Jan 15, 2014

Present Tense

How is it mid-January already? I've been so busy of late that I haven't had the room to truly acknowledge the new year. I've had a bit of a delayed reaction. Of course, the good thing about not having made any new year's resolutions yet is that, for once, I am not failing to keep them. You could say that I am right on track. That feels good. Anyway, I think I am now ready to start paying attention. I really don't want this month, and year, to just slip away without my noticing. Maybe that's my resolution – to be more mindful and present.

2013 was good to me. I had many adventures and gallivants, and many great moments. Looking over my shoulder at it, 2013 was the year that I started to settle into myself, the way fat long ago settled onto my thighs. Comfortable. There to stay. I had lots of work and lots of play. I swam with dolphins, climbed Mayan ruins, ziplined, karaoked, zumbad, read a lot, drank a lot, went to some great concerts, appreciated a lot, bought a little black (leather) dress, got a beautiful little black dress as a gift (only a woman can appreciate the magnitude of two LBDs in one year!), helped a kid apply to college, and held the McCarthy Cup. I also settled into story ideas that will occupy my 2014.

2014 is starting, here and now, with me being mindful of the fact that my living room looks like the horrifying "before" of a Hoarder's episode. I just bought new shelving so I am hibernating between piles of books, watching Downton Abbey, and crying for Lady Mary. (Snotty sniffle, gulp, wail, "Matthew!") I might use this new-shelf opportunity to weed out my collection, but it is more likely that I will simply re-read it. At some point this week, I will have to start slowly stocking my new shelves. Can someone please explain to my family that it is not as simple as just plopping books where there's a space. You have to spend a lot of time looking at pictures of bookshelves first. Thinking about "allowing the eye to rest," symmetry, and color coding vs arranging by size/theme, and then you have to put books on the shelves, sit on the stairs for hours staring at them, and then take them all off again because you are useless. You should break up the books with plants. Suddenly you are researching terrariums and maybe there is not enough room for books. Maybe you need more shelves? Why would you take on such a "spring" project in the depths of winter? The odds are stacked against you ... not that you can tell with all the other stuff stacked around you. 

Spin-off projects are already making me dizzy. Repurposing old shelves. Rearranging kids' bedrooms to accommodate the spillover. Framing photos and art to display on new shelves. Even just getting the tape measure out of the kitchen cabinet suggests a cabinet-reorganization. I have the nervous energy that I always get at the end of an assignment. I go from being crazy busy to just crazy. To make sure I don't channel that energy into exercising, I usually take up a few new projects or crafts. I once finished a job and the same day bought several pounds of industrial felt. German industrial felt. I made ornaments and a cover for my computer and tried to make slippers and then took a screenprinting class and printed "Watch this space" all over the felt. In hot pink. Then I made notebooks that I covered in felt. I have also rebounded from work commitments with yarn and paint. Speaking of paint,  I think I am going to paint my bedroom this month. Something dark and dramatic, Abigail-Ahern style. I also need to create a gallery wall. Okay, I'll stop being so present now. This is starting to feel like a list of resolutions and I'm falling behind.

Exhale. It's only January. There's plenty of time. Happy new year to you.

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