9.02.2014

39 things.

I don't know if you noticed yet, but it's September... sigh... The worst month.

This is the month that drives me to the mirror with a fresh tube of Retin A, a pair of tweezers, and a magnifying glass to search for new evidence of my inevitable death. The telltale signs increase each year; deep wrinkles, lady whiskers, grey hairs, wizard eyebrows, droopy lids. And then there are all kind of spots and blobs and blotches to remind me that I'm knock knock knockin' on heaven's door.

Every September I find my impending demise etched a little more profoundly across my face... my chest... my knees... the tops of my hands. All the old lady dead giveaways.

This morning I wrentched myself slowly out of bed and stood there, hunched over like a decrepit old woman with creaky bones and bad hips. …Ok, I actually feel pretty good. But I'm practicing for when I don't... which will probably be tomorrow, because it's September AGAIN.

Every September, I get a year older and a year wiser and year wrinklier.

Every September, I “celebrate” having survived another 12 months.

Quick! Save her... shoes!!!
Every September, I partake in the morbid annual ritual of imagining what the rest of my trek down this path of mortals will look like. In my head, it ends with my life's light snuffed out during a heroic effort to save a squirrel from a mountain lion, or something equally as noble. Like diving through a plate glass window to catch a falling cheesecake. Or jumping in front of a train to push some lady off the tracks, rescuing her really cute shoes from certain annihilation. ...What can I say? I care.... My body will then be cremated and my ashes will be given to my husband who, against my express wish not to, will have me pressed into a diamond and set in a ring for his next wife.

Or something like that.

Anyway, I'm not going there this year. It's depressing and dumb, and, really, it's just silly because I'm still really young... ish.

I do take pretty good care of myself. When I'm not eating Cheez-its and warm glazed-donut icecream sandwiches, I'm eating greek yogurt and grilled chicken and kale salad and all that healthy crap. Plus, I work out! I mean, sometimes. So, my guess is that if I take it easy, eat right, exercise, and don't try to be a hero, I could live for several more decades. Several. Like three or four, maybe even five.

That's worth celebrating, right? That's not sad at all. I'll only be 39. That's great news. *blows limp party horn* I'M ONLY HALFWAY TO DEAD, EVERYBODY!


This year, instead of pondering how and when all this fun will come to an end, I'm gonna focus on ways to make the years last... or if they're not gonna last, to at least make them good.

I'm turning 39 on September 16th, so this month I'm gonna post 39 things (ideas, habits, books, foods, favorites, secrets, links, laughs, and giveaways – a bunch of giveaways! -) that have enriched or improved my life over the last 39 years. I'm gonna share 39 things I want to carry into my next 39 years (and maybe a few thoughts about things I don't). And I'm gonna start with this:

In January, I spoke at a conference with a bunch of people I know, love, and/or admire and it was Very. Cool.

First of all, it put Sarah Bessey and me in the same room at the same time, which was a little bit of a dream come true because Sarah and I have been friends, through the magic of the internet, for what seems like forever. If you haven't read her little yellow book, Jesus Feminist, you are missing out on an incredibly meaningful and redemptive collection of words, not about a women's right to be recognized, but about how Jesus recognizes women. It's beautiful. Read it.

Second, it allowed me to cross paths with Nadia Bolz-Weber, who I'd only just heard of, but had already developed kind of a girl-crush on. The day we met, an advanced copy of her book, “Pastrix”, was sitting on my bedside table at home. I was half way through it, and already in love with Nadia's messy reflections on Faith, life, and the complicated tangle of spirits we call relationship. So, naturally, I was pretty stoked when Sarah and Nadia decided to sneak off for lunch and invited me and El Chupacabra to come along.

Nadia drove us through Denver, pointing out the actual places she talks about in her book. How fun is that? Then we ate meatballs and talked for an hour. (Now, I don't know if you'll ever get the chance to eat meatballs with Sarah Bessey and Nadia Bolz-Weber, but if you do? TAKE IT! It was one of the most encouraging conversations of my life. I swear, both of those women spoke straight to my soul. Also? The meatballs were like woah.)

Meatballs and amazing women. 

Nadia is a great, honest writer, but she's also ripped. Like, gorgeously muscle bound and strong. About writing and working out, she said something like this, “You have to commit yourself to doing it. Build the time and space into your life, and then honor that time and space by doing the work.” And then she told us how she gets up at some ridiculously early hour to work out, like, everyday or something. Her alarm goes off and she gets her butt out of bed and goes to the gym, because that is the thing which that time and space in her day is for. That's how she got ripped. And that's how she wrote her book.

That bit of advice wouldn't leave me alone.

So now I get up at the ass-crack of dawn to work out. Not every day, yet, but I'm trying to get there. For me, 6am is the time and space that I can manage to do the important work of caring for my body. So 6am it is. Book writing now, too, has a time and space in my days (a minor miracle) and some other priorities have been given times and spaces, as well. It's helped bring a little order to the chaos of my life, and I've found that I really thrive in the clarity of those predetermined hours.

Make the time. Do the work. ~ This is my new mantra. (Admittedly, that might make me sound like a smug SOB. So let me just say, it's so, so, so much harder than it seems, but totally worth the effort.)

Ok. Ready? Time to share the wealth!

Today, I'm sharing other bits of Nadia's bold, brazen, hilarious wisdom with you in the form of her book, Pastrix. I've got a copy to give away - it's now available in paperback! - and I really, really hope you win it!! (Yes, YOU! Who else could I be talking to?!?!):


(Book only ships to U.S. residents, sorry!) There are 3 ways to enter. You've got til September 5th at 12am. Good luck! 

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If you could win one book this month, which book would it be?