Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve

It's not a great secret that I've been a somewhat negligent blogger lately.  More randomday posts than usual, less of the daily discipline of thinking coherently about something and writing it down.  I still love writing, and I'm still thinking thoughts both deep and frivolous that I'd like, in theory, to share with anyone who cares to read them.  It just hasn't happened as much lately, partly because it's more of a struggle to find a calm and centered mental place for writing.  I could have made myself write more, but it would have felt inauthentic to push a perky blog-voice on myself when I haven't really been all that perky.  But I'd like to get back to it more in 2015.

I'm not a huge one for New Year's resolutions, just as I'm not a big fan of all the little semi-superstitious rituals we do around holiday times.  I'm not, but then again, I find myself a little at loose ends without them.  I am sitting here at 11:15 p.m. on New Year's Eve and deciding not to do a big post about the year in review, and feeling a bit anxious and unsettled about it.  But hey, it's been a bit more random lately and I celebrate random too.  This evening, for example, we picked up Grandma and took her and the kids to the Petra House Jordanian restaurant.  Then after dropping Grandma back at her place we came home and played board games... Taboo, Clue, and Apples to Apples.  The girls are too hyper to go to sleep but they are heading toward bed; Tertia has had her rubber bands put on her braces and Quarta is at least not talking constantly and is hopefully reading in bed.  Meanwhile I opened a bottle of sparkling peach moscato and am sipping a half glass of it while the fireworks go off all around the neighborhood and the boys watch an episode of Psych.  Steve is too tired to stay up any longer and I would go to bed earlier if I could fall asleep easily.  And maybe I can, but probably not until the fireworks calm down after midnight.  I printed off the final clue in the Grand Illusion mystery, even though I have only finished the first three clues and have quite a bit of catchup to do.

So in brief, a few year in review things:  I read a lot of books, some of them of significant literary value, but have fallen away from reviewing them here.  I'd like to get back to that.  I really plowed my energies into the Duolingo website and app... starting a year ago with Italian on my then-new Kindle Fire, I worked steadily to learn Italian to prove my often-repeated advice that knowing Latin makes learning any Romance language much easier.  It did... I finished Italian in May, and also in May, I flew through a rapid review of my French which had lain dormant for 25 years.  Then I started Spanish, frequently noting the similarities with Italian, and then German over the summer.  I also started Dutch but have not pushed far with it because it is so close to German.  I did finish the German just a few days ago, and I'm setting a general New Year's resolution to advance through Dutch, and add a Scandinavian language and at least one other to my mix.  I'd also like to look more seriously at the Indo-European textbooks Steve got me last Christmas, which will be a little more meaningful with the broader experience of modern European languages I now have.  I haven't figured out ways of writing perky blog posts about language study quite yet, but I'm sure game to try.

I still knit and sew and quilt, but there has been quite a bit less of it at this particular stage of life, and my photography and documentation of my work has been quite a bit less than before.  I'd like to ramp it back up, but perhaps in a thoughtful way that won't overload my patience, if I can figure out the perfect balance.  I find I need to work with my hands to stay centered for the other work that isn't considered optional.  And I need to write down what I am thinking in some format, or life loses some of its purpose.  It's completely secondary whether anyone reads it.

So, kind readers, I wish you all a happy New Year, and that you may find the magic balance between creativity and chaos.

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