Despite noting it in the title, I neglected to mention in my last post that on Thanksgiving, "smoochiversary" referred to M and I celebrating two decades of togetherness. Maybe you figured that out. Well, "celebrate" might be too strong of a word. We had been thinking about it, and acknowledged it, but we didn't do anything to really celebrate it other than wonder at how the time flew by and be grateful that we are still very much in love.
I also had Grandma in my thoughts quite a bit over Thanksgiving. November 27th was the anniversary of her passing. I've really been missing her.
I know that I'm very lucky to work for a company that closes for almost two weeks at the end of every year. It makes the holidays so much more restful and enjoyable when you know that you won't be coming back from vacation to a massive pile-up of email messages and trying to catch up on projects. I had planned to try to have relaxing and also productive 16 days off, and with one vacation day and one weekend left in my holiday, I can say I've accomplished that.
In addition to the front yard project, M worked on a storage project, building cabinets in the garage for some of our excess kitchen stuff. I've been going through our cupboards here and there, sorting out some items for Goodwill and putting other things that we rarely use in boxes for storage. I admit I was a little resistant at first. Everything we own does have a place, so why find a new place for it? But, it is good to go through and make more space for things we use more often - it reduces both my mental and visual clutter a bit, and god knows I need more clutter reduction. We're also experimenting with rearranging things a little, which I think is a good exercise, even if we end up putting everything back the way it was.
Christmas was very nice. M and I went up to Mom and Don's for a few days. We ate well, walked on the beach, visited with neighbors Mary and Tom, as well as seeing Caitlin and Sean, whom we don't see enough of in the town where we live just a few miles from each other.
|Seafoam was our white Christmas|
As part of their Christmas gift to us, we went to Monterey for a few days after Christmas with Mom and Don. We stayed at the Monterey Bay Lodge, which was close to downtown and right off the beach.
|View from our fireplace room|
We packed a lot into the two days, starting with the lovely drive down Highway 1 past San Francisco. We walked on the wharves, visited the Museum of Monterey, strolled down Cannery Row and found Julie's plaque which was pretty neat, went to the Aquarium, cruised along the beautiful beaches and 17 Mile Drive, had breakfast in quaint Pacific Grove, drove through picturesque Carmel (I now covet a Comstock Cottage
), saw hanks of Monarch butterflies hanging out in their sanctuary, did a little thrift store shopping. We saw lots of pelicans, sea otters, and seals outside of the aquarium. The traffic was pretty bad in spots, but that was the only snag. We had great weather, thankfully. Here's the photo album
Well, there was one other snag - my camera stopped working! I had my phone of course, so that was a memory saver. I can't get to the camera menu to muck around with it like I was able to when the same thing happened on our trip to Hawaii. I really hope I don't have to buy a new camera, though I'm sure I'd have fun with all of the new features...
What else about the vacation? I've been to the gym a few times. We watched "Enchanted" in the middle of the day. I've had meals with friends and dear Felicia, including a day in the East Bay with the Point Arena gals. I started knitting a scarf. I've reduced some clutter in the craft room, including ripping out two unfinished knitting projects, which I will try very hard not to replace with new unfinished knitting projects.
For the New Year, I didn't make any resolutions, but I have been working on an exercise inspired by someone whom I met through work. She created a very successful Kickstarter campaign for a creative, brainstorm-y notebook
that focuses on making an annual theme that you support with actions as a guide for your life and work. I haven't been able to distill my theme yet, but so far, being more creative and less fearful are my front-runners. It includes exercises, inspirational quotations and questions, and places for projects and monthly challenges, so I think it will be very useful.
Time is funny, isn't it, how it unfolds before us in plans and ideas, and stretches away behind in memories and, maybe, regrets. Given my age,
I'm starting the slide down the far side of life's fulcrum. Sometimes I feel as though I just want to settle deeper into the routines I've established - most of them make me happy and feel nourished, but sometimes they feel more like ruts. I also realize that going deeper can be another way to mix things up, if I do it in a mindful and positive way. 2014 was a pretty good year but it also had some major challenges, an annus somewhat horribilis. I'd like to think I learned a lot, at least.
Happy 2015. Here's to continuing to learn!