It's the Yearly Blog Post!

So, have I mentioned that I don’t do nearly as much writing as I used to or want to? I had babies, a pandemic happened, I’m the kids’ “primary caregiver” (read: I’m a SAHM who doesn’t get a lunch break), blah blah blah. But you know, I was here in March, and I’m here again on the last night of the year with, what else, resolutions!!

My Writing Resolutions Are …

To finish the short story I started when I was eight months pregnant with my son who is now sixteen months old. And to submit the (other) short story I wrote right before pregnancy with said son commenced. That is all, because that is a lot.

My Domestic Resolutions Are …

To make more snacks from scratch, because my four-year-old eats too much processed junk. Even the not-very-junky stuff we keep on hand as snacks (granola bars, jerky, etc.) is pretty junky. It’s just very hard to find shelf-stable snacks that are truly healthy and not just “less junky.”

And to weed my cookbook collection down by half. Honestly, I can think of 3-6 cookbooks that I absolutely would NEVER part with, each with plenty of untried recipes. So why don’t I just pare down to those? Major food FOMO. I need to get over it.

I don’t know why I think I would possibly succeed at this weeding process this year when I’ve failed miserably at it so many times in the past, but I’m pretty sure I don’t have to put “failed to weed cookbooks by end of 2022” on my resume, so there’s not much to lose by just throwing it out there.

My Reading Focus Will Be …

Reading books my kids pick out for me. Seriously. They’re still too little and around way too much for me to tackle some of the more ambitious reading projects I have in mind, which involve a fair amount of planning, writing, and reflecting, but I have to keep reading as it’s the thing that makes me feel most connected to my core identity. But don’t worry, it won’t be all picture books. They will be required to select books from MY bookshelves each time I need a new read.

I suspect this will mean I will be reading a lot of sci-fi and fantasy in 2022, as those are the shelves they can reach most readily. (And the shelves they use to pull down books for roads, bridges, and other essential construction projects because apparently blocks aren’t a thing?) I’m kind of okay with that. Going into year three of a pandemic with little kids (one of whom was a freakin’ embryo when this whole thing started), I don’t think I’ll mind the escapism.

I like the sense of “surprise” this will bring me, and also that it takes one more decision off my plate (albeit a very fun one). Aaaaand I’m going to go a little Marie Kondo on this project.

Book people know how excruciating applying her “spark joy” process can be to weeding their book collection. “But they ALLLLLL spark joy,” we whine. When I organize my books, I tweak the question a bit. “If holding this book doesn’t make me want to drop everything and read it RIGHT NOW, I should get rid of it.”

A ridiculous number of books pass this test in my home.

But this project will test this idea in “real time.” If it’s time to read a new book and one of my sons brings me one that I’m not interested in reading at that moment, I’m going to chuck it.

Just writing that gives me a little jolt of anxiety. Which probably just confirms that it’s an excellent idea.

To all twelve of you reading, I hope your 2021 was better than your 2020 and that your 2022 will be better still. I am “cautiously optimistic” that 2022 will continue to bring more freedom, both as the grip of the pandemic loosens (at least one of my kids will be eligible for vaccination before the end of the year), and as my kids get older and more independent. For me, 2021 was not entirely better than 2020, but the postpartum haze started to lift somewhere around June, and I can say definitively that I’m in a better place now than I was a year ago. And that’s enough for me.

Happy New Year, everyone.