Saturday, January 3, 2009

All things new

Does it count as a blogging rut if you've only written twice in one week?

My gracious, I am struggling. Not for lack of ideas; there are posts throbbing busily in my brain as usual. No no, I am pouting because the holidays have spirited away most of my nice commenters (that's right, play that tiny violin a little higher), and writing time has been scarce, and I am floundering because I don't know where to begin. Which of these bouncing balls do I hit?

But one of my New Year's goals is to try to overcome my inability to start things because of perfectionism-induced indecisiveness. We're aiming for small steps here. Anyone else make goals for the year?

So, let's see.

New Year's Silliness:

(We did our family gift exchange later than usual this year, and embellished it with a fashion show, a sleepover, and some wild games of Wild Planet Hyper Dash in my in-laws' basement. Oh, and my father-in-law in a wig. Distinguished bow-tie-wearing professor by day; cross-dresser from the neck up by night.)

A note on the gifts: Here are three reasons my in-laws scored big with me in this year. 1) My MIL remembered my joking about the gigantic hole in our bedsheet, and bought us a new set of sheets from Lands' End! 400 thread count! Dangerous, since it already takes me an embarrassing amount of time to roll out of bed in the morning. 2) My SIL got me a gift certificate to Hobby Lobby -- yippee! and 3) they all LOVED the calendars I made them using Photoshop Elements and digital scrapping kit from Shabby Princess. Actual quote from my BIL: "I was just saying the other day that I hoped you would make us another calendar this year!" Actual quote from MIL: "This must have taken you HOURS!" Uh huh. But totally, totally worth it, because they were so happy.

New Year's Goals:

This could be a Moby-Dick-length post of its own. For example, one goal is to become more of a producer and less of a consumer. But how does one achieve this and still keep the other parts of life in balance? I'd love to learn to make more of things we use or desire, more things of beauty and meaning, but those require time, time uninterrupted by small people with big needs, and I have chosen that for this season of my life, their needs will be primary. Yet I'm merely a shred of what they need if my spirit and soul aren't fed, and how do I inspire them to lifelong learning if I myself am not engaged in activities that are not merely for our survival but even more, for our thriving? So much of what I do as a mother day in and day out is like threading beads on that string with no knot at the end. They (the laundry, the story reading, the meals ... ) need to be done, or their lack becomes sorely obvious. But I'm convinced there must also be room for accomplishment -- with head, heart and hands -- and that since the tide of our society constrains us to automate our tasks and to consume what strangers and machines have made, that kind of accomplishment seems like a luxury rather than a necessity. The key word, there, being "seems."

So perhaps it's just a gentle shift of the balance I'm looking for, a shift that can encircle, rather than exclude, my children as much as possible. Add in the desire to somehow reach out more, to translate thought into prayer or phone call more often, even when I just want to draw inward, inside the limiting sphere of self. And the need to give my spirit the kind of diet that makes it all possible.

For family organization and homeschool tracking, I'm going to try the online planner at this year. We'll still use the chore chart at, and on an artistic note, I'd like to try out Project365 once the kits are restocked! (I'm already taking my pictures.)


Tracee said...

yup yup, know what you mean by low's why i haven't written in so long.

Tim said...

So let's do our part to fill up the lack of the commenters. By comparison with you, though, my blog is truly pathetic...
As usual, beautifully written. You have captured some of the highlights of the weekend.
Here are a couple of other things I would want to throw in: archery lessons and gift, bulldozer time, more creek romping, lego building time, some truly remarkable toddler comments, a lesson in dinner preparation, bread baking, and so much more. Each one could be a post.

Jenny said...

Love the New Year's photos...looks like so much fun!

I love your New Year's goals. And excited you're doing Project 365, too!

Vanessa said...

You scored on your family gift exchange. I got maternity clothes for our gift exchange. . .

When you feel like drawing inward into your self, give me a ring and we can pray.

Project 365 looks really neat. I have been making my list of resolutions, and a craft one is definitely needed.