lovely/heavy.

31dec1

As in, good thing the snow is lovely, because it sure is heavy. Boh and I got home on Saturday afternoon. Can you see our foot- and paw prints in the snow? I parked at the bottom of the driveway and spent the last remaining hour of daylight shoveling a path to get the car up to its parking spot at the top of the driveway. And then it kept snowing, which meant I spent much of yesterday shoveling the whole thing again, but in batches because I was sore from Saturday’s shoveling effort. All of that strikes me as a pretty good stand-in for 2012. Some big stuff, some lovely stuff, and a lot of slow, steady working on and working through stuff.

In 2012, I turned 30. I published my first piece. I started writing my dissertation. I taught the first class that was entirely my own. I was the maid of honor in my best friend’s wedding. I returned to the Southwest for work and play. All good things, even that birthday. But 2012 was also a solitary year, filled with anxiety about work and life, about the future writ both large and small. Lots of reflection on my choices and what they might mean for what comes next. Lots of working on trying to let all that I have be enough for me right now, while allowing some space for the universe to surprise me. I’m going to keep working on that in 2013.

I read over my 2012 blog posts this morning in anticipation of an end-of-the-year entry, and I discovered that I actually did a fair amount of knitting this year. I completed 12 projects, including a handful of wedding presents and a shawl for my best friend. I finished some long-languishing projects, and even began my first destash. In 2013 I want to just keep going. There are more wedding gifts to knit, and more projects started long ago that I’d like to complete. I also want to knit up some yarn/pattern pairings I’ve been daydreaming about for years (hello, effortless cardigan, aidez, lightweight pullover, daybreak shawl, and others), and I’m hoping to use more handspun. And most importantly, I want to keep knitting as part of the pile of things I do to take care of myself.

I made solid progress towards establishing a writing practice in 2012. I struggled to balance teaching and writing in the spring, and did a better job this fall. In 2013, at least as things stand right now, I will not be teaching; only writing. I’m hoping this flexibility will allow me to create the kind of writing practice I want, and to make it a routine in 2013. And perhaps 2013 will be the year I get serious about my home yoga practice. I dabbled this year, occasionally getting out the mat and doing a few small things — dolphin, bridge, a sun salutation or two — in the morning with my coffee. But it isn’t enough. I could see and feel the impact of three classes a week on my happiness, health, and fitness, and though the two classes I’ve been able to make work with my schedule this year are wonderful, it isn’t the same. So that’s what I’m going to aim for this year: more writing, more knitting, more yoga.

31dec3

And when I finished my final round of shoveling yesterday, the sun came out.

31dec2

This guy knows 2012 is ending, and that in 2013 he’s going to spend a little bit of time frolicking at my parents’ house while I am in DC. (This was Boh’s big Christmas present, and I am so very grateful.) He crawled into my lap yesterday, and I managed to snap this blurry picture. I’m pretty sure Boh’s plans for 2013 are about the same as his plans for 2012: lounge, cuddle, eat, play, snore.

Happy New Year! And from me and Boh to you and yours: thanks for reading.

resolved.

One of my resolutions for 2012 is to develop a writing practice. Writing a dissertation is really different from writing a colloquium paper, or a seminar paper, or a conference paper, or an article draft. I’m not going to sit down and crank this out in a couple of weeks, deadline looming. And even if I could do that, I certainly don’t want to. This is my primary job for the next few years, and I want to like doing it. Which means I need a rhythm, a routine. And now that I’m done with my fall semester and its accompanying whirlwind of research travel, it is time to get settled — and serious — about developing the habits I’d most like to have as a writer, teacher, and historian. And so far so good. I snapped this picture this afternoon, before beginning day 3 of plan write-every-day. Right now, the goal is to form the habit. I’m not necessarily writing the dissertation yet, but I’m writing about it, and thinking in a more dedicated and targeted way about my sources, my actors, and my argument(s). And it feels good to me. (Note to self: remember this feeling.)

Here’s another shot of the office, from the porch looking in. I took this because of the view I was enjoying looking out on Monday. See?

So lovely. I was too busy writing to capture today’s afternoon and early evening light, but it was beautiful — sort of like this, but with flurries of snow.

And because in theory, we all show up here because there is knitting, here’s what I wore to campus (first day back there since the end of August) today: my stripe study shawl, boots, leggings, a dress, and a slouchy sweater. It was nice to say hello to the folks in the office, chat with my chair, and cross a bunch of logistical things off my list. Hooray!

Time for dinner, some knitting, and a book.

on the walls of the day.

I made my list, and hung it on the fridge. It’s a mixture of goals and reminders, things to work on this semester. (And yes, that does say “finish sweaters on the needles.”) A favorite song from a few years ago, when I was driving east to start grad school, came up on shuffle yesterday — “Challengers,” by The New Pornographers:

on the walls of the day

in the shade of the sun we wrote down

another vision of us

we were the challengers of the unknown

A good song for the start of a new year, no?