It’s the last Tuesday of the month and that means it’s time to check in on how I am doing with my 2019 One Little Word: Story.
I have actually felt pretty connected to my word this month. I’ve used it as a litmus test for making decisions about things I want to do or not do. What I mean is, when I’m uncertain about something I check in with myself and say, do you want this to be part of your story? It’s a good way to frame a decision and it’s working well for me so far.
The other thing I’ve been doing a lot of is journaling about my word. Today I thought I’d share a cleaned up version of one of my journal entries. I think it’s a perfect one for my first month with this word since it’s the story of how I got my name. And isn’t that really the first story of my life?
In 1965 when I was born there was no way to know in advance if I would be a boy or a girl. My mom, with two sons already, prepared herself mentally for a third boy and chose Peter Jonathan, PJ for short. At the same time, though she dared not let herself hope she’d actually have a daughter, my mom chose the name Caroline for a girl.
So. Here I am. A girl. And my name is not Caroline.
You see, I was rather small at birth, weighing only 6 lbs 6 oz. I expect I seemed extra small since the baby before me, my brother Donald, weighed in at a hefty 9 lbs 11 oz. As the story goes, my mother took one look at me, a tiny red faced babe, and decided the name Caroline was just too big for such a wee thing. (As an adult I pointed out to her that surely she knew I would get bigger but apparently that just didn’t occur to her at the time.) So Caroline was scrapped and it was shortened to Carole. With an E, just like Carole Lombard, an actress my mother had always admired. My middle name became Anne, after my mother’s dear friend Anne Sweeney. She also became my godmother.
Two lovely names. Both With an E on the End. (And yes, in my head, that’s how I’ve always thought of my name. With an E on the End. In caps because it’s Important.)
Here comes the truly ironic part. My mother’s maiden name was Looke. Yep. With an E on the End. The family surname wasn’t always spelled that way but when my grandfather and great grandfather moved from Jonesport, Maine to Brockton, Massachusetts for work they decided, on the train ride south, that adding an E to the End of Look would make it look . . . fancy. So they just did it. Nothing official, they just started signing their names as Looke instead of Look. My mother always rued that E on the End, complaining that she constantly had to spell her name and add that silly E.
You see where this is going?
My mother, who spent her life up until she got married having to remind people about the E on the End of Looke then saddled her only daughter with the same exact burden. And a permanent one at that since it’s not a name that would change when I got married.
It’s all good, though. I actually love my name. And that E on the End? It definitely makes me fancy.