Saturday, December 29, 2007

thought, precision and intention

Today's Chore: take down Christmas.

It's always so fun putting Christmas up. Unwrapping each ornament to find treasures that I'd almost forgotten about in a year's time. When I was little I imagined that each tree ornament was singing because it was so happy to be out of its box. When the entire tree was decorated I could hear the chorus of my imagination in my head. And now that the once-living tree has lost several shades of green, it is obvious that it is time to carefully wrap up each ornament, one-by-time-consuming-one, and get the house back to it's regular old self. It's slightly sad, but at the same time I'm itching to get some of the Christmas clutter under control.

Pictured here is the quickly growing list of projects I'll attempt to tackle in '08. My notebook is coincidently sitting atop the four matching Christmas stockings I somehow managed to finish on Christmas Eve - just in time for Santa treats. Getting these done was a HUGE accomplishment for me because ever since our oldest son was born (FOUR years ago!) I intended to make a family set of stockings. In fact, for the past four years, the two matching stockings I made for the husband and I after we got married have hung from a door knob year-round. Each Christmas they would be the only items not packed away because I thought I'd make a new set sometime that year. Then, before I'd know it, another Christmas would be upon me and yet another unaccomplished project. Ah, these projects, they'll be the death of me. So maybe it's the adrenalin from finishing these stockings that has me pouring the project-yearning contents of my brain down on paper. Perhaps the only thing I love more than making lists like these is crossing things off such lists. Oh boy, it's gonna be a busy 2008!

New Year's Resolutions? Anyone?
Of course there are the usuals...

Eat healthy
Exercise more
Less booz
Less television

But while I was being pampered during a spa treatment (a Mother's Day gift - yep, that's how long it takes me to get around to making the time for such luxuries) I decided to use that moment, while my mind was free and clear of all stress and tension, to figure out what it was I REALLY wanted to accomplish in '08. After a lot of thought, it occurred to me that I would like to implement the Japanese philosophy of living to my everyday life. There is such beauty in the ceremony in Japanese culture. There is a calming presence in the simple structure and organization of Japanese art and architecture. I want to be surrounded by more beauty. Beauty in all things - the way the table looks when we sit down for dinner, the plants in the garden, the spice rack, the linen closet. Maybe I'll even take up Bonzai. Beauty derived from patience can be extremely meditative. I recognize that there simply can't be beauty in every corner. But, if I can control some of the clutter in the house, maybe I can clear out the cobwebs in my head as well. I received so many beautifully illustrated and photographed sewing and crafting books for Christmas - I want to make beautiful things all year long, and the honest truth is that messy spaces keep me from finding focus. SO! Long story short, I want to take the time to approach everything I do with careful thought, precision and intention. No more shoving empty sippy cups into the cabinet in just such a way so that it doesn't make all the other hoards of empty sippy cups fall upon my head. Take the time, line them up, toss the ones that leak and have a shelf with beautiful rows of sippy cups. "Wax on, Wax off." (I don't need to explain this quote, do I? For anyone who didn't grow up in the '80s, go rent Karate Kid)

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