Saturday, December 29, 2012

reflections and intentions:: 29 december

Captivating light, NYC
I look forward to this post each year, because it feels like a "clean slate" time to me.

Over the past, oh, six years or so, I've been on a quest that, at its core, has always been two messages:: simplify. (and, i think, causing and/or resulting from that:: balance).

I'm not going to frilly this post up. It doesn't feel right. What feels right, this my first night home after nine days of traveling, is to just dump my brain here, like I did for my grocery list, my "projects" list, and the list of places I'd like to go this year (which I may share with you later).

I would like to spend much less time online on a daily basis. In 2012, I really started this ball rolling by reducing my facebook "friends" from 600 or so to closer to 100. It's still too many, eventually I'd like to have less than 50 I've always said that was my goal. Less friends, much less Facebook feed to scroll through mindlessly. I do like some inspiring things on there, like purposefairy and the knitting pages and the Rumi Quotes. But overall, instead of the computer being part of my essential nightly routine, I'd like to engage with reading novels and knitting much more, and, more marginally, sewing, playing the banjo (these last two I did nothing with in 2012, really the time just hasn't been right). Engaging with life. Yes, that sounds so right!

I used to fall asleep reading by candlelight at least once a week. I baked my own bread. I unplugged on Sundays and went for daylong hikes with an amazing packed lunch. Or I stayed home, got all the affairs of laundry and cooking for the week in order, then around 6 pm or so I uncorked a bottle of red and just sat. and drank. and got lost in my thoughts or just the pleasant reverie of total calm. I want to pick those things up again. They feel right.

I'm essentially a slower-paced person who does not feel the pressure (or, let's say, does not succumb) to constantly have my face in a nook-kindle-tablet-smartphone-what have you. I want to accept this and love this about myself and stop comparing myself to "most people." I have decided to make my cell phone a personal line only, and to give parents at my school the option to contact me through the school office line or e-mail. Teachers often do not draw a dark enough line between their personal and professional lives, but I think doing so is absolutely essential to performing your job at your very best and not growing bitter towards it.

To this end, I also intend to continue experimenting with how to fit in all those essential non-school-hours hours of work -- rotating materials, updating lesson plans, keeping up with classroom supplies, reviewing lessons to give, refreshing the book corner, making materials, etc .... without compromising a very necessary private intimate (with John) and inner (alone) life. With having to get up early in the morning and having a half hour commute, I need to keep tweaking until I find a system that allows me the most balance. I'm confident I will come close this year, and perhaps come close to perfecting it next. I don't know. We'll see. This one is a constant work-in-progress ....

I'd also like to start a simple Montessori blog documenting what's going on in my classroom. I think this would be a nice way to keep a record of the art and practical life materials that come and go, and the children's interest in them (or lack thereof, which happens too!).
homemade peanut blossoms. a family favorite
Definitely I want to eat healthier and work out more. I want to look and feel my absolute best, and hopefully be ready to produce a baby sometime in the semi-near future :-) To this end, I'm going vegan for two months starting Jan. 1 and seeing what happens come March. But regardless, I'd like to re-commit fully to healthful vegetarianism (no meat or fish, and very limited dairy) after my seven-month hiatus (during which I still went weeks at a time without eating meat or fish). It's just what feels best to me, for a number of reasons. I want to do more yoga and pilates, and focus on both cardio and weightlifting at the gym.

I want to be a better listener (I tend to talk too much when I have Things To Say), and be more open to simply accepting the things in my life partner that make him feel, well, essentially him (and that usually have nothing to do with me, and why should they?). Even if I don't like or understand certain things. I find that like the work stuff, this, too, is in constant evolution. Doesn't that make for happy marriages though? Never being complacent, and trying to remain open to growth. I'm not perfect, he's not perfect, but right now I feel like we're in a really good place. We certainly love each other more deeply than we did just over a year ago.

I would like to cultivate more quiet in all areas my life. That feels as natural as breathing. I want to be slower, talk less (but not think or do less, let's be quite clear!). Notice more beauty and see things that I fear from a more realistic perspective. Not sweat the small stuff, just flow with what is and what is going to be regardless of my efforts to control it. To not initiate needless conflicts, or escalate what does not need to be tampered with. I know these sound nebulous, but the principles apply right now to different aspects of my life at present. I hope you can understand.

Oh, and I certainly would love to subscribe to Taproot Magazine .... and um ... save more money. That about rounds me out for now, I guess.

I hope you have a blessed New Year. I am getting us some yummy appetizer treats and cheap champagne and we'll just be at home with each other for one more delicious holiday day.

Love and light from we to you.



  1. such wonderful thoughts from my thoughtful best friend!

  2. Adorable! It was so lovely seeing you two. And I'm glad it looks like you had a wonderful trip to NYC! I am reaffirming my commitment to write more letters again this year; I feel like I really let that fall to the wayside in 2012, and I miss my correspondence (with you too, Sarah!). xoxo

  3. Fantastic post, Karen! Such thoughtful resolutions. :)