Happiness is a New Possible Self

In an NYT essay, “Want to Make a Change? Conjure Your ‘Possible Selves,” Joanne Lipman argues for the power of positive imaging of a future you, building a bridge from “the now self to the possible self.” Building that bridge, Lipman suggests, means taking active beginning steps, finding a support person/”expert companion”, sharing your goals with others, and reach out to people who aren’t close to you.

I am clearly at a place where I need to change my life, so I am looking at all of those things, the big thing being, what do I want my possible self to be? I’m still not sure, but imagining different possible selves, doorways to the future, is making me happy this week.

What possibilities (and anything else) made you happy this week?

92 thoughts on “Happiness is a New Possible Self

  1. I can picture my possible future self, just the work to get there seems impossible. However! In the present I have new shoes with flowers on them and that makes me happy.

  2. Finally making progress at earning something as a writer makes me happy, although editing has hit a bump and yesterday my laptop died. But I’m still making progress, and I hit about half my goals this week. I’m still learning the art of setting reasonable goals. Sadly, 1-3-5 doesn’t work for me, I’ve got too many 1s! Maybe next week happiness will be learning not to see every task as enormously important?

  3. I’m still trying to figure out who I want to be when I grow up. I just turned 63. I was actually reasonably happy with adult me for a while, other than the physical issues, but a lot has changed in the last few years and I need to figure out who I will be for the next phase of my life.

    I’m sticking with the “writer” and “crazy cat lady” but I’d like to change the solitary and improve both my mental and physical health. Part of the problem is I’m not sure what that looks like.

    I’m happy my friend John moved back from NC after 8 years away (less solitary with him back!). Last night he came over for pizza and I finally watched Ted Lasso. We binged 6 episodes. It really is as good as everyone says.

    I also have a new driveway, and the electrician is gone for now, so I have peace and quiet after a week of noise and commotion. Sometimes solitary is just fine.

    1. I watched Ted Lasso recently, too. It’s very different in this season, and there’s a whole sexual revolution going on there, all of a sudden. They tend to explore societal issues in with the soccer games. But the positive, laissez faire attitude of Ted just lifts me up. I wish I knew a “real” person like him. I did, once, but he died a few years ago. I’m glad you connected with that show.

  4. My future self has a home she loves and feels safe in. NewHouse has so much potential and I am loving learning how to expand that potential into reality.
    Future self is connected to a wide tribe of people who look out for each other and have many kinds of fun together. I feel those possibilities closer than ever. New city feels much more comfortable than old already. I joined a tai chi class, a good one, and have lists of possibilities for more social contacts. Lots of it is right in this neighbourhood, with enough further out that I will keep exploring my new city. She also has work that matters. But as I gain that local tribe the work will find me. There is so much that needs doing, I am sure there is something for me
    Good times are here and ahead.

      1. Good!
        But now we need flooring as the carpets had to go. With cats, old cats, I definitely don’t want to simply replace carpet. So flooring. Leani a floating bamboo, with vinyl in the kitchen.
        Leads to the question of installation. The flooring company said click flooring is as easy as floor installation gets. Um. I have doubts.
        So: diy -including learn how from scratch and buy tools or find a reliable contractor -no idea, random guess?
        We’re thinking. But it does smell better here.

  5. I’m suspicious of my future self, so I’m not going to invest too much time in her. In the meantime, what’s giving me happiness is that I have organized the third annual spring cleanup on our cottage road and accompanying woods with my co-organizer, a 13-year-old neighbour boy and is obviously going to be Prime Minister someday. So today, neighbours from the street join us, and we wander up and down and into the woods cleaning up all the beer bottles that the ski-doers threw out over the winter. I don’t know if driving a Ski Doo means that the engine fumes frazzle your brain and turns you into a trash-throwing, beer-guzzling jerk but I’m willing to lay money on it.

