7 Quick Takes for the New Year

~ ~ 1 ~ ~

Looks like it’s going to be another chilly entry into the new year: -30° and colder since two days after Christmas, and a bunch of highs near -40° through at least next Monday.

Anybody whose been complaining about your winter weather can be reminded now: It could be worse.

I’ve lived here most of my life, am very content indoors and we rarely have much wind on these cold days– So “it could be worse” even for me.

For example, this could (and has!) happen(ed) during a week when Jay had to drive to work each morning.  Thankfully he has this week off and we can hibernate if we so choose.

And the best part is a week of this and I’ll have no qualms about bringing in all the bedbuggy stuff still outside.  (Jay says he does, though, so I’m not sure what will happen.)

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My “big” resolution, or goal, or… whatever you want to call it:

Nothing new this year.  Not even books– used or new.

This means not starting any new projects in 2009.

By contrast, in 2008, with an already-full life, I

The natural result of “nothing new” is no recreational buying.  No buying “on spec” (my gift shelf is well-stocked, my kids’ grow-into boxes ready, my homeschool books boxed and waiting.), and maybe even no buying without a list.

That last detail’s going to take more thought.

It means finishing the projects and books I’ve started (and bought to start), and training my mind to think first of what I have– even before the Library or other borrowing– because this isn’t first about saving money.  It’s about re-training my thinking.   The purpose of the exercise is to shift my thinking from “outward” and “exploring” to being more home- and contentment-centered.  Satisfied.

I have told myself I can buy books this year once/if I finish what I’ve already bought, but considering I’ve glutted myself a bit in the last two weeks, leading up to this challenge, that is even less likely to happen than is was last year when I tried the first time.

It is sobering to re-read that post and know my goal is exactly the same a year later.  But I also know that I made choices that led to discarding the effort, so (Lord willing) I’ll make a more purposed attempt this time around.

The first thing is to not go into a bookstore– because I *will* find something I’d like to buy (Yesterday I made sure to empty my B&N gift card and buy the one book left to complete the last of 2008’s series’ collecting).  The rest I guess I’ll figure out as I go along.

~ ~ 3 ~ ~

I just introduced the idea of “chore charts” to the kids yesterday, and made one for myself as well.

Since I felt it would be either overwhelming or depressing to actually list everything I must do, I just made a 3-point chart for me:

  • Read Bible
  • Exercise
  • Brush dog

I like having such a short list to look at; especially since I sometimes make serious to-do lists on the side.  My three little stickers at the end of the day feel so fulfilling I have no questions about why this works for children.

~ ~ 4 ~ ~

Starting the book Opening Your Child’s Spiritual Windows tonight raised a lot of questions in my mind.  Most about the nature of my relationship with my children.

Slantwise about the legitimacy of my writing and my desire to read so much YA fiction this year.  I (mentally) compared Fire Arrow with OYCSW and can see the value so much clearer in the second.

But unless I feel the call to write being withdrawn (which I haven’t) I have to assume they both are important.  Not because I expect FA to change my life (as OYCSW might) but because I need to be faithful to develop the skills God has called me to build.

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I forget now where, but recently I read someone who insisted the way you become a better writer is 50% by writing and 50%  by reading.

Thinking on the implications of this I determined to keep it “before my eyes” (hence my massive reading goals).  I want to keep this in mind, because if I let my approach to the craft slip too much into writing alone (however important I know that practice to be) I fear I’ll fall into an underlying arrogance; that I might imagine I can improve simply from within, without external input.

And that goes against everything I say I believe.

~ ~ 6 ~ ~

My reading list– all books (though not all the books) that I have waiting on my shelves– is in my new right-hand column.

I have a new page listing what I’ve finished, what I’m reading, and a few thoughts on each as I go along

No reviews here, and no spoiler-warnings either: just the notes I want to keep for myself, and they won’t be spoilers for me.  Consider yourself duly (dully?) warned.

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I *love* my new blog template.  It’s set up with all the changeable options (fonts, colors, widths) in an actual menu, so I don’t have to go digging though the style sheet to find them.

Anyone who’s tried to wiggle their own template details will understand when I say:

Absolute *delight* to work with.

More 7 Quick Takes at Jen’s place.

5 thoughts on “7 Quick Takes for the New Year

  1. I’ve been thinking about things that echo your number 4 in a couple ways…wondering about how to introduce spiritual ideas to my children (I especially want to take advantage of Katherine’s recent ability to memorize song lyrics to teach her Bible verses to memorize) and also thinking about what I’m called to do and how to integrate those things with childrearing. (I keep questioning going back to work for Right to Life in January, and I keep coming back to *knowing* I’m supposed to do it at this point, so trusting that the needed babysitting logistics will work out.)

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