So, this is the new year.


There’s something about flying on a plane alone with a 9-month-old that makes you see, with perfect clarity, how little control you have in the world. You are just a schmuck in all this. You think you have things figured out, but you don’t. And when you fly on a plane alone with a 9-month-old, you know that you don’t. You feel vulnerable, like a whole new kind of vulnerable. And even the teeniest acts of stranger-to-stranger kindness are tattooed into your soul. And to the man in the Which Which hat in 23B, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Scarlett and I made it home from a month-long hiatus from normal life. We spent it in Washington and Utah with our families. Trent was there in part and home in part. And as the cosmos would have it, Scarlett decided to rapidly acquire new life skills while he was away. She learned to pull herself up on things, wave, clap and bark like a dog. (Also, she growls like a dog. Also, she growls like a lion, tiger, cougar and bear. What is that? Five animal sounds? Six? Her “quack like a duck” is pretty impressive. It sounds like a very throaty, chain-smokery growl-quack. She has quite the repertoire.) Scout also popped out her first three teeth when Trent was gone. She’s like a whole new woman.

Now that I’m back home in Charlottesville, the New Year is officially starting. And with that, I make a list. Always a list. It’s a sickness. Blah, blah. Just go with it.

2015 Game Plan

  1.  I want to start my days off better this year. I am a natural born night owl and therefore a natural born slow-starter, but I want to change that a bit. When I read things about how breakfast-eaters have healthier diets throughout the day and early-risers are more productive, I feel … what’s the word? Guilt? Hope? Is there a word that means both? I’m going to develop better morning habits this year. I’ll keep you posted.
  2. I want to do my best work this year. And when I say that, I don’t necessarily mean I want to write my Pulitzer Prize winner, although that would be nice. I mostly mean that the trade magazines and other publications that have generously invested in me deserve the best that I can give them. I have a freelance work load that’s such a wonderful fit for what I want out of life. I’m going to honor that with my effort.
  3. I want to get back in touch with my inner artist. I want to memorize poetry, to blare music, to make bold fashion choices. That part of myself has faded. I want to find it again, reinvent it and wear it without apology.


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