    1. I unrepentantly hate people who litter. Had three errands to run yesterday. At the first, I parked my car and had to pick up trash from the adjacent landscaping when there was a perfectly accessible trash bin right beside the building. Happiness is fellow humans NOT being absolute pigs.

      1. Me too, Chachal. I live very near a beach, and you wouldn’t believe some of the stuff people leave there.

        I think there are people who litter, and people who pick it up even if they didn’t leave it there, and never the twain shall meet.

        1. What I don’t get is that people who ski-doo or ATV through the woods are presumably doing it because of their enjoyment of the outdoors. They’re not passing through randomly. They had to go out of their way to get there. And they even build campfires and sit around them in mid winter, wouldn’t catch me doing that in the snow. So they must have some kind of affinity for nature right? And then they throw their trash all over nature so that it looks like crap! I simply do not understand this inconsistency.

          1. You may be right, Lian. Maybe they don’t even notice the nature? Maybe it’s all about the fumes and the speed and conquering the land with both.

          2. I was just going to say that I don’t think that it is about nature, rather than going fast and kicking off the restraints of “civilized society,” but I see we are sharing a wavelength.

      2. I quit picking up litter on hiking trails after I got stung by a wasp (emerging, drunk on sugar, from an aluminum can) hiking by myself in the middle of a seven-mile trail on a weekday morning where the recent rains showed nobody had been down that trail for a day and a half at least. I wondered, as I picked the wasp loose from my sock–he got stuck–whether I had developed an insect allergy since the last wasp sting several years ago. I had not, but I decided I was through picking up litter in the wilderness.

    2. I really like Beau Miles’ videos. In this one he does a six hour run and picks up rubbish. Other good ones are when he runs a marathon in 24 hours, one mile an hour, and does jobs in between, or the one where he eats beans for a month, but takes the labels off all the tins of beans so he never knows what he’s going to get, he’s weird and interesting and OMG would drive me mad to live with, but good videos.

  6. I taught my youngest how to ride the city bus yesterday. We checked out the Farmers Market, the library (where he checked out 14 new Manga books that are way too violent but I am not going to be the one who kills his renewed love for reading) and had lunch.
    I got the biggest hugs afterwards because he had the best day.

    1. Good for you. Manga was often a subject of contention when I worked at our library. But I am with you. Let your kids read what they want. At least they are reading something. And Manga goes fast. Gorgeous art, but quick reads.

  7. I agree with Deborah Blake! I also am still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up and I am 71. Right now, my goal is to get off the walker from the hip replacement surgery, but that is coming along nicely, although more slowly than my interior teenage self would wish.

    I have the best of all possible worlds; retired with a comfortable income, a daughter and son-in-law nearby and two adorable grandchildren, who I see just as often as I want to.

    When I retired, my goal was travel for my future self. I have made several trips, but Covid really cut into my itinerary. My plan is to begin again this fall with a trip to Scotland, followed after the Christmas holidays with a cruise to Antarctica and perhaps something interesting in between. [Another travel goal was Australia/New Zealand, which, unfortunately, had to be canceled due to Covid. I need to get back to that!]

    1. You definitely need to get back to planning NZ/Australia! And let us know when you do, I’d love to show you round my part of NZ.

        1. I’m in Christchurch. Let me know if you’re coming through! Queenstown is beautiful too.

  8. I’ve joined facebook solely for the purpose of scouring the local buy nothing and (for lack of better term) buy something groups, and so far I’ve managed to pick up a fancy iron, a queen-sized air mattress from an excellent brand, a set of wusthof steak knives, and an instant pot ultra all in excellent condition (some basically brand new) for less than half of what they retail! I’m on the lookout for a good and reasonably priced rice cooker (got my eye on a zojirushi!), but the real danger is buying affordable things I really don’t need, so I’ve had to work hard to rein myself in. That being said, scanning the site for deals has been a lot of fun, and I might try selling some stuff I’ve got lying around (or just giving it away for free) at some point, though the person who sold me the iron warned me about buyer scams.

