"For Sale: baby shoes, never worn" (Hemingway & Resolutions)

6 years ago

"For sale: baby shoes, never worn"

Reportedly, this was Ernest Hemingway's evocative response when asked to write a full story in six words. Apparently, no one has been able to locate an original source or publication that credits Hemingway as the author of this story, but to me, it doesn't really matter. I think the story's appeal is its brevity and the imagery it conveys.

As 2010 draws to a close, I find I am holding on less tightly to something that I need to let go of. My six word story for 2011 is: "Betrayal devastates, finish healing, move on." Maybe six words is the key to it all - to all of it. Perhaps reducing problems, decisions, issues, difficulties, and happiness to just six words helps us cut to the chase and see the real issues. There's so much blah, blah, blah and yada, yada, yada in life. Maybe life, like Reader's Digest stories and milk, should be condensed. On second thought, maybe life, like those red and white cans of milk, should be sweetened and condensed.

My resolution (and I think it's an achievable one because it should simplify, rather than complicate, my life) is to "Say it in six words" whenever possible. For instance, right now I have a partially completed mortgage application and a pile of paperwork in front of me. Will we be approved? Did I fill out the forms correctly? Why am I making myself crazy?

Instead, I will apply the Six Word Approach: "Excellent credit, are deserving, will happen." My words are certainly not Hemingway-esque, but they are connotative to me. I see my family in the circa 1770 home we hope to own. The formidable application has been replaced by our grandfather clock chiming in the new house; the amassed papers I need to photocopy at Staples have become the view out our new kitchen window. It truly was that easy.

Say it all with six words. What's your story for 2011?


Velya Jancz-Urban at www.chicapeeps.com, chicapeeps@gmail.com

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