Sunday, January 8, 2012


I've been putting only a tentative toe into the water of the New Year.

Even more reluctantly than I lower myself into the chilly community center pool now that winter's here.

And that's bothered me, my lack of enthusiasm to get going again. Then I finally figured out that I'm just not ready to dive full body into our schedule because I'm still waiting for "the break." The goof-off time, the sit-and-gaze-at-the-woods time,  the--for me, essential, quiet time.

I mean, we know this, right? The "holidays" are not holidays in the sense of "vacation." Holy days, yes; happy days with lots of family, yes; but--for me, as for surely a lot of women, holidays mostly mean more shopping, more cooking, more organizing, more managing.

This year, I'm doing something about it. The dread of jumping back in. This year, I've written out the first two weeks' school curriculum. I've done a lot of New Year decluttering on the house and gotten the basic bills paid. As much as possible, I've cleared the deck.

 Because today I'm taking the day off. A "personal day", a day to do nothing whatsoever that anyone needs me to do.

At least that's the plan. (I can already predict two possible glitches.) And what am I thinking I'll do? At the risk of making it sound like I have a schedule: Read: finish the Louise Penny mystery, A Fatal Grace, that I'm re-reading and loving even more than the first time around. Read: some War and Peace, to reve up our online reading group. Walk, in this oddly balmy weather. (60 on Wednesday!?!) Watch an episode, maybe two, of season 1 of West Wing, which we are only just discovering, while I  maybe do a little knitting. Think.

But really, I don't know exactly what I'm going to do. Which makes me a bit nervous, because I'm so used to knowing where I have to be when, and for whom.

Which is kind of the point. To not be dashing around on demand, not be anybody's anything (chauffeur, cook, personal shopper, counselor, laundress, accountant, friend. . . . ). It's not that I mind doing any of those things. It's just that--I need a break. And--oh, how uncharacteristic this is--I plan to take it. Today. January 8th. A day which is not, on anyone's calendar, any kind of a holiday at all. A day which is supposed to be our first day of school, with all the activity that brings with it. And will be, for my homeschooled fifteen year old.

But--not for me. This time.



  1. Margaret, I so believe in days off. Because I was divorced, I usually had Sat noon until Sun night, and I spent a lot of it writing, and that was when I began what I called my 24-hours off to write in my diary and then do a poem on Sun AM. I'd do other things Sun aft, but how refreshing. Now, at age 74, I'm having a sabbatical--8 months off, if I can afford it. Or as long as I can. Enjoy your day. Do it more often. cheers, Judy Hogan

  2. Thank you Judy! One of the things I did was finish Louise Penny's A Fatal Grace again. How that woman can write....