January has been clipping along quite nicely. I’m surprised that I’m already nearly a third of the way through My January Rest (MJR)! And, it has been going well. The List has been useful and is fitting nicely so far this year. Actually, I am feeling a bit nervous, because it is feeling too easy!
I’m glad that I chose sugar-free. Although eating sugar-free (or the self-discipline required is not easy), it is easier than I thought after coming off of my mother-in-law’s almost limitless supply of sugary goodies! Since I’ve been gluten-free for nearly two years, she has learned to watch for gluten in ingredients. Guess what? She found out that several of the confections she makes for Christmas, were already gluten-free. It would have been better for me not to know! She loaded me up with some tasty treats to take home and they are patiently waiting in the freezer for February’s thaw.
Speaking of thaw. Those of you local will understand what I mean: we thawed out here in the midwest. At least until tomorrow. The subzero temperatures bothered me greatly. There are people who are on the streets without proper clothing. I knew we had extra hats, gloves, and scarves. When our daughter ran cross country, she would give hats and gloves to teammates who forgot theirs. We’d never see them again. So I went to the dollar store and purchased some hats and gloves. We still had them. We also had gloves from when she was younger. And scarves that are no longer our favorites and hats we’ve acquired from who knows where. There’s a church who serves the homeless, close to my studio. I took them there on one of the subzero days and felt a little better that I didn’t have umpteen unused items, while others don’t have enough. Still, I have more than I need: variety for varying situation and style. That is my confession.
Soaps went. Extra socks too. Books are on the hit list. My bookshelf is burping over and paperbound treasures are talking over my floor.
Reading more of those books is on my list. Fiction is something I generally only read on vacation. Why? Because I get sucked into another world and won’t go to bed! While that is true, it is more that I have about five to ten nonfiction books I am trying to work my way through. I’m a pathetically slow reader as I think and process much as I read. I’m even worse at finishing all of them. The information I get from nonfiction is worth the effort. Reading a good fiction book can seem effortless. I’ve read two books already over winter break, Tainted and Awakened. I read Awakened in two days! They were so good, I have started a new one by the same author, Morgan Busse. It is the first of a lengthy trilogy! Still, I am pecking my way through the other nonfiction books in the pile; The Pleasure Trap, Centurion Principle, and Bird by Bird are a few of them. By eliminating junk mail and email advertisements this month, I have more time for reading what I want to. Reading is a pleasure and reading fiction is a luxury that I am soaking up on my rest, especially in the dreaded cold, where I don’t want to go out for anything.
Beside clearing out our hat, glove, and scarf stash, I went through the freezer, pantry, junk drawer (doesn’t every home have at least one?!), and our linen closet. I used, donated, and pitched a lot of things. We organized out pantry not too long ago then modified what goes in.
I was surprised to find so many processed food items that were past the expiration date. We purchased extra cereal, ice cream cones, and snacks for a large family get together this summer. And graham crackers for s’mores. They didn’t get used. Every year, during MJR, I end up surprised, again! I try to manage food and not waste it. Yet, there it was.
Next post I’ll share some of my food uses, creations, and discoveries. And a shopping update soon.
The smell of coffee alone is invigorating. Good thing it is on my list this year. I used my Christmas gift card and am enjoying a piping hot, black Americano while writing. Being away from home, its responsibilities, and all the undone work—even if for an hour or so—that’s rest!
Do you use the New Year to slow down? Do you step back and refocus? Are you participating in a Rest of your own?