This is the whateverth post in A Month of Reading
Closing out A Month of Reading and the year 2012 at the same time, I wish you a Happy New Year. There hasn’t been much new to report the last few days – I finished The Boy and continued reading the biography of Dorothy Parker and I re-read Better Homes and Gardens and resolved to be a better housekeeper this year. It’s not starting off so well – today I was rather tired from my celebrating last night and it was all I could do to stick to my plan to go for a hike today with a friend. The rest of the day I sort of moped around the house. Oh, but we did attempt a rousing game of Cranium in the morning, and it was quite funny playing it with a 7 year old and a 5 year old who can’t really read yet. Neither of them knew who Clint Eastwood is, so even the best impression of him would have fallen flat. And I learned that I am a bad artist when attempting to draw things with my eyes closed.
Today I practiced being kind to myself. I give advice to other people all the time. (See my advice column, even!) One of my most repeated pieces of advice is to avoid tackling things when you are physically compromised. Take care of your body first. Sleep if you are tired. Eat if you are hungry, and by all means, if you gotta pee, do that first! Today I was really, really tired, so even though everywhere I looked there was something to clean, I just did the bare minimum and saved it for tomorrow. I meant to take down and put away the Christmas decorations today, but I’m saving that, too. There’s time.
What I learned from a month of reading is that I am glad I re-embraced reading, filling the well, keeping my “to be read” stack nice and full (and multiplying). And I enjoy writing and talking about the things I read. I am thinking about starting a Book Review section and maybe doing a book review per month. We shall see.
Over the last few days I also read a lot of other people’s year-end blog reviews, and updates on Facebook and Twitter about the things they accomplished, or why they are happy 2012 was over. It got me thinking. I am not exactly happy 2012 is over, nor am I glad about it. The passage of time does often make me feel melancholy, but this year’s turn doesn’t make me feeling anything. It just happened. I put up a new calendar on the wall, cracked open a new desk planner, and felt guilty for not doing more with the kids over their winter break.
Thinking back over the year though, and reviewing my life as it was illustrated here on this site, I remember a lot of crying. A lot of crying. There were stretches when I cried every day, long hard ugly cries, the kind that I can’t recover from unless I go to sleep, and even after sleeping I wake with puffy eyes and a headache. It happened recently, after the shooting in CT, and I think since then I’ve gone a couple of days now without the ugly cry. There will be times in my life when it happens again, and certainly I’m thinking I’m not even out of the woods now, it can happen at any time.
Stewart doesn’t know what to do with me when I cry like that. He pats me on the shoulder and tells me he loves me, and that’s wonderful, and I need that. But sometimes I simply need to cry, to purge the sadness and despair from my body with a physical act. I’ve always been an easy weeper. Now it’s easier than ever.
If I had my choice, I wouldn’t have wasted all that time crying. I have resolved to get back in shape and build up my hyperlocal blog this year – these are two things I will focus on when my body is interested in wasting more time crying. I’ll go for a walk, or work on the blog, or do squats so I can have an ass like this one when I am 50. Oh yeah, that’s something I read this month, too.
Thanks for reading, people. It’s nice to have you here as this blog enters its tenth calendar year.