Friday, August 26, 2016


Make a list of your favorite characters from books, movies and television shows.
This is the directive in the weekly blog post from The 52 Lists Project, a journaling guide from which BMG and I are drawing inspiration this year.
Here goes:
1. Raggedy Ann and Andy from the books by Johnny Gruelle
2. Melissa McCarthy's character in Spy
3. Matilda from the book by Roald Dahl (and the movie, and the Broadway show)
4. Aloysius Pendergast from the series by Lincoln Child and Doug Preston
5. Laura Ingalls Wilder from the Little House on the Prairie books and tv series
6. Owen Meany from A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
7. Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit and the Lord of The Rings series by JRR Tolkein
8. Sophia and Celie from The Color Purple by Alice Walker and the movie by Stephen Spielberg
9. Sherlock Holmes, particularly in the modern day tv series featuring Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC) and Jonny Lee Miller (CBS)
Are there any commonalities? I see two.
1. Many of these characters are quiet or unlikely heroes, or individuals with extraordinary but hidden talents.
2. Many of these characters are clever, and find ways to make their lives, or the world, a better place by using their pluck.
Now it's your turn. Who are your favorite characters, from books, movies or television shows? Do you know why?
I struggled with this exercise. Which isn't a surprise to me. At Halloween, I've always struggled with coming up with a character or "thing" I wanted to "be". As an adult, I've said, "The only thing I've ever wanted to be is myself."
This may be because:
  • I read voraciously, and largely for entertainment's sake. Remembering specific characters requires a great deal of mental energy.
  • I've never put much energy into remembering movie names, TV episodes or dialogue, or even TV characters. And, like my issue with books, I tend to remember this type of visual entertainment for the feeling they create, not necessarily for a specific character or memorable incident.
  • I tend to be a big picture thinker, so I have books and movies that strike a chord with me, but not necessarily individual characters with whom I connect or identify. Over the last week, I've been scanning my favorite books from my Goodreads account, and trying to remember, "Did I love this book because of the story or the experience of reading it, or was there a specific character with whom I connected?" For example, I LOVE the Harry Potter books by JK Rowling. I have long said I wished *I* could go to Hogwarts. But, there isn't one character I am rooting for over another.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

My Energizers

What are the objects, activities or qualities that help you feel energized? This is the question in Week 32 of The 52 Lists Project.

As I considered the question, I found myself confusing "feeling energized" with "being soothed." While there may be overlap between the two, there are substantial differences,

On my list of things that energize me, are objects, activities and qualities that legitimately cause me to feel excited and motivated to spend time with others, or to continue to the next "to do" item on my list or turn the page to the next chapter in my book.

This list includes:
  1. A delicious cuppa coffee
  2. Healthy, delicious food in just the right portions
  3. Exploring - through travel, reading, discussion
  4. Researching new ideas and learning new things
  5. Crossing things off my list (because they've been completed)
  6. Honesty and authenticity
  7. Crying
  8. A great workout
  9. Healthy and respectful debate
10. Anger
11. A good night's sleep
12. Weeding
13, Grocery shopping
14. Helping others, although largely on my terms
15. Dancing
16. Binge watching or reading a great mystery or thriller series

And what about the converse? What depletes my energy?
  1. Engaging in social niceties
  2. Fried food
  3. Uncontrolled emotional expression, if it isn't paired with an effort to try to understand oneself better
  4. Managing others' irrational thoughts and behaviors
  5. Hoppy beer
  6. Nagging

What's on your list?