How do you get ready for the new year?

(I’m shifting my chatty and “personal” stuff over to this blog, so reading updates and so on will probably be kept here now.)

I am continually re-evaluating and “tweaking” my life, and see the turn over to the new year as another natural opportunity for that.

This year begins the second full year in our new home, and Jay has had vacation time to do some of the indoor projects that make my life easier (Thank you Jay!).

Mainly, I have a bit more counter-space for kitchen work, and (today) he’s finishing up the re-piping of my little laundry room, installing a (Craigslist) stacked W/D to double my working space there.

Having a year behind us is a huge encouragement to me, because we’ve got our baseline (nearly) nailed down, and now we’re free just to figure out living.

I just began our second month of planned meals (I’ve been amazed at how much brain matter that clears out for other use), and over Christmas break I worked out a schedule I plan to apply once we start school again.

The hopeful thing about this schedule (I keep telling myself) is that I didn’t add a bunch of stuff I *wish* could happen.  Nearly everything on the list is stuff we’ve been doing already, just not as consistently as I want (bed and waking times, for example).

Two things I did add are weekly “project” time with each kid– I want to do special stuff with them, but have proven I don’t do well with unstructured time– and twice weekly bringing Griffin– the male angora– inside for grooming.

Griffin has the most amazing, spinnable wool, so naturally it matts and felts for nothing.  Which simply means it needs to be maintained if I want to get a good harvest.

Yesterday I made a short list of the stuff I expect (hope) to buy, and the books I’d like to have read (or re-read) before the end of the year.  I even brought inside the (hmm) 22 books and put them all on a single shelf, cause that’s the way I am.

The sad thing to me, is how (mathematically speaking) 22 books is a very realistic number to expect to consume in 12 months (you see, it’s a little less than 2 per month. I’m sure I’ve done at least that this year; I haven’t gone back and counted yet).  It’s sad because it fills a good 24″ chunk of shelf, and can’t help drawing attention to the fact that I have many multiples of that amount of space being filled by books I want to read.

I know better than to make a resolution not to buy anything new this year (some of you remember how empty that promise has been in the past), but it certainly highlights the inherent optimism of buying books.

Anyway, I’ll be staring a “Finished in 2012” book page, as I did for 2009, because, as huge and ungainly as it gets, it’s just simpler to maintain than multiple miniature posts.

Over half of my reading this year was on the kindle, and most of those were free or under $5. I kept track in my home document/journal, but I guess I felt more…sensitive about what I read. I suppose I should be confident enough to “be me” and read what I want without explanation or apology, but I’m not there yet.  Maybe when I’m 50.  At least I’m still reading them, right?

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