31 Days:: A Decade in Three Words

Legacy (2)

Day 12: A Decade in Three Words

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon this writing exercise while researching prompts for memoir writing: Take any 10 years of your life, reduce them to two pages, and every sentence has to be three words long.  Here is my effort at it:



2005 a blur. Toddler and infant. Potty-training, nursing. Two tiny girls. Cute but constant. Ever-fatigued, irritable. I’m never alone. Never ever alone. Showers are luxurious. Desperate for adults. Work part-time. Easy admin job. God bless childcare.

Police Academy begins. Uniforms and drycleaning. Stress and worry. Got to graduate! Medical coverage: grateful! Hubby busy studying. Thrilling but challenging. Call from ER. “Honey, got concussion.” Yay for graduation. So so proud. Now to streets. Danger always present. Hubby feeling fulfilled. Jesus, please protect.

Girls as toddlers. Pigtails and giggles. So darn adorable. Half marathon training. Double jogger runs. Playgrounds and Jamba. Climbing up haystack. Picking perfect pumpkins. Library story time. Bedtime tickle wars. Tuck toddlers in. Tiptoe down stairs. “I deserve chocolate.”

Overwhelmed by motherhood. Much patience needed. Messing up frequently. Lies whisper “Can’t.” Feel so inadequate. Feel so alone. Yet never alone. Kids ever-present. Much to learn. Grasping for wisdom.

More half marathons. A few triathlons. Enjoy moving body. Enjoy feeling strong. Attempting wise finances. Buy small condo. Hello, new town.  Hello, mortgage payments. Police work wearing. Hubby growing jaded. Isolation creeping in. Night shift SUCKS!

Trips to zoo. Walks around lake. Snacks and crumbs. Ever-dirty SUV. Daily grind blurs. Wisdom comes slowly. Clawing for self. Feeding, diapers, sleeping. That’s my life. Identity beyond motherhood? Who am I?

Bless you, preschool. Have fun, girls! Hello again, husband. ABCs and songs. Apparently Ellie’s shy. Abby is not. Abby hacked hair. Goodness gracious, girl! Let’s fix that.

Parenthood’s fun now! Enjoying growing girls. Living room ballerinas. Bubble baths abound. Pause: watch moon. Tent cabin camping. Dirt and s’mores. Raccoons and stargazing. Holidays with cousins. Silliness and laughter. Learn bike-riding.

Surprise: baby coming!!! Excited and radiant. Entire family thrilled. 12 weeks along. Size of fingernail. Pain and blood. Please don’t leave. Goodbye, Little One. 

Darkness settles in. Sadness always present. Joy not possible. Thankful for girls. But cannot smile. Friends reach out. Husband tries cheering. Can’t shake darkness.

Need something needy. Rescue a dog. Sweet, silly Titan. Puppy breath delights. Floppy ears comfort.

Kindergarten brings structure. Hit trails regularly. Hiking with Lisa. My comfy friend. Grateful for life. Making homemade pizzas. Snuggling during movies. Dancing and swimming. Hubby working nights. Reminder: nights SUCK!

Personal Trainer now. Challenging yet rewarding. Undiagnosed Depression lingers. Missing lost baby. Ignoring inner lack. Busyness feeds emptiness. Afraid to rest. Can’t face darkness.

Life zooming by. Girls play softball. We discover Carmel. Volunteer at school. Hiking whenever possible. Do Kirkwood trip. Best vacation yet. Love Lisa’s family. Grandpa baptizes girls. Dripping, big smiles.

Still fighting darkness. Yet still unaware. Shoulder surgery repair. Painkillers exacerbate hopelessness. Bad thoughts abound. Darkness meets crossroad. Finally slow down. Finally reach out. Enter: awesome counselor. Begin: God journey. Life is transformed.

Read, read, read. Write, write, write. God reaches in. I am rescued. Coming alive now. Bright out here. Oh… hello world! I missed you. Finally find self. Finally find peace. Finally find purpose. Marriage finds healing. Free at last.

Lots of transition. Goodbye, personal training. Hello, alone time. Goodbye, foreclosed house. Hello, spacious place! Goodbye, uncommunicative marriage.  Hello, courageous self! Breathing easier now. Horses in backyard!?! Zucchini growing outside!?! Got twelve chickens!?! My heart’s desire!!! Drive a tractor. Build a coop! Sweaty, dirty, happy. Soul flies high. 

Surprise: you’re pregnant! Wait…uh… what?!? Terrified, but hopeful. Guarding heart fearfully. Please don’t leave. Please not again. Jesus… help me.

Ridiculously hot summer. So many migraines. Longing for A/C. Baby still cooking.

School begins again. Try staying active. Hot, dirty hikes. Getting slower daily. Fear: constant bedfellow. Will baby live? So so hopeful.

February 12, 2013. In at 8am. Baby by noon. “Wow— big baby!” Dimples and birthmark. Relief and joy. Unspeakably happy family. He is here! Thank You, Lord.

First year fun. Chaos and laughter. Sleepless nights again. Better perspective now. Big sisters help. Hold onto God. Don’t let go. Ask for help. Admit my needs.

Balancing three kids. Two young ladies. Long limbed beauties. One warrior boy. Girls growing fast. School getting harder. Girl drama begins. Oh, dear God. Boy energy abounds. Gotta love naptime. Naptime equals solitude. Solitude equals sanity.

Wean the baby. Grandma passes away. Hormones jack me. Feeling head-crazy. Months of torture. Thank you, herbs! Thinking clearer now. Not so impulsive. Not so confused. Hallelujah for that!

Always new books. Soaking up knowledge. Craving more wisdom. Prayer journals fill. More self discovery. Who am I? I’m a writer! That’s my language. I dive in. Late nights writing. Next day fatigue. But loving it! Finding God here. Listening to sermons. Internalizing God’s truth. Learning “Best Yes.” Sisterhood is crucial. Hello, new friends! Let’s get personal. Isolation, be gone!

Soul brims over. Such complete joy.

And now: wholeness. Flawed, but treasured. Still growing, learning.


Legacy (1)


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What about you?

Would you like to give this a try? Pick a decade of your life and reduce it to two pages, with every sentence containing exactly three words.

Please feel free to share your journey in the comment section below.


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