Dear Readers

It’s a funny thing, this year, for the first time, I don’t find myself wanting to pack up the ornaments and toss out the tree. We chose a modest tree this year, one that’s tucked nicely next to the fireplace. I’ve enjoyed having the outdoors inside and the many twinkling lights to brighten the darkest time of year.

I feel the same way about this project–I’m not ready to give it up. I wonder, should I attempt to go another year? But that doesn’t feel right either. I plan to write every day, now that I’ve proven to myself it can be done. But I need to channel the daily commitment into various projects. Perhaps that sounds too much like I’m abandoning ship. I’m not! I plan to blog weekly in this space. I’m curious what you, dear readers, think about that.

I began this project as a lone little boat at sea. I had no notion of marketing or self-promotion, no flares to send up, so how would anyone even see me? It was a relief really, because I was so afraid of being seen. I’d chosen to blog my 365 project, rather than write privately in a journal, mainly for accountability. If I failed, I would have to fail publicly. Blogging also meant I’d have some freshly published writing samples floating around the interweb.

While those factors fueled the first months of this voyage, they were not at the heart of what kept me going over the long haul. What motivated me to write, even on the most challenging days, was you. I hadn’t anticipated the deep sense of connection I would find here, the way blogging would feel like letter-writing, and the way that intimacy would allow me to write in my truest voice. You, dear readers, who’ve generously spent time in this space offering your thoughts, feedback, ideas, advice and support, have been one of the greatest gifts of 2016. You have lifted my spirits and reminded me I’m not alone, you’ve generated conversation, you’ve ushered me through milestones like weaning my toddler, and celebrated my first essay publications. I am so grateful for you and everything you’ve shared with me. And it is because of you that I’ll continue to write at One Blue Sail.

I wish you all a joyous and peaceful New Year’s Eve! I’m curious about your traditions and celebrations, and your dreams for the coming year. We’re celebrating with my sister and brother-in-law, low-key pajama party sleepover style. Today I’ll pull out a big sheet of drawing paper and we’ll write out our dreams, goals, and ambitions for the coming year, our New Year’s Eve conjuring ritual. Mine range from simple to lofty. I may as well dream big!

(Post 347 of 365)

 

 

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Ghost of Christmas Past

Still shopping. Sort of breathing. Raising my voice too often. The Christmas countdown is on. As my friend said to me today, “Merry Cranksmas!” Solidarity feels so good.

In my attempt to stay organized this year I created a spreadsheet. Not including our immediate family, our list is 28-people long (plus one birthday and two Yankee swaps), so I think the spreadsheet is justifiable. (And yes, I know we haven’t even reached the territory of teachers’ gifts, etc.) Last year while trying to wrangle Christmas, I made a simple Word doc with notes about each event and how to best prepare and which gifts to have by which dates and when to bake cookies and the best time to host out-of-towners etc, etc. At the end of this helpful doc (which, of course, I’m finally reading now, just days before Christmas), I wrote:

12/26: Plan NOTHING for this day!!! DAY OF REST. Go outside and be in nature. Take a walk, go sledding. Play with new toys. Eat healthy food. Take a nap. Read a book. Tidy up, but don’t spend the whole day cleaning.

Additional Notes:

  • If planning with out-of-town friends, grab pizza. This is easier than hosting at home around the holidays (too much prep and clean-up).
  • Don’t drink alcohol or eat sweets–you’ll just be more exhausted.
  • Get in as much exercise as possible.

Isn’t that a sweet little note I left for myself? Oh dear tired nursing mama of Christmas past, you tried so hard. You did your best. Why is it so much easier to be gentle with our past self than our present self? As for 12/26 being a day of rest, I have to laugh, because this year it’s packed brimful with three different rounds of visitors, and we’re totally hosting dinner with friends from out of town that night. But I remembered pizza! We’ll be ordering out. And it will all be lovely.

(Post 337 of 365)