Friday, December 4, 2015
Gum on the Sidewalk, Carrot in the Soup: My December
Two favorite found hearts this past week, these. And what a Discombobulated-Val week it's been, as any week I return home from any trip is, which makes the hearts all the more treasured. December's are the weeks of the year that more than any others seem to blaze by in a blur of demands on our time and energy anyway, and their crazed hoopla doesn't really suit me anytime. I prefer this commercial to all the look-at-me holiday-party eyelashes and diamonds-equal-love ones. My December is not one of credit card debt, and please, God, let me not get swept up in the culture's near-mania that tries to convince me otherwise. "There is absolutely no reason for being rushed along with the rush," wrote Robert Frost. Indeed. I'm spending today straightening up the apartment, then, and finally unpacking my bags from my couple days at Mom and Dad's, shopping for healthy groceries, and updating my to-do lists. I finished all but the last few odds-and-ends bits of my Christmas shopping earlier this morning and took my daily vitamin and calcium-magnesium supplement too, and I'm counting those as the day's first two successes, one big and one small. Designating a day or two at the start of each December for today's kind of quiet reorganization will become a tradition here in my home, I think. Maybe I will even assemble a little Care Package to Self for next December and hide it away with the holiday decorations when I pack them back into the basement again next month: Another candle, a couple bucks to treat myself to a bakery muffin with, a few stamped postcard to help me get brief thinking-of-you notes out to loved ones, and whatever-else I think of before next month. The rest of this December day, then, will be one of dish-washing and list-revising, and of journal-writing and beef stew-cooking to help me get back on-track and to feel more organized for the days ahead. One of enjoying a vanilla-scented candle while writing a note home. One of washing the mountain of clothes in the laundry basket. And of appreciating the heart-shaped hellos from God found in both sidewalk litter and store-bought soup. May I always remember--or at least never go too long before reminding myself--to slow down enough to see them.