I’m pretty lousy at noticing what I have managed to do, so I’m taking a moment to try to do it for a short period of time and maybe work toward getting better at it in general.
This year in later December and over winter break*, I managed to:
- Not mail any Christmas presents last-minute
- Get what I think were good presents for my family
- Buy what I think is a good book for our child, Children of the Longhouse
- Play a lot with our child
- Think of the thing(s) I might want to try to get better at doing in 2019
- Visit a local lo-fi exploratorium to see their annual model train exhibit
- Have dinner with friends
- Go to a decent new restaurant for one of our anniversaries
- See an exciting movie — in the theater!
- Do some puzzles in the New York Times‘ annual puzzle section
- Read a bunch of my dad’s memoir
- Read a bunch of Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley Under Ground
- Finally read The New York Times piece on Black men writers and Black men’s writing, only to find that it was but two pages long!
- Make homemade slow-cooker dulce de leche for the first time
- Start my first batch of homemade sauerkraut
- Make my regular batch of kvass (maintenance work counts, though this batch isn’t very good)
- Play Monopoly with the family
- Play a car racing game on the iPad too much, though sometimes it was in parallel with our child
- Mostly write one of the three conference proposal reviews that I owe by 14 January
- Go to a neighbor’s for some of New Year’s Eve
- Clean off a bunch of space on my partner’s laptop
- Partly fix and partly break our kitchen sink spout
- Replace some light bulbs
- Vacuum the bathroom fan cover
- Hang curtains in the room we are +/- converting to a home health aide bedroom
- Take a walk nearly every day
- Play soccer a little at the local elementary school with our child and a friend of his and the friend’s dad
- Stay up past midnight on New Year’s Eve
- Finish my master’s thesis (cheating, because this took all fall to finish)
- Mostly subdue my probably-stress-induced stomach discontent that’s been hanging out for 2–3 years, then have a new bout but not freak out
- Have Christmas
- Go to church for the last two Sundays of Advent and then on Christmas Eve (I’ve become C&E, and am a moderately intellectual Christian, but I adore my church’s new pastor; he’s both passionate about real social justice and patient about how long it will take to turn this church around)
- Go to a friend’s annual open house and have a conversation with a neighbor from down the street and their child, who’s always a little diffident with me but who was very conversational at this party
This looks like a lot of stuff! I guess this is why people like to do this documentation, since it reminds us if/that we aren’t just passing the time away.
* My employer more or less closes each year from Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day, and when Christmas Eve falls on a Monday as it did in 2018, things stretch out nicely.