  9. It has suddenly warmed up, here, and I’m not ready for it. I’m not ready to get up, get dressed, and walk in the mornings. I’m not ready to mow the yards weekly. I resist turning on the AC. Sigh.

    My trial of the anti-anxiety drug went very well. It went so well, that I wonder if it will actually work. It’s at half the recommended dose, so I suppose I could take a second pill on the day of the surgery, if my BP goes up again. In about two weeks, I will find out. It feels like my life has been on hold for a long time, waiting for this improvement in my sight. It will be wonderful to move on from it, to paint, to write, to feel confident, and to make plans.

    1. I encourage you to bite the bullet, take a deep breath, all those other fine cliches and just do it! The docs will take good care of you.
      Move your mind onto a beach with a beautiful sunset during the short procedure, and think how much prettier it will be with sparkly clear lenses!

  10. I’m finding my way out of a 30 year progressively worsening illness that turned out to be a reaction to a filler that’s in most meds, supplements and foods. The harder I worked to get well, the worse I got. My happiness is knowing what’s going on and to be able to figure out a plan. I’m lucky to have a husband who is supportive. My future self will be someone who can write again and has the energy to ride her horse. At 72, that’s a pretty good plan.

    1. Stephanie, thank you so much for talking about this. Two months ago I went through a solid month of daily migraines and it was your post about your problems with the fillers in pills that gave me the idea to try stopping all the meds and supplements I was taking. Instant relief. Of course, doctors have no idea what to do with me when I tell them I can’t take whatever pill they want to prescribe, but at least I’m not having migraines every day. I can’t thank you enough.

      1. We need an advertisement for Argh. ‘Get book recommendations, meet new friends, sort out your medication problems!’ 😉

          1. For which purpose I have posted A May Farm Report.

            The pictures show the units as they were in April, along with how they are today. A lettuce crop got harvested and replaced by broccoli, but the broccoli is all starters, too close together.

    2. My friend has had terrible headaches for over two weeks, so told her about the fillers in medications can cause an allergic reaction. Seemed a little sceptical but willing to look into it. Thanks for posting about the fillers in medications.

  11. It is a joyous day. Serious, soul-deep joy for me. My parents are okay and their house didn’t burn. They horses are alive, the sheep have a safe place to stay, and most of the barn cats appear to have made it.

    So, the province I live in, Alberta, is basically on fire. One of the fires moved through their yard and destroyed a bunch of outbuildings and fence but spared (thanks to some good luck, a few friends, and tin siding) the house. We are going to see them and help clean up tomorrow.

    My mom said to call before we came in case they didn’t need us. I told her not to tell me I couldn’t come because I needed to hug them. And so did my sister who is currently in Ontario working.

    My heart breaks for everyone who lost their homes and animals but my people are okay.

    1. Oh, dear, I didn’t realize you were in Alberta. Now I have yet another person there to worry about. We had a lot of rain here today. (Severe Thunderstorm Warning. Flash Flood Watch.) I will try to send you some.

    2. I was reading about the Alberta fires on the news today. I thought I’d misread it when I saw that 25,000 people had been evacuated.

      I’m so glad your parents are okay, Cherry, and their animals. They must be so shaken by the close call. I’m not surprised you need to hug them.

      Give them a hug from me in Tasmania, too.

    3. Ugh. I am in Alberta too. I watched a huge plume of smoke east of me as I was driving through Edmonton and imagined trying to evacuate a city of a million people.
      I was shocked that Edson had to evacuate— pretty big town.
      We’ve had a couple of cooler days and a sprinkle of rain, I hope that helped a bit.
      I guess the problem is that the weather shot abruptly up to 30C days while there was still no greenery on the trees or ground, and there is a lot of last fall’s dry leaves around, plus high winds. Some climate change stuff likely affecting things.

