Wednesday, January 2, 2019


Rather than resolutions, for several years I participated in the movement that espoused choosing a single word to encapsulate my goals for the coming year.  It has been a while since I have mustered that kind of focus, but this is a year when I feel the need to hone in on what matters to me intently.

Reading Michelle Obama's Becoming this morning, I was struck by a passage she wrote about observing her husband early in their relationship.  He was working with a group of church women in Chicago urging them to band together in their efforts to make positive change.

He was there to convince them that our stories connected us to one another, and through those connections it was possible to harness discontent and convert it to something useful.  Even they, he said--a tiny group inside a small church, in what felt like a forgoteten neighborhood-- could build real political power.

In these words, I found my word.  Build.

The past few years in America and too many other places have been about tearing down.  Tearing down the norms of society and government. Tearing down the illusions of tolerance I thought existed in our country.  Tearing down civil discourse. Tearing down alliances.  Tearing down neighbors and people who don't look, live, or pray just as we do.  An influx of violence and addiction devastatingly tear at the fabric of family.  As a society we lack the patience to fix things and rely too consistently on wiping away altogether what is only in need of repair.

It occurs to me my life is about building.  My professional work is about restoration of lives.  My personal hobbies are about restoration of architecture, community, and beauty.  I long to see things, people made whole.  My motivation is to repair, restore, to build.

This year I resolve to build: my faith, relationships, healthy habits, community, and yes, political power.


  1. I love this, May. I just bought a book called "How to Be a Craftivist"--about activism through crafting. Which sounds light and fluffy, but I'm finding it to be anything but. Writer is British. Might provide some good food for thought for you as you explore building as a way to repair? Wishing you much success and a meaningful and happy new year.

    1. Right away I went and read some reviews of the book. I had never even heard of it, but the synopsis speaks to my heart. I am willing to fight for what I believe in, but am so weary of the aggression and hatefulness. Maybe I too shall be a craftivist!
      Are you on Goodreads? Another of my internet friends and I have done virtual book club the past two summers. In 2017 we read In Cold Blood and Wild. This past summer we read The Paris Wife and A Moveable Feast. We shoot comments and questions back and forth via Goodreads. We would love to have you join us if it sounds fun to you.


Penny for your thoughts.