January started off well enough with everything clicking along as things usually do. Then things got incredibly messy and tangled for a bit and we're still sorting things out over here and recovering- which is why you're reading my completed January to dos a week and a half into February. But enough on that, here's the scoop:
I wanted to eat more vegetables in January because it occurred to me just how easy it is to forget about them. I don't eat a lot of meat so I tend to eat a lot of veggies regardless, but what struck me one night when I was making dinner was how many times I just skipped the side vegetable because it might take five minutes to microwave it or might dirty another pan- sheer laziness I know, but it was absolutely true. So, for the month of January I made a vegetable nearly every night with dinner and made a point to incorporate a couple of more into my lunches every day. Did I feel better? Strangely, yes. And I even grew to realize how much I missed my veg.
I think it's easy when you're not in school anymore to get into this rut where you stop learning new things even though they may interest you- you're too busy with work, family, errands, etc., and the next thing you know that book you've always wanted to read, or that name you wanted to look up, or that history you wanted to learn about is long forgotten. So, I decided to learn five new words for the month of January:
1. ennui- noun: dissatisfaction and restlessness resulting from boredom or apathy.
2. prevaricate- verb: to speak or act evasively.
3. bucolic- adjective: rustic and pastoral; of or relating to rural or pastoral life.
4. fulminate- verb: to express vehement protest. (2. poetic/literary: explode violently or flash like lightning).
5. perfidy- noun: deceitfulness; untrustworthiness.
Having always been a nerd- I mean lover of language and literature- I have also always had a profound fondness for the Anglo-Saxon epic poem, Beowulf. I first read Beowulf in junior high and since then I've lost track of how many times I've read it. For many years I used to read it every January, which I suppose sounds a little crazy to some people but I can't help it- I love it. I'm going to avoid going into a whole lot of detail on my feelings about Beowulf here, which seems kind of silly I know, but my rereading of it actually has a lot to do with my final to do for the month of January and I plan on talking about it here shortly in a post of its own. So as to not leave you totally hanging though, let me tell you this much: I love Beowulf because I love the Stoicism of it, the sense that life is hard and challenging and we all meet the same end but that life is nonetheless worth fighting for and great deeds are worth striving for; I love the sense of nobility in Beowulf and the sense of community; I love it for its remembrance of days when people did things for each other and thought of each other more than they thought of themselves. It's the same set of reason why I love all Anglo-Saxon poetry and a lot of Nordic.
Which takes us to the final to do, my super secret project. I'm not going to lie and tell you that the project is what I had intended it to be- it's not. Originally I had planned on focusing on one author and their works for a single year- but when it came time to begin, something in me just felt that it wasn't the right project for where I am right now in my life- and if the project doesn't fit what I'm looking for, then it's probably not going to stand the course of the year. So, my super secret project for the year is this: I'm going to read as much and as widely as I can and not feel at all guilty about it. This may sound like a silly project to some, and in some ways, I guess it is. For me, however, how I interpret the world and myself has always been wreathed with words and so, as I find myself here recovering from the beginnings of a rough year and facing the fact that I will turn thirty this year, I find myself somehow needing to take stock and look over my past while realigning my future. I feel the need to wonder if I made the right decisions and what the right decisions are- I find myself needing to decide what I want out of life in a way that I'm not sure that I was ever capable of deciding before. Which is why I am going to take a leaf from the pages of Joseph Campbell's own life and lock myself away to read as much as possible- he did ten years in the woods I believe, and I don't have that kind of time for this, but I do have one year to give to it and see if I can find some kind of path.
If you've read this blog for any length of time you know that one of the things that I really struggle with is how much personal information to share here, and you know by now that most of my attempts usually result in some circuitous and relatively incomprehensible babble that is quite difficult to distinguish. This project is going to be hard for me because if I do it right, I'm going to be posting some kind of personal stuff, stuff that I usually scribble in journals or philosophize to my husband about when I've had too much wine. It's going to mean that some of my book reviews may be more impressionistic and less clearly defined than they have been up to this point. It's going to mean that you're going to get to know me a lot better and while I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about that, I'm trying to not think about it and give it a go.
For now I plan on keeping this project here, on this blog. You'll notice it from babble similar to that in the preceding paragraphs. If you miss something on it you'll most likely find it under the book tab. If at some point I feel that the project has grown enough to have it's own space, then I'll make another blog for it- but for now, for the sake of beginning and for small steps, you'll find it here.
As I mentioned the other day, I'm going to keep the February to dos pretty light and frothy so as to give myself a chance to relax a little bit and start working on the new project, but I plan on having them listed here for you tomorrow. Have a great night!