Sunday, December 27, 2009

tape recorder

End of the year, end of the decade. As a fast-forward-moving, future-oriented sort of person, I'm caught off-guard by all the backwards-looking at the end of the year. It's always a wonderful surprise for me to find that other people have actually been reflecting on this for a while, and have ideas to share (Top 100 songs of the year?! Wow, who knew?!?).

And this year, not only do we get to hear everyone's top 100 ___ of the year, but of the whole crazy decade. So many sappy-memory moments to enjoy.

I would like to start a tape recorder right now to catch it all, like in middle school when I had a boom box that had a radio and a tape player in it, and you could record your favorite DJ on the radio all evening while you waited for him to play the song you requested, and maybe, just maybe he would even play your whiny middle-school voice trying to sound cool and older while asking him to play it.

Or maybe I'll write down all the lists of Top 100 books and movies and everything else, and glue them into my journal and decorate the page with little colored-pencil doodles (That just sounds middle school - in actuality I do that sort of thing with some frequency as an adult).

So what are the "Top __" lists you're loving right now? These are my favorites:

The 2009 Pulitzer prizes for fiction (my reading list for the next month or two)
The WXPN Year in Review - Top 100 Songs and Top 10 Albums from my favorite radio station
Your Worst Shot 2009 Flickr group (so many of these are better than my best shots - *sigh*).
Grist's Top Green Stories of the '00s

Now I'm off to scarf down some more of my Dad's amazing Christmas cookies while I try to resurrect one of my Top Abandoned Knitting Projects of the Decade, a lovely half-finished Minimalist Cardigan. I hope you're having a great end-of-the-decade, too!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

early morning

It's early. Sunrise is still a little ways off, and I am sipping a cup of tea at the kitchen table, enjoying some quiet.

I have lost a lot of free time: time for yoga, time for knitting, time for reading long beautiful novels. But this is one kind of time that I have gained: very quiet time, alone, with a warm cup of tea and a cat beside me. There is a little warm spot on my neck where a baby was recently curled, and I am looking forward to sunrise, when she really wakes up, and I will pick her up and bring her to look again at the Christmas tree, and she will be delighted, all over again.

It is very peaceful.

If I had worries, they would fill this space.

Instead, I look at my list of to-do's, and notice that one of them says, "relax." I decide to do that one.

I sip my tea, poke about in my knitting basket a bit, and hear a little voice waking up down the hallway. Another morning, just beginning.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

holiday fantasies

This is me every year at the holidays: longing for more.

(Acutally, right after this photo was taken, I gorged myself on pie... but let's don't disrupt the theme I've got going here).

Every year I bemoan the too-few hours in the day, as I wish I had more time to decorate the house, bake treats, make gifts, send greetings... and every year I get to do some of it, and at least savor the fantasy of all the other fun things I meant to do.

This year, I'm starting to realize that my holiday crafting and nesting will consist of little more than the savored fantasy. My first Christmas as a full-time working mama with a little baby at home...

Don't get me wrong, I am very excited about the first Christmas with the Little Pea. I can't wait to sing carols with her and snuggle together by the fire on Christmas morning, give her her very first Christmas present, and watch her be spoiled to death by our family. In fact, as I write this I'm getting even more excited about it!

But this will be the first Christmas in a long time - maybe since I was the Little Pea's age - that my family members won't be getting gifts made by me. I am trying like heck to finish a pair of socks that I started last April, and I have every intention of making a gift for the Little Pea, but I think that's going to be the sum of it. *sigh* So sad!

But all the same, I want you to know that even though I probably won't send you a hand-made card this year, I am thinking of you. Imagine that we got together and baked cookies on a cold, blustery December afternoon and drank spiced cider and danced around to goofy Christmas music. I am savoring the memories of many blustery December afternoons making little gifts with friends, and the evenings squirreled away in a coffee shop somewhere on December 23rd trying like heck to finish a way-too-ambitious gift in time.

I hope you get to make some of those memories this year! I'll try not to drool (better go eat some of that pie).