The transition from December to January always throws into stark relief for me that sense of change, of the rhythm of the changing year. December seems to draw us together with its festivities, its sense of anticipation. January is a time for turning inward and moving forward, for fresh starts and clean slates. For reflection, for purpose.
I've been thinking a lot about goals and resolutions for the new year, but before I press forward, I have to glance backward and preserve the turn of the year for posterity. So, without further ado, a special New Year's Edition of the One Thousand Gifts project, which was sadly neglected during my stay in Boston. (Not sure why the writing well always seems to run dry when I cross the Mason-Dixon line.)
Grateful for (and it's not even Monday!):
80. Warm holiday memories, including our unbeatable annual family gift exchange with the Diller side.
81. Snow in Massachusetts -- after we arrived safely.
82. The craft area my mom set up for the kids.
83. Feeling like a Yankee Momma, buying my son his first snow boots at the L.L. Bean store.
84. Coffee at "our" place with my breath-of-fresh-air friend Caroline, and her encouragement to keep writing.
85. Trips to the gym with my sister-in-law and then my brother -- no, I can't run in the snow. Also, the way those two characters took so much time to spend with us out-of-town folks when they could have been canoodling on the couch in front of a Patriots game or waxing their floors with lemon oil.
86. Treadmills (see above).
87. My dad's soundless, tearful laughter when my little Caroline stopped mid-song to ask, "What does 'hark' mean? And the angel's name is Harold, right?"
88. The high jinks of our second annual New Year's Yankee Swap. Eliza was thrilled to end up with this plate.
89. Learning to play The Settlers of Catan with Jed and Grace, Paul and Betty.
90. Ice skating at the rink where I learned as a child -- like the Great Gatsby, we apparently beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
91. A husband who takes care of my dad, even when it means lost sleep.
92. A visit to Orchard House, home of the Alcott family.
93. The fact that my 86-year-old grandparents know how to Skype, and that their well-worn banter never ceases.
94. Coming home again. Aren't the best trips the ones when you're sorry to leave ... but happy to come home? Especially when your housesitter has left the premises spotless? Answer: you betcha.