It began in 2020. We were all confused and home and wondering how to move on with life, I suppose. I was forty-four. The author that most made me want to write had her first book published when she was thirty-four. It felt far too late for me — not to ever succeed a little, but to begin something that could be called a career. Thirty-some agents had rejected or ignored my latest manuscript. It felt like my last attempt to apply for the job of my dreams at anything like a reasonable age to begin such a thing.


Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia on Unsplash

Sometimes my dream to be significant is so visceral and so intense, it doesn’t feel like wishing at all.

It feels like remembering.

At first it was movies. “I should have been a great many things,” Jo March says in the 1994 Little Women. I feel this too, and a movie star is the first of these for me.

“Can you act?” a California boy said to me when I confessed my dream to him. It was the first time someone took my dream seriously enough to ask the most important question. I didn’t really know if I could act. They told me I could—my parents and their friends who saw me in our high school plays and musicals…

The question: With so much evidence against the happily-ever-after, why insist on it?

My husband and I disagree about the children — when to say yes, when to say no, prerequisites for dessert, how many bags are allowed on vacation, doors open, doors closed, sundry other rules of human citizenship and how many times to gently teach these rules before an expression of disappointment ensues. Interestingly, this isn’t something you can know about each other before you have children (e.g., how many bites of the veggie will you make them eat?). There was no preparing for this. And so, it is our fight.

When it comes up, we sometimes get stuck there —…

“All I really want from life is more time to think about it. And fewer meetings.” —

Today I rediscovered The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, captured by an end-of-life nurse and reproduced by Austin Kleon in his blog post, Checking In With Death. Having faced at 29 the idea that my own life could end much sooner than expected, and having long-survived that news, I decided from Kleon’s reminder it’s time for my own brief check-in. What did I find important when I real-life faced The End? And, did I fix the things?

I say it on…

I have to self-talk myself into the dentist’s chair far too much for a grown person. It’s one of my hold-outs, e.g., I still think it rocks that I get to buy gum any time I want and carry it in my purse, and I still hate having my teeth scraped by anything. We mature in varying degrees, it’s just a fact.

When my kids needed braces, I cried for them. And probably not in private. I can’t lie to my precious babies, and the fact that we haven’t perfected teeth-straightening beyond GLUE and METAL is just beyond me. The…

Serenity Bohon

Author: THE THANK YOU ROOM (memoir)

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