cafe mama

entering the mind of the married mom

73 things to do: a meme . march 28 . 2006

I arrived at the Newark airport several hours before my flight was due to leave on Friday. I was eager to get home, tired, hungry, and a little bit broke. Most of all I missed my husband and my kids and was longing to nurse Truman and relieve the pressure/guilt/plugged ducts. I was in an unredeemable funk.

There were nearly 12 long hours before I would see my family. I worked a little and my mind buzzed with negativity. By the time I boarded the airplane and finished the Wall Street Journal I was a little frantic. I didn't have anything to do, I'd already read the inflight magazine and I didn't have the focus to knit or type on my laptop. What to do?

Finally, ready to jump out of my skin, I picked up the inflight magazine and saw all this empty space, in the margins of features, in the double-page photographs. And I started to make lists. And my mind whirled and I decided to start a meme. Well, "decided to start a meme" is rather self-conscious. I am putting this meme-erific idea out to you, consumers of memes in all their forms, to consider and, I can only hope, judge worthwhile of following.

My list, sparse at first, mushroomed out, filling my white space and then the yellow, the brown, the golden and the orange and blue, until every available spot was filled by things I'd love to do. It goes like this...

keep a secret . choose organic . write a poem . visit my parents . buy flowers . borrow a book from the library and read it . complete a meme . tell someone that I admire her . go somewhere I've never gone . use my bike . do something amazing and never tell anyone . go to yoga . start a quilt . cook a dish from an ill-used cookbook . get in touch with an old friend . invite someone to dinner and make dessert

...

buy less . send those unsent cards . give money to a good cause . hang a new picture . make a collage . finish an old project . teach everett to tie his shoe . redeem a gift certificate . learn five spanish words . give something nice to someone I don't like - anonymously . finish a photo album . harvest something . stick to the budget . listen when I want to talk . pitch a book idea . fix something . try a new restaurant . dance with my kids . run in the rain . cancel a subscription . give good advice .

...

read seven poems and memorize one . give away things I don't use . write a tribute to someone who's gone . have a picnic . be early once . walk even though I'd rather drive . pray for someone . send a handwritten note . let someone else go first . return a borrowed item . leave a ridiculous tip . persuade someone else to give money . share resources . fulfill an obligation . remember a birthday . throw a party . take someone on a tour . plant one thing and make it grow . read them one more book . barter instead of using cash . do it again . cook with friends . turn off the tv . take the bus .

...

have a tea party . take a picture of the trainyard . laugh at a joke that's not funny . re-read an amazing book . play a board game . believe in someone with all your heart . strike up a conversation . follow the rules, even though no one's watching say 'no' when I can't . explain something that should have been obvious, patiently . make someone else look good . try harder to find the perfect word .