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Sunday, January 2, 2011

It’s Here, It’s Now, It’s MMXI

Along with the coming of a new year, we’ve had a change in the weather, a sudden return to winter after a few days of spring at the end of December 2010. There are several days of low 20-degree temperatures and snow in our immediate future, but because I have a few images left from the warm afternoon of December 31, I’m posting them today.

Without making a formal list of resolutions, I had a few things in mind toward the end of December, projects and room for improvement, and feel I’ve gotten a decent start on the new year so far, a day and a half into it.

Write more letters: I’ve been writing letters every day since December 25, and it feels good.

Set up schedule for writing fiction: The official starting date I gave myself for this was Jan. 15, a day by which we might have been in Florida, had we gone, so the two mornings’ work in late December have put me ahead of the game.

Finish book I was reading on Jan. 1 and begin Anna Karenina (a re-reading, but it’s been a long time since the last time; this is for our former Ulysses group, currently a Tolstoy group) on Jan. 2. Check!

Act, give and live with a glad heart: There’s no way I can grade myself on this, but it will be my spiritual focus for the months ahead. I say “spiritual” because I’m feeling that doing and giving reluctantly conforms to the letter of the law but not the spirit. One may fulfill the letter for all kinds of self-regarding reasons, of the How will others see me? variety. Not where I want to be.

You can see there’s nothing in my list about diet or exercise. That’s because Sarah is my personal trainer, and she doesn’t care what I eat as long as we get outdoors to play. This was the woebegone girl before our long cross-country ramble in the cold, which was undertaken without camera but which covered a lot of ground, all of it frozen.


Dawn said...

Awww Sarah, have patience...if you look sad enough your Mama will take you for a walk.

P. J. Grath said...

She got more than a walk! We went out for a long, cross-country ramble, and if I walked a mile, she must have run 10 or 15, with all her speeding circles around me! But doesn't she give a pitiful look when she's bored? What a little actress!

Ajijaak said...

Happy New Year! I love writing letters too. I haven't made a list of new years resolutions but now you have inspired me to do a blog post! :)

P. J. Grath said...

Happy new year, Anishinaabekwe! I need to get to a wireless connection so I can check out more of your recent music posts and links. The last one I listened to I liked very much.

Gerry said...

It's possible you will have to teach Sarah to read.

I have somehow gotten to be a very old bat without ever reading Anna Karenina, even though it was assigned and I went so far as to purchase a copy. Perhaps it's time I read it.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos, as always! And well do I know that woebegone doggy look from the chair...I get that from Oscar all the time.

P. J. Grath said...

I should say here and now (after having expressed trepidation earlier) that ANNA KARENINA, while long, zips right along. Go ahead and get into it, Gerry!

Yes, if only Sarah could read! Maiya, thanks for sharing your Oscar experience. I know Sarah has good life, but she can really lay the guilt on me sometimes, and it helps to know that Oscar gives it to you, too.

Anonymous said...

ANNA KARENINA does zip along, but so much of it stays with you for years afterwards.

I was hoping to write more letters this year too. In late fall I made some stationary and have lots of stamps, so there's no excuse not to. I used to write several a week and felt like I had been so productive after mailing them. There's something about that whole process that is so satisfying.

P. J. Grath said...

Amy-Lynn, you made your own stationery? I'm impressed.

Tolstoy has stayed with me over the years, but I'll probably always confuse (or conflate) the Levin-Kitty couple with the similar couple in WAR AND PEACE, both of them drawn from Tolstoy and his wife, Sophia.