When in doubt, be grateful

joan didion, circa 1969 This post is #29 in a series of 50 dedicated to the art and life of writing, in support of the 50 for 50 Project to benefit WriteGirl. If you like it, or if you think it could have been improved by a better writing education for its author, please give generously. And pass it on.

It was a difficult day on the horn of the hump.

On the other hand, 20 or even 10 years ago, it took much less than a day like this to unseat me. Keeping things in perspective is a gift of having looped around the mountain enough times. Even if you can't see as well or move as quickly as you used to, you recognize the view well enough to know you've been here before, and you'll be back again.

One of my favorite ways to stick a fork in a day that's less than perhaps everything I wanted it to be is to find five things about it that were pretty damned good.


  1. We came within millimeters of $31,000.
  2. My protruding tummy & I made it through Day 8 of the dreaded 30-Day Shred.
  3. The overdue fines were racked up for a good reason and are going to a good cause.
  4. I got an incredibly polite rejection note from Joan Didion herself.
  5. I get a fresh start tomorrow.

Words don't always come easily, and when they do, some days they just don't sparkle like others. That's okay. You can always make a serviceable casserole from them.


xxx c

Photo by Julian Wasser, Time Life Pictures, Getty Images, via the Library Foundation of Los Angeles who no doubt licensed it properly for their ALOUD series, at which Ms. Didion is appearing this fall. I'll be in Detroit, goddammit, but you should totally go; I would.