Fun Can Be Good For You
Let's do a little obligatory wrapping up of loose ends from last year. All that planned Christmas knitting? None of it finished. Hated the cowl I was knitting for B's aunt. I may start it again with a different pattern. The advent calendar wrap? Two days of it completed! Not even two days. More like 1.75 days. But I did download the whole pattern and it's sitting on my Kindle (Yay! Knitting patterns can be kept on my Kindle!). My biggest reason for not finishing that one is that I'm not overly thrilled with the yarn I selected. That's the biggest problem with picking a yarn before you've actually see the pattern - you can pick the wrong stuff. Love the yarn though so I'm now searching for a different pattern for a wrap that doesn't need a more delicate yarn to show off its stuff. With what I have I think I'll do a wrap in a feather-and-fan pattern. As for the last planned Christmas knitting, the socks for B's uncle are about 3/4 finished. I have another week before he comes back into town for a chemo treatment and by then they'll be done.
I wasn't anti-Christmas this year but I lacked the regular enthusiasm for it that I normally have. I listened to very little Christmas music. Watched some Christmas movies but ended up having to turn off It's a Wonderful Life before George realized the world couldn't have done without him and never got back to watching it. I did manage to introduce B to the Christmas specials I loved as a child. Best part? Watching Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer and when I asked him how he liked it, B replied "Santa's sort of an asshole in this one, isn't he?". During the whole run-up to Christmas the weather was lousy - either rainy or snowy for weeks on end - so I ended up getting to the Christmas market only twice. Quite a difference compared to the normally 20-25 times I'd go. And I think that's what was killing my enthusiasm for the holidays. I wasn't in my regular routine and it was dampening the whole mood. I was even sick of my decorations before the actual day hit. But Christmas itself was very nice. Christmas Eve was spent with B and my MIL and on Christmas Day B's aunt and uncle joined us. B's uncle was even feeling better during his break from chemotherapy and for the first time in months he had a good appetite so while all the trappings of Christmas weren't revving me up this year, the things that really mattered were there and it was the part I loved best.
Now it's the new year and true to form I will not be making any resolutions. I find no need in imposing on myself goals that, while perhaps good for me, will not be enjoyable to reach and so more likely not to be reached. I have no need to start my year with a predestined sense of failure. Instead I want to set for myself some things to aim for that will make me happier and better all around and will not be painful. Here are some things that I want to incorporate in my life in 2011:
1. Read more non-fiction books. More biographies and books on science, history, different cultures, whatever. I read a lot of fiction and while I enjoy reading about worlds an author creates for me I also want to read more about the world as it is and the history of the world I'm in. I'm already making good on this goal. Right now the audiobook I'm listening to is Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff. The whole ancient Egypt/Greece/Rome thing has never particularly interested me but this is a biography I'm enjoying. I think Cleopatra is more interesting as she was than as she's been depicted over the past 2000+ years. I'm also reading This Republic of Suffering by Drew Gilpin Faust. It's a book about how the US Civil War changed the US's view of death and its rituals. I think it's a good book but honestly, one would have love beyond-the-normal Civil War history and have a bit of a fascination with death for it be enjoyable. And if that's not gruesome enough I'm about halfway finished with reading The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale which, at its essence, is a book about the 1860 murder of an English three-year-old boy. It's a little more than that really. Solving the murder is just one part of it. The book also deals with the development of the detectives and how they became more popular in literature. I have a few ideas of what non-fiction works I next want to read but I'll save them for when I'm actually reading them.
2. I live on the 5th floor of my building. Using the stairs instead of the elevator is something that anyone wanting to incorporate more exercise in their daily routine would do but honestly, I'm too lazy for that. Too lazy, 100 steps between up to the 5th floor, and when I'm going up I'm generally carrying 5-10 pounds of stuff with me. But I usually empty handed when I'm going out so while I don't want to climb up to my flat, I could take the stairs down when I leave. Maybe the exercise I'd get from it isn't as good as it would be going up but it would be helpful for my flexibility and with improving my balance and since I have a terrible sense of balance I can use all the help I can give myself.
3. Finishing some knitting projects that don't involve footwear. I have too many half-finished shawls and wraps.
4. Learn some new knitting skills. And that means either toe-up socks or two color knitting that's not mosaic knitting. Sigh This is supposed to be fun, right?
5. Find new music as often as I can. That will definitely be fun. Maybe it'll make up for the frustration I'll feel when I'm trying to juggle multiple spools of yarn during color knitting.
6. Eat more vegetables. I think I can do this easier if I eat them at breakfast. I'm much more likely to eat a raw bell pepper or cucumber if I do it first thing.
Hope your new year gets filled with goals that you have fun reaching.