      Harking back to social media options, I have been reading about Substack, had never heard of it, but it can be successful as a newsletter/ blog format with subscription.
      This guy just wrote a comprehensive evaluation on it.


      And this woman from February of this year


  12. I wrote a lot on the other Sunday happy post, so will just add that I mostly just want future me to be happy, and I don’t care that much what it looks like.

    I am still using “what if I don’t have anything to prove?” As my motto for this year, and it is strangely relaxing for someone who would have sworn she didn’t care what most people think of her.

  13. I don’t particularly want to be anyone new. I just want to be the same old me for years and years longer.

  14. Great to hear. I’m a big fan of visualization so this is up my alley.

    For me, visualizing a future self is often more about feelings, so things like how I’d like to feel rather than the “how to make it happen”process. Or sometimes envisioning myself experiencing a future event as though it’s already happened.

    I think there’s a lot to it and a bit of mind body thing happening. Happy you’re exploring possibilities and excited for you and this new chapter in your life:)

  15. I’m more or less living my future life. When I retired 3 years ago, I went back to school to study horticulture for a year and a half. I started back at my part-time job on a local flower farm owned by a mother and daughter. It’s my happy place. I have 2 garden-related volunteer commitments and one that isn’t and my own garden. My neighbour has turned most of his backyard over to me and let me install a big vegetable garden. DH and DS both have new jobs that are rewarding. I still have anxiety and just started taking Blood Pressure meds. However, I’m doing my best to remind myself that life is very good. I got paid in daffodils this week.

    1. I so admire you, Susan. I’ve been reading your accounts since you went back to school to learn how to do something you LIKED! Such courage and energy. May you always be paid in the flowers (bushes, veggies and trees) of your choice!

      1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m lucky that 30 years gave me a good pension so I can work part-time in the warmer months and not worry about money. If sone had told me10 years ago, I’d be working on a farm, digging in dirt and wearing workboots, I would have laughed myself silly. Now I an’t imagine anything else.

  16. I’m almost five years into the process of getting to my future self. It has involved big changes but I’m nearly there… Hope vision and reality align, or get close enough for contentment.
    My happy today was finding out that my bike fits (just) in the back of my new car.
    Had to buy a car a few months ago, smaller than my last but I only tried it today. Off on a cycling holiday next week so this makes the logistics of getting going easier. Will have to fit in two dogs and their stuff as well, but I’ll manage. Luckily they won’t be cycling.

  17. So you may have noticed that there are two Happiness Posts this week. That was a mistake. But since I didn’t discover it until now, I’m just leaving them.

    Sorry about that. It’s been a week from hell.

    1. More Jenny is a good thing in my books. Hope this week causes less vibrations. Or at least good ones (cue the Beach Boys).

    2. How can more happiness be a bad thing? I wish all of you the things that make you happy. I have no idea what I want my future self to be. I’d like to finish these two books, and figure out a way to turn my TikTok, popularity, and do some thing for the books. I need a new knee. And I’d like to heal from the broken rib. I’d also love to get another TV series. But today I am content. I’m going to a women’s tea party followed by a baby shower in the park. And then I’m gonna come home and do absolutely nothing except read and enjoy myself. Now that’s happiness.

  18. While I was vibrating Friday, trying not to scream, people kept telling me it was all going to be fine once I’d moved, to picture myself in the new place. They might as well have been speaking in tongues, I was so crazed by where I was in the present. Now everything is better, but I’m still having problems with the future even though I know what I want–a safe place to live where I can write and read and cook and breathe again–because the present is so overwhelming.

    Still it’s good, having a future plan that’s concrete, having goals that are simple (I don’t want to be crazy anymore), having the means to attain it all. But jeez, getting there.

      1. Double crazy.
        I should be sane again by the end of July. That’s when I’m shooting for a new possible self.

    1. You are such a visual person. Maybe drawing your new home and planning where all your furniture will go would make it more concrete and imaginable for you?

