Books,  Just Life,  Knitting

Looking Back | December.

When I shared last month’s Looking Back post (on December 17) I commented that November already seemed like years ago. I’m getting this month’s review posted a little sooner and still … I guess December really was “last year” 🙂

I continued the weekly diptych on Tuesdays; it’s a fun way to tell a story. Also, I’m surprised that none of the daily photos explicitly show the total chaos that was our house for the first two weeks when the painting happened, or the third week when we cleaned up and put everything back together. But I can see a few signs: there is an extra table in my study on Friday the 4th; my morning quiet time happened in a different spot on Sunday the 6th; and I almost forgot to take photos to Thursday the 10th, Friday the 11th, and Saturday the 12th ….

1. What am I celebrating?
+ THREE weeks with Sara (technically, December included only week one of her visit).
+ we are all still healthy.
+ being able to share Christmas with our family.

2. What surprised me?
+ bananagrams 😉 I bought the game for Sara’s visit last Christmas and we never played; it was a very fun discovery for this year’s visit.

3. What voices am I listening to?
+ Sarah and Beth on Pantsuit Politics, Anne Bogel on What Should I Read Next, Kendra Adachi on The Lazy Genius, Emily P. Freeman on The Next Right Thing, Brené Brown on Unlocking Us, Kelly Corrigan on Tell Me More, and Chelsey & Sara on Novel Pairings. I also recently added back Laura Tremaine’s 10 Things to Tell You (honestly, her voice takes a little getting used to, but … I love the content and her point of view). Occasionally I also listen to On Being. In all, it’s 6+ hours a week and lately, I haven’t had that much listening time.

4. What did I make?
+ I finished one sweater (Dissent – Ravelry link) and five socks (making an even four pairs for Sara – Ravelry link).

5. What was the best thing I watched?
+ Schitt’s Creek. We started this in November and finished on December 12. I loved this so much. and I also love that now I “get” all the memes and gifs that occasionally pop up on social media.
+ the latest season of Great British Baking Show. again. with Sara.

6. Read?
+ I finished nine books (which were all included in my annual review here) and the only 5-star one was A Christmas Carol … my annual re-listen to Tim Curry’s narration.

7. What am I working to leave behind?
– comparing myself to anyone else (still).

8. What do I want to focus on in the month ahead?
+ enjoying Sara’s visit.
+ re-setting for 2021.

9. What’s something I’m reconsidering as a result of the last 30 days?
+ how much time I spend on Instagram (an hour, or two? a day).
+ how I use Goodreads – it took me hours to update three months of reading for the blog post I wrote about my year in books. I’m still committed to tracking what I read there, but no longer going to try to write anything.

10. What is one thing I’d like to start doing in January?
+ reading a book for 30 minutes every morning, instead of scrolling Instagram. I’ve been doing this since January 1 and wow, y’all, it works wonders!

Compiling this monthly collage and blogpost is one of my favorite ways to reflect back and celebrate the big and little things in my life. When I pulled together this month’s photos, I found this collageKatie took some of the best photos from this summer’s TEN sessions of Marmie & Poppa Camp and made a little book. The boys captioned each photo and Charlie wrote the words (except for the one that was just Sam’s favorite). Hands down the favorite thing I unwrapped on Christmas Day!

Also, I only include photos I take in the collage … otherwise this one would’ve been a strong contender for Christmas Day

still amazed at those gray curls … especially in the back!

It’s been over a week since we’ve seen George, and I understand he’s almost too big to hold like this now.

Again, thank you for being here and being part of my story. I am so grateful to be part of this community.

11 Comments

  • Alexa

    Well, I’m wondering if you might consider expanding the range of photos in your collages this year to include one or two of you taken by an/other(s)? Otherwise, you’re absent, and yet you are the hidden presence (behind the camera) in them all :). So delighted you’ve been enjoying time with Sara, and I know how precious that is. That little book is a delight – what a super idea!

  • Sarah

    That last photo! And I love the Marmie and Poppa Camp book — that was a great idea that I’m sure you’re going to treasure for many years!

    It seems that a lot of people have conflicted feelings about Goodreads. I don’t find it to be hard to keep up with, maybe because my Kindle app is connected to my account so it automatically knows when I start or finish a book (and as most of my reading is digital these days, that works very well). I do try to post reviews because I find them helpful when I’m considering a book, but ultimately I think everyone has to do what works best for them. No one says you have to rate or write a review for every book you read or any of them, really, but I think it can be a great way just to keep track of what you’ve read and want to read.

  • Bonny

    I’m with Sarah on that last photo! Maybe Marc needs a puppy of his own? I’m not much of a documenter, but goodreads works for me (YMMV!). Maybe because I used to keep a notebook of titles I read, pretty much so I could avoid reading the same thing twice.

  • Patty

    Katie for the win! And yes…a puppy does look good on Marc! 🙂 Goodreads…totally just to keep track and make recommendations to friends. I’ve also been trying to read in the morning for a 1/2 hour and I’ve been pretty committed on mornings I don’t go to the gym. It certainly does make a difference! Glad to have you here Mary…your story brings a lot to the table! xo

  • Carolyn

    Looks like *somone* loves that puppy! I so appreciate the openness of your reflections here, Mary. That comparison is a tricky one for me. I find I ebb + flow with it. And it’s interesting where/how each of us runs into it. It’s just one of the things that drained me on IG. And that’s something I acknowledge is *within me* and not about IG… But in being away from it for a while now, I can say I not only feel differently–but a strange amount of time has opened up. And here’s the confusing thing–I don’t think it’s that I was always/necessarily spending THAT much time on IG. But it’s along the lines of what Kendra Adachi says–about putting your energy into trying to be a mold of what you think you SHOULD be. That statement in her book really struck me! And it was the light bulb, the connection for me, of where that time + energy came from! I obviously have a lot to think about in this category.

  • Carole

    I’d be lost without Goodreads! I use it for inspiration and keeping track and it helps me remember the books I read by looking at my reviews. Your month of December was cheerful and lovely.

  • Vera

    Love your curls and that last photo!! I just keep track of my knitting and stitching and reading stuff in a “real” book (journal-type). I don’t go into great detail, but it gives me a summary of what I’ve done/read. I’m not on social media much at all – I’d rather read (like you in the mornings!!) or knit or stitch. My life is different because I’m still employed full time, but it works for me.

  • karen

    I am so happy you had that extended time with your daughter! LIke you I am trying to read more and scroll less. Twitter is my poison though. I am on insta only 2 times a week.

  • Jane

    Your curls are beautiful. I love the Christmas Day photo with the grandpup. I am in agreement about Goodreads. I love maintaining my Ravelry notebook but Goodreads just doesn’t seem that necessary. I prefer my humble little blank notebook.

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