, a prompt posted by Kat McNally at "I Saw You Dancing":The idea of rooting down into your own personal beliefs and center of truth is an ongoing process, and many things can serve as anchors or roots as you move through life.
What rooted or anchored you in 2014?
And where do you want to put down roots in 2015?
This snapshot is of my dog, who had parked herself on the sofa after I left for a 6 a.m. yoga class Tuesday morning. She was too sleepy to leave the sofa when I let myself back in ninety minutes later, which gave me time to grab my camera, which luckily still had the photos-in-dim-light lens on it the BYM had borrowed from a friend for last weekend's gathering at Mason's.
When I come home, she's often at the door, and the first thing I say to her is "Girl's best friend!" Then we both head to the BYM's study, where I greet him with "Girl's other best friend!"
The photo contains elements that allude to other linchpins of my life: library books, so essential to so many of my projects. A tote bag in which I have carried flowerpots, swimsuits, lunches, sheet music -- whatever needed shlepping. An embroidered wallet that used to hold makeup, formerly owned by my big sister in New Orleans. A thick afghan from my big brother in Kentucky, featuring rows of books. The sofa itself -- site of countless naps and necking sessions as well as all-night cranking toward deadlines.
I love my house and I love my city. I was going to say that I don't love having to choose between staying home and going out -- such as this very afternoon, where I had grand plans for attending a wine tasting and finding my sis-in-law's Christmas present and so on, on top of slicing in some edits and rehearsing some music and hammering out some writing and recording some texts, but the need to crash-nap (on the aforementioned sofa) grew too immense to dismiss -- but, thinking about it, I actually love that I have the luxury of such choices. That the days seem so ridiculously short is directly related to the amazing fortune of having multiple all-absorbing callings (and distractions) at my fingertips, sometimes literally. I could spend all day at the piano and feel as though I've only started to understand a four-line hymn. I've been known to spend all night at my laptop trying to get a paragraph right. I go to sleep with cookbooks next to my water glass. I sometimes get out of bed to expand a workflowy item because a dream or a drift-thought unknotted part of a problem I've been trying to detangle.
I am trying to be realistic about how much yardwork and gardening I can manage in 2015, which is to say, probably not much, even though I'm not planning any major vacations. Tending to raised beds and rosebushes and the like would require time and money I currently feel compelled to direct toward things I want even more. (The reassuring thing, of course, is that improving my health and feeding my piggy bank will help make it possible for me to devote proper attention to those roses in a decade or three.) It is good for my health and sanity to spend time outside, though, so I'd like to at least make progress on tidying up the scrubbier parts of the property and encouraging the mossy parts to expand. There are tulip bulbs in various beds and pots and baskets, and various herbs and flowers and peppers in different stages of storage/seedlingness.
Circling back to the spirit of the original question: focusing on what to do, and what's specifically doable within the near future -- that's how I roll. Being grateful for the ability and resources to make things happen -- that's a core part of me as well. Understanding and accepting that things take time, and how much time may be needed -- I'm still learning this, and boy, is that curve slippery.
During May, I completed a thirty-day challenge at my yoga studio, and before this latest round of lung crud took hold, I was swimming laps at the pool at least twice a week. I'd like to bring those practices back into my life in 2015 -- and both the studio and the community center recently expanded their offerings, so I'm feeling hopeful about coming up with routines that will be compatible with upcoming work obligations.
Back in 2013, I'd also become comfortable enough on my bike to ride it to the bank on a last-minute errand (i.e., the morning we left for Vancouver). I've since lost that confidence. I'd like to regain it in 2015. The answer, of course, is hopping onto the saddle and putting in the miles. (Cue loud sighing.)
Speaking of saddles: horseback riding. That's something else I'd like to return to next year. I went on a couple of trail rides a couple of years ago while on the road, and I have a partner in crime who would be keen on checking out stables in this state should I get around to it.
And also: stand-up paddleboarding. Finally took my first lesson this year; further attempts to return to the lake didn't pan out, but it certainly is a lovely way to spend a Tennessee morning in high summer. And I just reread a 2010 message from the BYM about seeing if I like kayaking. And amid all this there's the desire to spend more time with the BYM and the dog.
Which circles yet again back to the original question: my household -- my house and who it holds -- both keeps me grounded and alight with delight.