Old Dogs, New Tricks
Fer da Pup

Getting at My Roots

"Fortunate are the people whose roots are deep."
--- Agnes Meyer Driscoll


This month, I decided to do a little digging to check out my roots: The Roots of Me. I wanted to start looking for answers to questions like  . . .
Who am I?
What roots me to my environment?
How can I create healthy growing conditions so I can thrive (especially as I age)? 

In the garden, I'd just take out my little shovel and take a look at a plant's roots. Not so easy with . . . myself. So I set up a little exercise. Early in the month, I started an open list in my journal where I could jot down random things as they came to mind that might help me build a picture of . . . who I am . . . down at the roots.


It was kind of fun, actually . . . to start really thinking about I AM. (And, yeah. The Who song ran through my head all month long. It was my constant soundtrack.)

I listed things that are easy, "label-y" kinds of things . . . 


I included various personality "categories" . . . 
Enneagram 4w5
Questioner (who tips Rebel sometimes)
Aries sun, Sagittarius moon, Gemini rising

I listed things I like . . . 
"I could eat cheese every day and never tire of it."
"I like appetizers better than dessert."
"I like checking things off my to-do list."
"I love poetry."

I listed things I don't like . . . 
"I hate to be misunderstood."
"Things I hate: small talk, manipulations, deceit/lying, chaos, rudeness, cruelty, and compromising my values."
"I don't like stories where animals are at risk. And I am not a fan of stories set in prison. Or torture. Also war movies are not my genre."

I listed my tendencies . . . 
"I'm always trying to figure myself out. I'm very introspective."
"I get done what I set out to do. Eventually."
"I'm not a perfectionist, but I do have high standards."
"I'm an introvert, for sure. But I'm an 'extroverted introvert.'"

I listed things I'm good at . . . 
"I'm good with creative problem solving."
"I see the forest AND the trees."
"I'm good with color and proportion."
"I'm comfortable with ambiguity."

I included things that . . . well . . . probably bug other people . . .
"I can be stubborn and a little impulsive."
"I'm not fun to be around when I'm hungry."
"I'm not a fan of confrontation, but I can be very direct."
"I'm bossy and I like to take charge if allowed. If not allowed, I'll step back. But I may not engage. And don't expect me to take orders."

And I listed goofy things about me . . . 
"I like to plan parties and give them, but I'm always worried no one will show up."
"I'm one of those people other people stop to ask directions of. Even as an American . . . traveling in Europe."
"I don't mind knowing what happens beforehand in books, movies, and TV shows."
"I don't mind public speaking."

Over the weekend, I typed up my list and printed it out. In the end, I had come up with 99 things that answered the question . . . Who am I? I had Tom check it out, and he thought I'd created a pretty thorough and accurate list for myself. (And he knows me better than anyone so I think he'd know.)


This was a really interesting exercise. By taking a good look at the roots of ME, I feel like I'm in a good place to move forward . . . strengthening my own root system, figuring out how to create an environment where I can thrive. I'm not trying to change anything, really. Just trying to understand myself and take care of myself.

As any gardener knows, happy roots = happy plants.

(And aren't you glad I didn't make you read that whole list!!!)


Carolyn is hosting a monthly one-word link-up. Click here to see what other bloggers have to say about their words this month.


If you want to follow along with my word journey this year, you can click here to find all my posts related to "root."









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Fun post Kym. So much of the things that you shared on your list do not surprise me - I think that a lot of your "roots" come through on your blog. Glad you are enjoying this journey.


This was just so much fun to read, Kym! Wow, this is something that we all should do - what a lovely insight. (I would add another fun thing to your list... you are an inspiring leader!)


Interesting, and also fulfilling! This sounds like it will be a somewhat revealing journey, and I'm interested in the whole "create an environment where we can thrive" part.


This is a fabulous approach to starting off with your word. Taking care of those roots will produce a stronger, healthier and happier YOU!


What an introspective exercise. 99 things! That's some good _knowing your roots_. And I love the aesthetics of your journal.


This sounds like such a great way to tackle what seems like an easy question. I wonder if I could come up with that many ways to describe who I am!


You really are such an inspiration. What a great approach and artistically so fun!


Oh Kym, what a great way to get to your roots! and a great exercise for all of us! must admit I got the most insight into you from the 4w5 ... 1w9 here! seriously ... our blogs now make perfect sense to me :-)

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