I think I prefer writing exercises to actual writing. Maybe because there’s no editing. They’re raw, they’re open, and they’re promising. And basically from the moment they appear – done. Rather like blog posts.

Another exercise from ChloĆ©’s article was based on Nora Ephron’s What I Won’t and Will Miss, which she wrote right before she died. I’m fascinated by people who know they are going to die and how their life becomes distilled to what they really value. I’m constantly trying to get there before I know I’m going to die, but it’s really hard to do intentionally. Kind of like telling people what you would do in a hypothetical situation in a job interview. But there are these moments when it comes up, and they are the ones that you remember differently.

What I Won’t Miss

The smell of air freshener after someone pooped

Looking for my keys

Looking for my phone

People talking about how they liked something before it was cool

Putting away the hand dishes

Measuring twice

Scrolling through my phone

Wiping up crumbs

Being jealous of other people’s vacations

Being jealous of other people’s home remodels

Library fines

Imagining myself thinner

Reading about how to be a better mom

Nasal spray

Stacks of unread New Yorkers

Shoeboxes with unknown contents in my closet or garage

Sticky floors with bare feet


What I Will Miss

The girls


The way Ryder’s hand feels in mine when we walk

Songs sent by a friend because they thought of me

Butch as fuck sunglasses

The idea of getting a tattoo

Closing my eyes while floating

Shea’s laugh when she starts to tell me something she knows will crack me up

Vivian’s sparkle in her eye when she wants to play

Sitting on the couch with my arms around my kids

Crepes with lemon and powdered sugar

Sandwiches made by someone else

Kid shoes in the living room, the bathroom, the walkway

Cooking onions and garlic

Sending ukulele songs to friends

Ryder talking to the dog when he thinks no one is listening

Cool grass on my bare feet

The smell of fireworks

Forests near water

Conversations with friends while walking

Conversations with friends in their kitchens

Trails that crunch under my feet

Making a mess

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)