Sunday, January 3, 2010

Work and Play

Re-reading Little Women (Penguin's utterly charming and very affordable clothbound classics edition).  Today I read this quote from Marmee (who seemed to know everything about everything) and it seemed appropriate as holidays come to a close and work begins again in earnest tomorrow:

Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life become a beautiful success.

We certainly looked after the play today... we'll see what work brings tomorrow.

The weather outside is frightful...

The snow is falling and the wind is wailing but we are snug as bugs in our little house.  Keeping warm with a big mug of hot cocoa and marshmallows, a stack of seed catalogues and dreams of sunny summer gardens.

 Henry decided to help.

Until he got bored...

"Is it time to go to bed?"


Friday, January 1, 2010

Start as you mean to go on…

I have a confession. As much as I love the holidays - and I DO love them – I love the end of the holidays almost as much. Packing away all the trappings and tinsel, filling the fridge with healthy food after weeks of over-indulging and most of all thumbing through page after blank page in my calendar. They’ll gradually be filled up with birthdays and anniversaries, a dear friend’s wedding, special trips and everyday appointments. But today they are still wonderful, white and error-free.

I long ago gave up on making predictions. Life is full of surprises – some more wonderful than you imagined, some more heart-breaking and some that confoundingly manage to be both. But later today I will take a quiet moment to write out aspirations for this New Year. Some will be mundane (MUST get back to the gym!) and some will reflect the private hopes and wishes I have for myself and for my loved ones. I already know that by the end of the year I will have exceeded my expectations on some and been disappointed on others. But they’re a guide not a score card and the most important part is the beginning, those quiet moments as I centre myself at the dawn of a New Year.

So as I load the empty champagne glasses into the dishwasher, brush away the confetti and the little white slips of paper from last night’s fortune cookies, as I pack away the silly hats and noisemakers for another year, I will start as I mean to go on: making order out of disarray, reveling in the comfortable and familiar routine of the everyday, counting my blessings and celebrating the simple things: a hot cup of coffee, favourite music in the background and a new year with no mistakes.

Happy New Year.