      1. I remember making a picture of the important stuff I wanted to experience in my new home, when I was looking for somewhere to rent twenty years ago – and though I drew a redbrick house rather than a stone cottage, most of the features came true – a sunny garden; friendly neighbours; wonderful walks from my doorstep, etc.

  19. I’m good, pretty much I like me with a few tweaks to be more patient, let go of stuff, and continue working on my health. I want to live long and prosper and paint and write and play the piano more and dance at my granddaughters weddings and see new babies. Just need the world to cooperate.

  20. Happiness is the continuing riot of color in my front yard. The sunflowers that came up in February are nearly done; the ones that came up in March are about to bloom. Bottlebrush, red-hot poker, firecracker bush, osteospermum, salvia, society garlic, lavender, and California native poppies are all blooming. It is not tidy but I love it.

    The backyard is even less tidy but pretty fun too. 🙂 Had to move my Talavera pottery dragon because her original position was totally obscured by a bank of poppies.

    Future Me is probably very much like Present Me. I have not had many periods of life wherein I felt like I had the freedom to do whatever I want, and that’s not changing. I’m 57 with zero health issues and expect to work full-time for another ten years. We will move from this little rental house to the basement of my parents’ big house, there to serve as partial caregivers for as long as they live. My sister and her wife live in the same town, so we’ll all be in the same place for the first time since she left for college. DH is a good-natured and sociable natural Helper, loved by all. He’ll enjoy being able to access woods and mountains in a matter of minutes, rather than hours. Meanwhile I will, to the extent possible, continue indulging myself in writing. Retirement may bring some changes to that activity – I may treat it more professionally – but on the whole I hope that more time available will mean more time spent with DH and family and the woods/mountains. We got a lot of use out of Los Angeles, but I’m ready to go.

    And if that sounds a bit like I’m trying to convince myself, well, I am. 🙂 I am not temperamentally suited to being a caregiver and I am used to having a lot of privacy. The next 10-15 years are going to be challenging.

    1. Being a caregiver for the last years of my parents’ lives was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. However, it was also one of the most important ones as well. I think the fact that the siblings are close together will help a lot. My brother lives a long way away and so could not really understand the degree of deterioration and was therefore judgmental about how the closer siblings were doing. And those of us who were on the front lines felt frazzled and misunderstood because some things are difficult to understand if you aren’t there to see them yourself. Because of that, I think your family will have an easier time because you have tried to head off some of the disagreements and jealousies in advance. Whatever plans you make will need to be adjusted many times in the coming years, so starting from a place of unity will make that infinitely easier.

  21. My current visualization is of my garden planted, the vines a the side hill chopped down and the windows washed before my husband returns from east Africa in 2.5 weeks. Much easier to do things if I don’t have to get him to move first. Also, much easier to plan my meals if two days into a four day plan I don’t have him coming up with a different idea (too much food gets wasted that way).

    Wasted too much sunshine watching the coronation yesterday. My notes:
    – Seeing girl choristers in amongst all the choir boys brought a tear to my eye.
    – Impressed by the coordination needed to get all the magnificent music played by all the diverse groups all over the abbey in time: apparently the choral conductor was the lead conductor as I noticed that the orchestra conductor had a monitor that showed him the choral conductor. I have to imagine that there were several other “conductor monitors” in place as well – for the organist and the horns at least.
    – Although not mentioned as one the seven stages of the coronation, of COURSE they had communion (for the king and queen only) after all the crowning was done. It would not have been an Anglican service without it.
    – Very impressed by the strength of Penny Mordant, president of the privy council, who held the sword of state up for almost the entire ceremony.
    – Double impressed by the military band who played WHILE RIDING THEIR HORSES in the parade. You can’t use reigns while playing a musical instrument. That was all leg control.

    1. That was definitely something new in a ceremonial military parade. Playing a musical instrument while riding horseback. Awesome!

