So, the New Year has come and gone. We got home the day before New Year’s Eve from two weeks with my family in KY. We had a wonderful time, and we all arrived home strangely jetlagged and sleep deprived. We arrived home 1 tooth less than when we’d left. We arrived home 1 suitcase more. We arrived home several pounds heavier. We arrived home and waited forever for our luggage to show. We must have been the last people at the carousel. We arrived home via Taxi after the very attitude-ridden Taxi coordinator deigned to put us in a Van cab to deal with all our luggage, the two car seats, the four backpacks, and the four passengers. We arrived home to an empty and milk-less fridge, which demanded a trek to the grocery. We arrived home to find the fish still swimming (though the one still swims most of his day upside down). We arrived home to an overflowing box of mail to sort. We arrived home to the familiar insides of our living room, to which the youngest gleefully proclaimed, “A table! My favorite table!” as he walked into the house the first time.
I arrived home with many, many new creative tools and toys, including two Rotring Art Pens, a beautiful graphite holder, an amazing Tornado fountain pen that reminds me of a cross between stained glass and fractured opals, two little bags of new watercolor pencils, a trio of water brushes, origami papers, and an assortment of other goodies. My Mom, M., and I have a small exchange we call the “special” gifts, one of which has to be made, and we set up some “themes” this year. One of mine was the “Illuminated Life.” And I don’t think there could have been a better theme for me or to kick off this year. It really is a new year for me. With the youngest now in preschool, it’s a year full of new possibility and opportunity, and a bit of time reclaimed. I’m hoping to make the most of it.
We were low key for New Year’s Eve. We stayed in and made nachos (can’t really go wrong with that, and everyone is happy – one just likes to dip cheese and black olive nachos in sour cream, one just likes to dip his in black beans, one likes the nachos with black beans, sour cream, and guacamole, and one likes all of that plus salsa). After nachos, we watches My Totoro, by the director of Spirited Away and Kiki’s Delivery Service, two of our all-time favorites. I’d wanted to watch Kiki, feeling that it’s “art” and “believe in yourself” theme was perfect for the New Year. But I was outvoted. I’ll watch it later this week. We watched the movie, and I brought out a little plate of treats I’d cut into small squares. There’s something about cutting even the basic chocolate bar into small pieces and putting it on a plate that makes it feel special and decadent.
One child saw the ball drop at 9PM on QVC as it fell live in NYC. The other saw it drop at 10PM on CNN as it was replayed again. We then watched a few episodes (strange) of Resolutionaries on TLC and caught the last 5 or 10 minutes with Carson D at midnight before completely crashing (at least I did). It’s awful to be so sedate. Or is it? Maybe it’s nice.
I don’t really make resolutions. But I do always jot down “goals” for the year, things I hope to make happen, commitments I hope to make a part of my routine, traditions I hope to start, changes I hope to bring about in our day to day.
For years, every January I vowed to learn more about classical music so that I can “recognize” songs by composer/title when I hear them. M. always knows what is playing after hearing just a phrase or a few notes. I always know that I “know” that song but never know what it is. I’ve given up. It’s not on this year’s list of goals. It doesn’t stick in my head. I think I may love music more than most. But I’m somehow not wired in such a way that the “labels” that go along with a piece stick in my brain.
So, that’s off the list. But other things appear now. Especially since beginning the CMP last June, I’ve been on a new path of creativity, tapping into part of me that has always been there and always been key but somehow feels really new and vital. Thinking about goals for this year, “creative goals” dominate even more clearly in my head. That doesn’t mean that standard and archetypal goals (like lose weight) don’t make my list. They do, but I balance that out with the desire to sketch daily, for example. And, while both are on my list, I know that when push comes to shove, if I have an extra 30 minutes in the day, I’m going to opt to sketch or create rather than exercise. It’s a reality I’ve come to accept.
So, here it is… it’s an ever-growing list, and a few things on my own copy of this list (which started out in the final pages of the journal I wrapped up last week, jotted down haphazardly in multi colored pencil leads from the new 8-color Pentel pencil my Mom gave me)… a few things from my master list don’t appear here. They are either too honest or too pathetic or too sad or too real to be public on a blog. But, here’s a version of my self-imposed obligatory, "first week of January goals for the New Year" list:
List temporarily removed. I'm having a sort of New Year's goals list crisis this year and just couldn't bear having them here.