Wednesday, April 6, 2011

100 Days

On the Today show, Willard Scott always highlighted a few folks celebrating their 100th birthday across the country. The idea of a person living long enough to go into three digits of age is pretty worthy of recognition after all. To reach the century mark means a whole lot of livin' has gone on in an individual's life. Yet, when I read of a person dying at the age of 99 or 98, I think the same. However, 100 is a rather magical number, but to be honest, the number 100 never meant much to me until I became the parent of a child in kindergarten.

In the young elementary grades, the 100th school day is a big deal. The students, who are learning their numbers and learning of place value, mark which day of the year it is, seeing the number increase with each morning's meeting. As the 100th day of school approaches, the children are asked to mark the day by bringing in 100 items of some kind. I remember Emma putting together a poster of 100 stickers thanks to an old collection of mine that I'd had around since I was a child myself. I remember thinking, "Finally these stickers can be put to use in some way". A few years earlier when Sydney was celebrating her 100th day of school, she went all out. I remember her coming home all excited about the project and asking me what she might be able to bring to school. We took a look around and quickly discovered a particular item that had easily multiplied in our home over the last several years: McDonald's Happy Meal Toys!! Somehow we got thinking of the idea of a Happy Meal Hotel and before you knew it, she and I were assembling and decorating boxes together to house the 100 toy figurines. She made decisions as to which toys needed to be grouped together and the whole time I kept thinking of how ingenious an idea this was for one simple reason: we would be able to discard all these cheap little toys by sending this project off to school! (Little did I know that the teacher would indeed send it back home with us). When I asked my son what he had done for his 100th day of school, thinking I was a terrible Mom who had simply forgotten the third child's project, he told me he did not think his class had done such a thing. "We got a special pencil that day, that's all", Paul said.

Still, the idea of the 100th day of school marked an anticipated recognition, a passage of accomplishment. And here I sit today writing the 100th blog post in as many days. When I think of how excited I was to begin a blog 100 days ago on December 28, 2010, I cannot help but think of what these 100 posts have documented. My first blog post explored the title of my blog. I had taken time to consider possible options and had settled in on Views from the Dock, a title I am most content with, 100 days later. I've written many posts about family--the character of individual loved ones and of our time spent together. I've turned to my blog to grieve, to celebrate, to counsel, and to vent. I have taken time to look at the past, to savor the present, and to dream of the future. I have been silly and I have been serious.

Some posts I have been nervous about sharing. Others I was excited to highlight. Some writings garnered great feedback; others seemed to go unnoticed. Some days I took hours to assemble an idea; other days I wrote the blog posts so quickly being under the gun in trying to meet my self-imposed midnight deadline. I wrote a few posts at hotels or at my parents' house while traveling. One post was uploaded in the parking lot of the local Rite Aid store when our internet service was down.

I wrote of my faith; I wrote of food. I wrote inspired by pictures; I wrote inspired by words. I wrote of pain; I wrote of joy. The thing is, I wrote for 100 days straight!! I know that these posts are roughly assembled each day. But I am writing. I have taken time each day for 100 days in a row, and I have proven to myself that I am a writer. I care enough about this passion of mine to do it every day. I care enough to keep practicing, to keep finding inspiration, to keep my voice going. I have found others who care about my passion for writing, who are encouraging me to continue, who have been touched by my words. I've even inspired a few people to begin their own blogs, to find their own way through writing. That has meant so very much to me.

So, I'm only at a loss as to what to do now. It's the 100th blog post. Do I acknowledge the day publicly or personally? Well, as I was bringing this post to an end, I thought of something I am very curious about, so there is a question I now ask you who might be reading this today. Which of my 100 blog posts has been your favorite? If you are able to tell me by title and/or supply me with a brief explanation of your choice, please do, as I would appreciate knowing what my audience is thinking. You are also welcome to give me feedback on what you like, suggestions you have, etc. I'd just like to know you are out there. Thank you.

It hasn't always been easy to write on this blog every day. I have thought about taking a break but I'm also very curious as to how long I can keep going. I considered stopping after today's 100th post. I thought, "100 is a clean number. Stop now before you face the challenge of getting to 200 or 365". But I don't want to stop. If I stop now, I'll miss it. It's my excuse to make a little time each day for just "me". Oh sure, life will have to interfere at some point and stop me, but why halt this voluntarily? Let's let this ride itself out. Let's let fate decide when I will miss a day or stop altogether. If only Willard Scott would highlight my accomplishment on the Today show or at least send me a special pencil.


  1. I enjoy reading your blogs, and congrats on reaching 100!! They have all been great, but my favorite line, by far was: "Good Lord. I shiver at the thought of who I would have become had I gotten those heated leather seats." :)

  2. I'd send you a 100 special pencils.
    You go girl!!!