    2. I noted both the band on horseback and Penny Mordant. She must have been putting in six straight months of arm / core conditioning, because she didn’t budge an inch!

  22. I’ve always been stumped on the concept of future self, because I know what I want (and that others are not willing to give it to me or help with that) and I literally can’t see from A to B, much less A to Z. I love the idea, but haven’t gotten it to work and it feels like brutal realities of things like health insurance get in the way.

    On to the actual post subject matter: this will give away where I live, but we had a serial killer running amuck in my town and fortunately for us all, he was caught after a week. It also came up in my job, something I can’t say I enjoyed dealing with either. But it’s over now. I shudder to think of how things would have gone had they not caught him. We’re all lucky he kept on the same clothes for days, didn’t give himself a haircut or dispose of his weapon, and was wandering around near the scene of the crime and a ton of people spotted him. A lot of people are wondering about his (obviously deteriorated) mental state and what might have brought it on that he snapped so much. I suppose we’ll all find that out during the court trial years from now. In the meantime, we can all go out after dark now without fear again.

    Today is also when Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding is going on (last performance tonight) and that has been a blast. I’m playing someone much more showy than me–let’s say that this is how I’d love to be able to act in public instead of having to hide myself and live a shitty and small clerical worker life where everyone tells me I’m shit. My character wants to be a star, even if she’s probably more of a legend in her own mind, and she’s living life like that, showing off, singing, dancing, having a great time. I wish I could do that ALL the time. Semi-improvised shows are the best. It’s a blast. I’m happy I got to do it all again and with a showier character this time.

    This venue we are using is outside, but under a large tent. Because global warming, we went from 80’s-90’s weather last week to barely 60 and raining (and these bridesmaid dresses were not intended for that weather), and it poured and poured Friday night. Guests were dry, if cold, but the edges of the floor were certainly very wet. I will note that there are two black cats that live at the venue and wander about and one of them wandered through the whole show Friday night. Since this is a disaster wedding (fights break out a lot, people are flirting with others they are not with, bride’s ex causes trouble, a stripper dances…I could go on), that was absolutely fitting and hilarious to have raiiiiiiiiiiiiin on your wedding day and a black cat wandering through. We also had a Drunk Guy trying to involve himself in the wedding before the show Saturday and then he finally decided to run into the scene, but the venue employees disposed of him right quick, as they promised they would if something happened. So extra disaster things happened during a disaster wedding, and they were hilarious and fit right in. I had one friend come Friday that used to be in the show (I’m playing her character now) and my mom and her boyfriend came last night, they all seemed happy with it.

    I am also feeling a bit more over the crush thing. I’m not indifferent yet and thus I do not consider myself over it, but things are starting to shift in that direction. He is online very happy being in the dream show I wanted to be in and was not chosen for, which I’m still sad over because all those people are blissfully happy doing it and I’ll never experience that because I’m just not good enough. But clearly he doesn’t miss me and why do I care about someone who hasn’t noticed I’ve been gone all year and is not ever going to miss me. I’m going to continue to be gone as much as possible and try to do shows he won’t be in, and perhaps duck and run after seeing anything he’s in. Someday I will totally no longer care, and that will be good.

    1. It sounds like you do see the future you in an emotional sense. And she looks healthy and much happier.

      The way you described your work situation made me wonder if part of The Crush’s attraction for you was that we are raised to think that when we find “true love” all our other challenges will matter much less, if at all. The Prince finds Cinderella even though she lives/works in a hovel and takes her to be waited on in a palace.

