New Year

The other day, I told someone who knows me well that my New Year's resolution was to learn to be more serene.

She looked at me and laughed. She practically guffawed. "Good luck with that," she said, after she composed herself.

I am not a still person. I am a chronic list-maker, advance-planner, seasoned worrier, and hapless time-manager who tries, regularly, to pack more into an hour or day than can reasonably fit.

My grandparents are consummate planners. They don't simply make a plan and hope it works. They make a Plan B. And C. And D. And so on. Road construction? No problem. Cell phone batteries died? Got it covered. Chance of bear attack while driving to the McDonald's? Don't worry--there's a back-up plan for everything.

But here's the deal. Consummate planners tend to be consummate worriers.

And so it's in my genes.

"You never relax, do you?" JK asked the other day.

Not easily, but I'm determined to learn. And I have a new project to help me. Proximity, a collaboration with two other writers, Towles Kintz and Maggie Messitt, launched yesterday.

Each week, we choose a different location--like an emergency room, a tavern or a bus stop--that exists in our three corners of the globe (Madison, WI; Atlanta, GA; rural South Africa), then we write around that theme. It's an opportunity to slow down, practice being settled in our surroundings. Over time, we hope it will illustrate not only how varied the world can be, but also how small and connected.

Our first installment explores the notion of home. I hope you'll have time to visit us there, and lend your voice to the conversation.

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