Tag Archives: Jim Fitzgerald

The 52 Lists Project #19


april2016 144

List the people you most want to be like:

I know that thirty-five years ago, I’d have had some ready answers. I would have known exactly who I would love to be instead of me. My life would be so much better, I knew, if I were taller, prettier, or more ready with an intelligent or witty comment. Some of those people still make the list:

  • My older sister, Brenda. I have aspired to be more like her for my entire life. She has confidence, style and an ability to talk to people that I’ve always admired.
  • Gloria Stienem, for her ability to make intelligent conversation about difficult issues.
  • Cher…because who wouldn’t?
  • Goldie Hawn for making it seem so easy to enjoy life.
  • Marlo Thomas for beauty, humor and  intelligence.
  • Sister Marietta, for her kindness when I felt least deserving of it. I believe she changed the course of my life!

I’ve grown, though, over the last several years. For one thing, I’ve come to like myself more, even with all of my quirks and flaws. I no longer want to become a totally different person (though I’d still like to be taller…prettier…smarter). My eyes have opened to a wider range of categories and abilities. Rather than aspire to transform myself, I’d love to just take on traits I admire in others. With that in mind, I add to the list:

  • My sister, Cheryl, for her organizational skills, and for living every single day to the fullest.
  • My Dad, for his work ethic.
  • E.B.White, Anne Lamott,  Jim Fitzgerald, Barbara Kingsolver and Russell Baker, for the way they conveyed their world through their writing.
  • My Mom. When it came right down to it, Mom knew what was most important in life. She found pleasure in a hot bath, a good book, a cup of tea. She loved room service. At the end of her life, she was able say, honestly, “I have lived a good life; there is nothing that I feel I’ve missed.” The only regret she expressed, in looking back on her whole life, was that she could have shown more patience with her children. I hope I can feel that kind of satisfaction, when I look back!



Getting There



I have one million things yet to do before I’m finished with this project…but I’m happy with my new shelves.

My stereo is in the living space along with a collection of old albums (the Beatles! Vanilla Fudge! Hendrix! The Soft Machine!) quite a few cassette tapes (Harry Chapin, the Eagles, Paul Simon) and a couple dozen compact discs (jazz, blues and folk, mostly). As the technology changed, so did my taste in music.

The little television set – that doesn’t actually “receive” television – is in the living room, too. It has a built-in DVD player, so is good for watching a movie with company, if I choose. I am also taking a couple courses on DVD: The Art of Teaching and Analysis and Critique. Finally, I have a couple exercise videos that I use, and the living room is the only room large and open enough to actually do the exercises in.

My favorite books are here. Not the ones that have the best bindings, or that I’m proudest to have read because they show me to be a thoughtful and intelligent person. No. These are the ones that I pick up to read again and again, that I can flip open to precious passages or reflect on when it is meaningful. Emily Dickinson is here, along with E.B. White and Maxine Hong Kingston…but so are David Sedaris, Christopher Moore…and Jim Fitzgerald, who got his start writing for the Lapeer County Press, my home town newspaper.

A few plants are tucked in, to soften the lines.

I’m pleased with this space.