      1. My mum’s version… had Cinderella unable to go to the big festival, because her clothes were rags and her stepmother wouldn’t give her new clothes, which the rest of the family got and they left her home to go have fun. Being a resourceful girl, she collected a load of bananas leaves from the tree in the garden and sewed them to her ragged clothes as a costume and went anyway. Very capable woman my mother

    2. Jenny, firstly glad you’re safe and your town serial killer didn’t watch CSI and was hopelessly bad at avoiding public attention. These are traits I would like to encourage for easier police apprehension and public safety. Secondly I think Jenny tried to write this in Faking it. You have an alter ego that is your true self suitable for masked Mardi Gras and she sounds awesome and maybe you need to let her out to have fun a little more

  23. Spent the weekend with a favorite person I haven’t seen in person since the Before Times and we spent yesterday at the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival. The weather was perfect and the people friendly, and I had a great time even though I didn’t buy yarn. There was just too much wonderful stuff and I couldn’t choose, so I stuck with a few new tools and trinkets. And I really don’t need more yarn anyway so I was proud of myself.

    1. At least you buy the good stuff, I am all set with a load of colourful polyester , I am beginner-intermediate, I can’t justify buying the good stuff until my skill is worthy of them

  24. Mostly I am happy with who I am and the next stage of my life with part time work I care deeply about, more travel with DH, especially to see our kids, and gardening, reading, and cooking. I do want to see more of my friends —get back to pre pandemic levels— and lose a lot of weight (working with my doctor on that) and get more active now that my knee has recovered. And catching up on house chores including a death cleaning and go to more ballet and theater.

    Also I envision myself at the 2024 sheep and wool festival.

  25. Dropping by to say Hi.
    It’s been bad with the constant sinus infections so I’ve been even more incommunicado than usual.

    Future me is not as I am now — a Tai Chi apprentice, or a Yoga journeyman, but a Master of both. And you know what gets to mastery? Small bits, daily. So that’s the amorphous plan. Focus on the here and now to do what needs to doing.

    In honour of upcoming anniversary of my birth soon, I bought six different Krispy Kremes today and only ate the regular glazed as a nod to Min and Cal. The other five will go to our cleaning staff at work because it’s a totally different treat. Krispy Kreme and Starbucks are relatively recent additions to our market and still quite costly for most of us. Also, I never usually give my colleagues cake for my birthday because I prefer to share my joys. Last year they all got a set of reusable chopsticks since I love eating with them, and an Indian sweet treat from a nearby shop. One year they got a chocolate bar and a whole slew of evidence showing the idea from the “Chase’s teacher” viral post by Glennon Doyle is pretty impossible for us with 40 in a class, because the Doyle-Meltons (?) lived in Florida at the time and the max a 4th grade home room had was about 17. I be perturbing systems! 😂 I also learned that I have killer investigative skills!

    This year I watched the MM Thai romance series “Until We Meet Again” (CWs abound, please check before watching) and I am desperate to try Thai desserts now and share the ones I like!
    Note, I’d seen the sequel “Between Us” first, so it was easier for me to navigate the tough parts of UWMA.

    Best wishes to everyone.

  26. It has been an eventful few weeks for me. As a survivor of sexual abuse when I was 6 & 7 I have a volcano inside of me that erupts periodically and spews vileness everywhere. Once before in my 40’s it was particularly vile & again recently – particularly vile. I came to some realizations that made me sink into a pool of regret & remorse & anger. Now I know if I ever do go to the graveyard by the little church where my abuser is buried – I won’t just spray paint pedophile on his gravestone – I will also spray paint enabler on his wifes.
    Not that I will do it – I take back a lot of my powerless / hopeless feelings just knowing that I can.
    And also angry that something that happened 60 years ago is still effecting my life. Enough already.

    I am working towards acceptance & contentment.

    Writing has made me happy this week. And the movie ‘A Simple Favour’. And the series Queen Charlotte (Bridgerton).

    And a phrase out of an old song – Closer to Fine by Indigo Girls
    “darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable and lightness has a call that’s hard to hear”
    I love that.

    1. What a hard thing to have experienced. I hope you have a tribe you can share those feelings with.

      Have you ever considered spray painting their reputations in some way? Like discussing it with the congregation they belonged to or writing an article in a local paper? It might be cathartic for you and make it easier for any other survivors.

