Monday, August 20, 2012

Project 137 Days -- As I Live, Breath, and Digh

     ~by Emily Cline

When Patti Digh's step father died, he found out with only 37 days left to live. Patti was with him to witness those final days and it changed her life. She quit her world-wide traveling job at the very large non-profit company where she worked, and started writing Life is a Verb -- 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally

I found the book when my son was a year and a half old. Within a day of starting the book, I caught on: life is too precious to spend it doing things I don't love! First thing I did was cut off all my hair. If I had only 37 days left to live, I wasn't going to spend it blowing out long hair.

Four years later, Patti's voice is a reassuring, constant presence in my life -- a grounded, funny, daily gift. When she did her last book tour, she came through Paramus, New Jersey. Deborah and I were there -- I couldn't stop jumping! I was so excited! -- laughing she welcomed us with open arms.
Now, following her Facebook pages, posts, and weekly 4:00 Johnny Depp breaks,...
Every Friday afternoon: Johnny Depp.
I feel like I know her and her family. Her older daughter has gone to college -- she plays in the band. Her younger daughter was recently diagnosed with Aspergers. And now her husband, John F. Ptak,
John F. Ptak, aka "Mr. Brilliant"
the Real 4:00 Johnny break, found a tumor:  John has renal cancer. In typical Patti Digh fashion, she shared it with all of us, her doting, adoring fans. We responded in kind:
   *an Indiegogo fund to help with medical expenses (John is uninsured);
    *an Etsy sale of 37 Days inspired, hand-painted rocks;
    *lemonade stands, art sales; and this weekend,
    *a public event called"F*** Cancer" in their hometown, Asheville, N.C. to help celebrate the power of community and "give back to those who live life to the fullest".

Through all of this, Patti Digh has continued to be the same grounded, real, honest, funny woman I've known her to be. She's continued to post on her personal/work blog and her very special 3 x 3 x 365 blog with two out-of-state friends, still writes a thank you note everyday, and she has started a new incredible event/online workshop: Project 137 Days. She's already had tremendous support and enrollment -- incredible -- but it's not surprising to me or any of her other 880 groupies. I just started my (personal) work on it this morning and already feel a shift.. an expansion of my concept of community, more awareness to daily ritual. And it's only my first day.

I recommend you check out all things Patti Digh, especially Project 137 Days. As with everything she does, it promises to be wholehearted, inspiring, and real. But you better hurry -- she's closing registration here this Sunday.

***What's next?***
Gather & Giggle! Join us this Friday night, August 24, from 7:30-10:00 p.m. for our monthly crafting date. Suggested donation of $10 at the door, though if it's your first time, please be our guest!
We're joining the fabulous Etsy crew's suggestion in their nation-wide craft party! We'll make postcards with the "Wish You Were Here" theme. Feel free to bring any of your favorite crafting supplies, old photos and/or postcards, or you can play with our toys!
Email for registration and details: or 


  1. The heart of the artist is truly a giving heart, thanks for telling us about Patti and John. I registered for the project to celebrate one year since I began radiation therapy. I still struggle to define myself as an artist, but I find that the love and humanity of this great community keeps me searching for my place