and I was pretty good at it. I took the LSAT in 2009 and scored 162. I don’t want to be a lawyer.

I ran away from home at age 4. Next door to my grandmother’s house. I only packed bikini bottoms.

As a child, I deeply believed that the only way to go to heaven was to save someone’s life.

When I’m having a panic attack, I silently repeat “Hold Your Shit Together” until I can breathe again. It almost always works.

My ears are uneven. My pierces were placed in a different location on each lobe so that earrings would look even.

I have co-written two books. My name does not appear on either cover, though my first name appears in the dedication of both.

When I’m alone, I read books aloud in an English accent. And I make whatever gesture or facial expression is being described.

I learned to eat with my left hand to keep from bumping elbows with my college roommate who always sat on my right at meals.

I really, really love being alive.