When Looking at More…

Ahh, coffee. We are now past Epiphany, which means I have spent the weekend putting away the Christmas decorations. Yes, the. whole. weekend. Every year there is new pressure to compete with friends who have their decorations down by the start of the new year. Because they are that on top of things. (I never—or rarely—feel that on top of things.) I staunchly hold out until Epiphany, in part because I can’t bear the idea of a bare, denuded house the entire month of January. No twinkly lights? No ribbon and pine cones and shiny red things? The days from Christmas to Epiphany are a time to savor. The rush is done, the big day has a arrived…and I hold on to the celebrating just a little longer.

It’s always after the decorations get put away that I feel that “clean start” to the new year, and it’s usually because the stairway garland has shed like crazy…which means a casual vacuuming of the stairs just won’t do. And while you’re at it, let’s oil the banister. Since you have that oil out, you treat all the rest of the furniture in the house, and before you know it you’re washing all the lace doilies in the kitchen sink… It’s like the grown-up version of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, not as much fun but still rewarding. (There are antiques in this house; of course I have lace doilies.) It’s just too cold to shampoo the carpets, which means I’m spared wiping down the baseboards.

Somewhere in the middle of this I’m still working to figure out what my resolutions for the year will be. Don’t even think to shout, “Resolutions don’t work!” as though missing one is a sin you can never repent for. I’m talking about goals. Things you can write down and keep in front of you the whole year long. Small goals, like being more consistent with flossing my teeth. Goals that require a little more strategy, like trying to figure out if I can clean up the craft room AND make some yoga space (which seems like a complete conundrum). Fewer ultimatums, less proving, and more grace. More yoga because I feel better and learn more when I do it. More writing, because it helps me organize my thoughts and articulate my feelings. More reading, because it means I’m actually putting my phone (and all its apps) down. More photography, because I want to be more observant while seeing things creatively. Sending (real! actual!) letters to friends, because they matter and I don’t communicate that nearly enough.

Adding more can sound like a lot more busy, more stress, more stuff. But grace. When mindful adding of the right things push out the wrong things. (Think: More salads!) More time, more space, means less clutter. More—better—prioritizing. And I’m a focus-on-the-positive kind of girl.

Which right now means just a little more coffee.