In previous years I have done year-end, wrap-up sorts of things on this blog, but you know– I just don’t feel like it this go-round. And not even because I’m feeling low, or that there’s not much to report on. There was quite a lot! It’s been an interesting year for sure–some of it maybe more than I even bargained for. But I guess we can never really know what we’re getting into, what’s in store for us.
I guess I’m feeling, well, that I know what I accomplished (and what I didn’t) in 2019 and maybe I just don’t need to talk about it or share. And it also occurs to me that many aspects of my year remain a work in progress. I haven’t wrapped up much of anything at all! And I’m okay with that! And I will probably even change my mind next year, if indeed in 2020 I have a list of things to share. But eh, this year I will give it a pass.
Instead, just a few diary-like peeks into the last two months, a record of days.
As I have done previously in the past few years, anytime I am between more exciting projects, I feverishly knit a few squares for my baby sister’s divorce blanket. Her divorce was final two years ago, so as I say every time I bring this up– I really need to pick up the pace. I know! Also, the woman is almost 40. But I can’t not think of her as my baby sister.
In November I had a week to myself and I treated myself to a Fuck Off World! weekend, which I have written about before, but in recent years I like to think I have improved the formula. It still involves solitude and massive amounts of puttering, but instead of eating caveman frat-bro meals (I still love you though, Cheeto-burrito!) I have been trying to treat myself better by treating myself to proper meals. So I guess this is a “Fuck Off World! weekend–But Make It Fancy.”
Above is a bowl of porridge which you probably do not need a recipe for, a lunch of burrata and tiny tomatoes, broiled salmon and garlicky mashed potatoes with kale, and a loaf of cranberry-ginger bread that I made in an attempt to use up leftover homemade cranberry sauce. The recipe is actually for muffins, but I feel very this way about muffins ( but substitute muffins for froyo and donuts for ice cream) so I do not make them. Also, during Thanksgiving, someone complained about my cranberry sauce being too bitter and I’m still feeling peevish about that…don’t complain about my food to my face!
I am always intrigued by trendy hot drinks. I mean, I am also always late to the party, so golden milk was probably trendy in 2017, but whatever. Unfortunately, every time I have been out and about and ordered golden milk at a coffee shop, it’s always been pretty awful. Chalky and somehow both overly sweet and bitter at once. See how I did that? I waited til I was out of earshot to complain! Anyway, last month I found a recipe for it over at Pick Up Limes and it was actually really lovely! I’d also love to give her chai hot chocolate a try. Maybe later in January, while we still have some chilly days. Though it’s going to be 80 degrees on January 2nd, so who knows? That’s what AC is for, I guess.
Although I have not begun to read them, I am super excited about both of these books! Emma WhispersRed has put out an ASMR guide/memoir (?) called Unwind Your Mind and one of my favorite bloggers, The Ghost In My Machine has published a really fun looking little book, Dangerous Games To Play In The Dark. I initially found The Ghost In My Machine after hearing about The Elevator Game (where did I first hear about that? Probably Tanis, a podcast that freaked me out so badly that I had to stop listening for a while, and I never did pick it up again.)
Not pictured and which I actually am currently reading and which seems very, very valuable thus far: Pixie Lighthorse’s Goldmining The Shadows, a book for personal and collective healing. It’s available on Kindle Unlimited right now, and I have highlighted the heck out of it, but there’s just something about having a physical copy to flip through and underline with a pen held in your hand, marked passages to come back to again and again for revisiting and reflection.
Here is a quote that I loved, and which may not mean much taken out of context, but then again, maybe it will mean a great deal to you. It’s a powerful thought:
“No amount of punishing yourself will ever result in peace.”
I just purchased the book itself, and two more copies for future gifting.
Lastly, …speaking of gifting. Or rather, not gifting. Or rather, agreeing not to gift and then sort of gifting anyway: this year, in our house, we decided not to exchange gifts. It’s too much pressure and sometimes it feels a little wasteful (especially when you’ve gotten someone a gift, “just to get them something”) and it just ends up not being very much fun. Don’t get me wrong, I like gifts, and I am pretty sure that my partner does as well. But I think we have discovered that we prefer random, “just because” gifts, not this fraught, enforced tradition of family gift-giving that happens around the holidays.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t get his family on board with this idea, but since we are the bosses of our own household, we decided we’d control what we could, and concede where we couldn’t, and it would be ok. And it was! And after all that, we decided that we would purchase a Soda Stream-esque “sparkling beverage maker” (it’s actually by Kitchen Aid) as a gift “for the house.” We drink a lot of fizzy water in this house, and we thought it might be good to cut down on the cans and the packaging we consume, and the waste we create but also and more importantly I refuse to drink even a single drop more of a beverage that refuses to pronounce itself correctly.
Yes, these are the hills that I will die on.
As the last few hours of 2019 crowd in and remind me of all that’s left undone for the year year, I do not want to let this moment pass without thanking you for peeking in and reading here at Unquiet Things; for encouraging me and supporting me, for challenging me, for being my friend, or at least a sometimes acquaintance! Thank you and all the best, most wonder-filled of wonderful to you and yours–this year, next year, and always.