Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Shorter Days, Christmas Preparations . . . Gifts of the Season


























I invigilated the last exam and returned all the marked research papers yesterday, so most of my student contact is done for the term. Yes, I now have four sets of exams to mark and the term grades to collate and compute and enter, but I feel as if I've turned a corner and can let out my breath for a moment. Today is a transitional day, one that I'm spending at home, puttering, casting on for a few knit Christmas gifts, desultorily marking an exam or two, and letting a few lists form, to be captured on paper later. . . .

I had planned to run today, but my bike went horizontal and sideways on the ice as I sped home in the cold dark last night, and although I feel okay this morning, I am conscious still of the loud clonk my head made on the hard ice, so I decided to take it easy. Instead, I've got a friend coming over for a glass of wine later this afternoon. That's almost the same as a run, right?

It seems really important to me to be really slow for a moment or two (ha! that's a contradictory and revelatory phrase, isn't it?!) . . . I want to be fully intentional about these next few weeks. There's much that I must do to be ready for the beginning of next term, but I also want to arrive in those classrooms rejuvenated and excited. That will require some fallow time and some celebratory time and some loving time and some happy moving time. . . I'm feeling really good about how I've planned to take control of the run-up-to-Christmas time, and I'm going to tell you more about that in the next post, I hope (Mainly involves Simplifying, Being Festive, Gift-Shopping, and Spending Time with Loved Ones)

Meanwhile, I'm busy puttering, so I'll just leave you with some thoughts about making the most of this time, thoughts I recorded back in this pre-Christmas post from 2010.
Just remember that these days of anticipation are, in every single moment, equally important to the day we're building towards. Let us live in those moments rather than simply using them, pushing through them, for a climactic day on the calendar's horizon. . . Joy!

10 comments:

  1. This is lovely. It's so important to enjoy every day, to savor the anticipation and not rush it. Congratulations on finishing the term (other than the mountain of grading.)

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    1. I love the way you've been concentrating on Advent on your blog, a similar project albeit with a different background. . .

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  2. So much marking & correcting.But we all get it wrong sometimes & make mistakes.In your year it seems the family feud was not your highpoint.Could you not correct this now?

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    1. Oh, I don't try to "correct" my students' papers, although I do try to give them ample feedback. Wouldn't it be nice if family difficulties could be dealt with similarly . . .

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    2. Brava Mater for your elegant riposte. What a hectoring, supercilious, mean-spirited comment from Anon. And why are such comments always, but always, Anon...?
      I have small kidlets so Christmas is full on here: real tree, baking, Nativity plays, carol services, furtive wrapping of intriguing packages in secret...
      Lettys

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    3. I do wonder if unfamiliarity with the medium (and sometimes the choice to remain Anonymous is at least partly fuelled by discomfort/unfamiliarity) means that comments can sound much harsher than they are intended. I did feel a bit stung by the comment, as I've wished so much this past year that I could, indeed, fix the family rift (not a feud at all, truly) and it's so much more complex. But I tried to wonder if the comment might have been left out of genuine concern, perhaps even by someone on whom family feuds have left a mark. I will say that, being as Non-Anonymous as I choose to be here, I choose my words and then revise and then edit very carefully. Tone is so very important and sometimes harder to control than one might think.
      I do thank you for your loyalty, Lettys, and your spirited defense. Enjoy those small kidlets who make your Christmas so busy, exhausting, and utterly satisfying. So rich!

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  3. I just read your 2010 blog and I have often felt the same way about the preparations. Some years, it is difficult to do the tree and I really enjoy hanging a few special ornaments on a bough. In my extended family, it is expected that we will follow the same traditions, eat the same meals and see the same people year after year. Take care of your noggin and enjoy your holiday. This will be Harriet's first "real" Christmas.

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    1. I love the fullness of rich tradition, but it can only be oppressive. It felt quite freeing to realize that I could simply let go -- and putting it in perspective now, I see what a good thing this has become for all of us. This year, my adult children will organize most of the Christmas activities, as we did ourselves at their age, and we're quite happy simply to follow their lead. I t will be Harriet's first real Christmas, as you say, and the first one where she and Nola will really be interacting. I'm pretty excited!

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  4. I am not the Anonymous who responded to you earlier and I totally believe their comment was just plain MEAN. I, too, have experienced family discord after death of a parent and I'm always trying to forgive but forgetting seems to haunt me. I only wish you the best. But, help me out here because I'm kinda new to this commenting business....how do I comment without giving out my email address (or is it never available to anyone else)?

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  5. The email is never available for anyone to see. . . But as a compromise you can do what a number of commenters do, and continue using the Anonymous option but then include your name/pseudonym to close your comment, as Lettys does, above. It's very nice for me and for others in our little community here to begin to build up a sense of the various commenting personalities. . .Whichever system you decide on, thanks for your comments today.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we?

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