    2. Judy I am so sorry you have had this terrible trauma in your life. It is understandable that it still impacts on you at times. I hope you can find more of the peace you deserve & acceptance that it is understandable that you still have periods of anger & grief for your 6 & 7 year old self who was powerless. As you are aware (getting help if needed) so you get to that point where you are living your best life will be the ultimate revenge on those involved. Take care & be kind to yourself.

  27. I think I’m pretty happy with my life as it is now, which is a big change from a couple of years ago. A few years’ future me is living in the same place, doing lots of art, and enjoying friends and my partner. But a miracle has occurred and she’s managed to get totally on top of the garden and property repairs. I’m making progress, so it’ll only take a minor miracle.

    There are more big changes I’m actively working towards. She’s fit again – I’ve set myself a goal of trekking in Nepal in 2 years time – and that’s going to take quite a lot of effort between now and then. And she’s doing something substantial that makes a difference towards climate change. That’s going to start by being a podcast with my partner. We’re still working out the production technicalities, but we’re getting close. From there, we’re hoping to move onto consultancy work. That’s harder to imagine. Being fit and doing the podcast feel achievable so I’m focusing on that.

  28. Future me? Who knows. I need to work on that.

    In the meantime, on the theme:

    This old post from Oliver Burkeman that I still love https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jan/01/want-a-new-you-for-new-year-oliver-burkeman.

    “by definition, the only person who could successfully bring this New You into being is that feckless, lazy, overcommitted, weak-willed, Twitter-addicted, crisps-munching good-for-nothing called Old You.” I feel so seen. It’s actually however a way more positive, practical piece that you might think – in face, this whole (discontinued) column series used to be a Friday highlight.

    And the podcast series ‘A Slight Change of Plans’, hosted by a woman who was set on a violin career, snapped a tendon in her hand, and lost it all – so had to reinvent herself. She interviews others who have experienced change. The episodes vary and ymmv for each too, but many are thoughtful and interesting. Earlier this week I listened to the one from a person with a cancer diagnosis and it was excellent (and not at all maudlin).

    1. “Today is the first day of the rest of your week.”
      I like that. Not so intimidating as the alternate version!

  29. Future me has to wait while I take care of my parents through the rest of their lives. She has her own little place, with a garden, and a fence, and some dogs and cats. She lives in this smallish town in Maine, or near it. She’s lost her big stress belly and feels younger, I hope. She has her community. She’d like to take a trip to Egypt, and paint.

    1. I’m sure you are taking care of your parents; you also are shepherding them onward. And yourself too.

  30. Future me will have done some yard projects and have a more sustainable garden. And i will have cleared out a lot of stuff from the house. And my political work will be less fraught. Other than that, I’m pretty content

  31. I like myself for the most part, on weekends and vacations. I like myself less when I am at work, which is a problem since that is where I spend most of my waking hours.

    So future me is going to need to do something else, within the same company or another one. I don’t really have a problem with the organization. They are as good as working for someone else can be. The public however, are getting more and more difficult. Or my tolerance is wearing down.

    More art, more gardening and good food. One step that I have made in the last year or so is to actively try to beat myself up less. I still revert back to old ways, but I am more aware. I try to either accept the things I like to feel bad about (messy house, extra pounds, unfinished projects) or do better about it. By the power of Greyskull, I have the power!

  32. Hey, I’m doing okay. After a rough time–four years–renewing the house, we’re happy in place. Now we turn to the garden…what’s this? Local awards. Still struggling with writing my latest visit-to-a-garden piece, and the car’s in the shop for a needed rare toggle for electric cars, and assignments differ on where we’ll be placed on Garden Tour day, but overall the grape vine is leafing out, dogs give me kissees, and I continue to be tortured by Yoga Stretch Release. Blue skies! Onward! Nothing but good times ahead.

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