I love the week between Christmas and New Years'. All the shows are done, all the carols are sung and the Yule logs burned; all the cookies are frosted, the stockings stuffed with care and then unstuffed with abandon.
Not that I do any of that stuff. A Christmas of quiet contemplation is more my style. I am called upon to go to several gatherings, which I can usually just about manage, with some recharge time in between.
But this week! This is the week of no parties, no shopping or wrapping, no special-occasion foods to assemble; and for me, no classes to teach, no firings scheduled, no orders due. (No money*, either, as I have yet to get paid for holiday sales, but that's no problem: I am living on Hannaford & Dunkin Donuts gift cards this week!) Nor yet any Maine Pottery Tour stuff to do, which will start in January. This is the Week of Reflection, during which I consider the past year - what worked, what didn't, what I learned - and make a plan for the next.
Ah, 2019! The year of the cleaning robots and the Fitdesk, all rather extravagant purchases for a poor potter, and all well worth the cost. In the past I sometimes found myself falling down an internet hole, a tremendous waste of time. Some people would fight this tendency head on, perhaps even successfully! Me, I take more of a jujitsu approach: go with the flow. That's where the Fitdesk comes in. If my computer is always on the desk of this stationary bike, then even if I fall into an internet hole, the time is not wasted - I get my workout in. (Example: I have pedaled 9 miles this morning, having my coffee, reading the news, and writing this post!) This has done wonders for my heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure. It's also much harder to fall down an internet hole, as my legs let me know when I've been at it too long. Win-win!
The robots solve a different problem, by way of going around it. I am by no means a neat freak, but I am tidy: neat but not a freak, I like to say. Doug, not so much. It would not be an exaggeration to say he's an utter slob. I don't plan to do that tiresome thing of bitching about my spouse to people who don't even know him - and anyone who does know him, knows how great he is: he's smart and fun and funny, and possessed of an intellectual curiosity as big as the sky. He laughs at my jokes! He loves to try new things! And he has never cleaned anything on his own initiative in his life. We could fight about this, and in fact, we have fought about it, with me arguing that cleaning up is just part of being a grown up, and him saying he shouldn't have to spend his time cleaning to my standards, and I knew he was a slob before we married. (The kicker here is that we are both right.) The robots - a Roomba vacuum and a Braava mop - don't address the disparity, but they do allow the house to be clean enough not to be a distraction to me, without me either doing all the work myself, or nagging him into doing it. Win-win!
What I learned: sometimes the cheapest way to pay for something, is with money.
There's lots more reflection & looking ahead to do this week. I am working on an outline of my making cycle, to help me plan better in 2020; I also need to think about new outlets I would like to approach. Stick with me, and if you are doing some reflection yourself this week, share those links in the comments.
*If you want to help with that, you could buy me a coffee or leave me a tip or maybe buy a tshirt! But honestly I know no one reading this has much money to spare, either, so no worries if it's not in the cards right now. 😉