Saturday, January 4, 2014

New Year


Amazing really, to see the time go the sun on a winter's day it seems like no time at all has passed since the dawn of last year. It's three o'clock on a Saturday and already the sun is hidden behind the trees, the shadows are long and lonely looking, and we are warm and quiet at  my in-law's closed up house (they are south for the Christmas season). It's a blessing to have somewhere to go that isn't home, a house with none of the demands of home, and yet not a hotel, not an impersonal, lonely place of strangers and weary travelers. Here in this home that is not mine, I'm catching up on all the sleep I've missed through these past few nights of sub-zero temperatures and wicked wind-chills - sleeping and showering and setting resolutions (a few days late) that will come into being on Epiphany. Resolutions to sew more, buy less, pray & fast & dream & live, write, eat...

I haven't quite put my actual resolutions to writing yet, but my hopes are:

To Sew more..

at least a third of the skirts and pretty dresses I've pinned - while at the same time cleaning out the clothes I don't     wear, or don't like wearing. Streamlining my wardrobe a bit and wearing the same old things less often, and with more attention to detail.

more of Yarrow's clothes as well as some of the adorable things I've seen around, like these:
 ..and a quilt. I really want to make a nice quilt for our bed!

To Buy Less..

because I fall into consumerism so easily! 

I want to start making some of my own makeup, all my own bath products, lotions, and creams. I want to get back into baking's a bit of a challenge in the winter with the kitchen, but I'm trying to set a schedule for myself, regular breads and house-cakes, and healthy, good things to eat that aren't just on the stove-top.

and to clear out all the extras..the things I don't love, need, or cherish:


10 Questions to Help You Declutter
 Pray & Fast...

I want to grow into a person who delights in prayer and consistently fasts. I want to set up Wednesdays and Fridays as days of particular fasting for particular intentions, and I want my days to fall into mini-seasons of prayer: We do the Angelus in the morning, but I'd like to do it at noon, and my good friend from college and I are committing to do the Divine Mercy with and for each other daily..a sort of long-distance community of prayer I'd love to welcome others to join, after all, prayer doesn't really dilute down, it grows with the numbers.

Regular confession is something I'm working on as well..monthly is the goal, I've failed for December, but January is a new month, a new year, and a new chance to heal.

I've decided - thanks to the ladies of Soul Gardening Journal for the idea - to dedicate 2014 to The Virgin of the Passion (another title of Our Lady of Perpetual Help)..I'm trying to think of a good way to keep this dedication going throughout the year..perhaps with a new tattoo??

One of the most popular icons found in Ukrainian churches and homes falls into the Eleusa category. It is known by several names, including the “Virgin of Passion”, the “Virgin of Perpetual Help” or Pammakaristos in Greek.
not this as a tattoo..something more symbolic..obviously..

 & dream...

I want to indulge my dreams this year, without fear and without negativity..I'm going to fill my house with dream-flowers and sleep with basil under my head, then wake and walk toward the dreams with my eyes wide open...

walking toward dreams means living life fully awake, rejoicing in the goodness, mourning the sorrowful, and letting each moment have it's chance to color the world I see..

& Live...

in other words..send all the letters I keep meaning to write, play in the sunshine and in the rain; let Yarrow's love of walking slowly down the lane to collect all the rocks and leaves and stones, and snowflakes she can along with the mail delight me instead of frustrating me with it's slowness.. 


my heart out..send out those poems, finish that story, journal like I always intend to..have a record of the year that I can reflect on - with stories, poems, daily things, pictures, and quotes all mashed up into books that belonged to each and every day.

Read the books I've piled up for reading..and write my thoughts on each one..even if it's nothing more than.."no! no no no no no no o o o"


..Real food. Not too much. Mostly plants.. (Thank you Michael Pollan).  
       pretty basic...but I think it'll end up being a bit of a challenge. I'm looking forward to getting our eating back to something that compliments our way of life better, and is less lazy, less sugary, less gluttonous than it has been.

Happy 2014 everyone!  

What are your goals for this fresh new year? I'd love it if you shared!  


  1. Ooh, I love the idea of dedicating the year to the Virgin of the Passion! I don't know anything about that particular title of Our Lady, but I can look it up. And I should get back to saying the Angelus at noon... and I would kind of love to join in your praying the Divine Mercy chaplet every day. I am not great at sticking with one form of prayer, but when I can make it a habit... and I did love praying it as a novena.

    Good reminder that journaling is a worthwhile way of spending time... I forget that, but I NEED to journal sometimes.

    And one very good way to write down your thoughts about all the books you read is to blog about them. ;D

    1. P.S. Are there special prayers for dedicating the year to the Virgin of the Passion?

      I keep thinking about starting a dream diary. That could be kind of fun.

      Thanks SO much for your email... response coming soon!!

    2. Do join in!!!! Most of mine are half-asleep and way too late as well!

      I LOVE Dream journals...I should get back into that as well..dreams are so interesting!

      And yeah, I do need to blog more about the books I've been reading - I LOVE that you do that every week! How long do those posts usually take??? I imagine them being like mini-book reports and so kind of dread the thought of being judged on them ;)

    3. How long do the posts take? Well. That depends... If I'm writing a full-length book review, the kind of thing I did for Anna Karenina--that takes several hours. I'm trying to let myself be a little less formal, so I can have more time to write my OWN books. Informal reviews that are more personal engagement with the book can be more fun and less time consuming. Most of my War and Peace posts were written fairly quickly.

  2. Decluttering is a priority on my list, along with a refreshed wardrobe of clothing that actually fits, and more attention to meal plans instead of panicking at 5pm and ending up with frozen pizza again.

    Our parish is Our Lady of Perpetual Help, so I take this as a sign that you really are going to visit me.

    1. Oh we're coming! Seth will kill me if I back out now...I'm having images of snowstorms trapping us for days on the way down, but I'm sure it's all in my head!

      Panicking at 5pm is normal for me too..but probably shouldn't be. We can win at domesticity, Holly! We really can :)

  3. I love your list Em! I really love your commitment to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet every day. I'd love to join in on that. Trying to put more regular prayer time in my life. Gosh, doesn't it seem like we all struggle with the same basic challenge and frustration... not having enough time in the day and struggling to use that limited time in a way most in line with our priorities, goals, dreams, etc.

    1. Please do Hannah!!!! I miss you - and praying 'together' is almost as good as catching up over Bellinis or coffee!..almost..but not quite.

      I think you're right about everyone having that same basic struggle..days don't have enough hours..except the days that have too many hours..and those are the worst. What are your plans for the New Year?????