Many Times

by Nancy Casey

It’s a New Year’s tradition in our society to make a list of things that you hope you will do (or not do) in the coming year. But what about all the things that you know you are going to do? The ones you don’t have to resolve to do because you are going to do them no matter what. Today, write about some of the things that you know you will do in the coming year not just once, but many times.

Give that some thought as you set up your page. Draw a line across the top where your title will go. You can also draw a box or blob that you’ll use for illustration. You can start to draw or doodle in the illustration space while you stretch your mind to imagine the whole year ahead of you.

Imagine the meals that you will eat and the people you will encounter. Think about your habits—thoughts and actions—without judging them to be good or bad. Remind yourself of all the obligations you will fulfill, both to yourself and others. Are there things that you do over and over again at your job? With your family? Just for fun? Don’t forget life’s basic maintenance activities, such as laundry, brushing your teeth, or putting on shoes. Are you planning to breathe? To go outside? To walk, drive, bike, or take the bus? Will you be picking up stuff and putting it down somewhere else?

Write some sentences that have this form:

By________, I will have _______ many times.

In the first part, set a deadline: By the end of the month…. By the time summer comes… By April… By my birthday….

In the second part, name something that you are certain to have done many times by then.

After that, you can add some more to what you wrote. You could explain why you know you will have done this many times or tell why you do it and whether or not you like doing it. If you don’t have anything else to say, just start again with a new one:

By________, I will have _______ many times.

Fill up your page with ideas that match this pattern. By the time you reach the end, you will have made a list of predictions about yourself that you are certain will come true.

Add an illustration or some other decoration to the page if you want to. When you are completely finished, look the whole page over carefully. Make small changes if you like.

When a title idea floats to the surface of your mind, write it at the top of the page.

Write the date on the page too, along with a signature or your initials.

Here is an example of what someone could write.

You can share your work by posting it as a comment below. You can type it in, or take a photo of it and upload the image.

Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. If you would like some help with your writing, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center. In-person Write-for You classes have been suspended for now, but when Covid recedes, they will return.

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