December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Author: Alice Bradley)These are more thought-provoking than I expected. I'm actually trying not to read Bella's blog until I do my own response to each (which is extra difficult because there are several blogs I read by accessing her sidebar). But I accidentally read the first couple sentences of her response to this about how she's not much of a hoarder and lets go of things regularly. I'm the opposite. I tend to keep everything that I have room to keep. My body has changed a lot in the last few years, but I still keep lots of clothes that no longer fit. Either I plan to get them altered in the next few months, or I'm just keeping them in case they fit me again.
I know I should purge a bunch of stuff from my closet, but, for example, I have two pretty good tennis outfits. And two tennis rackets in the garage. I played tennis all through high school and would happily play again, but my husband hates the sport and I haven't played in over 5 years. But I keep the outfits in hopes that I'll have someone to play with one day... Sigh. My pack-rat habits are deeply ingrained.
But the question is not what I held on to that I possibly should let go, it's what I let go. I would say I let go of some of my hopes about relationships at work. I'm now working in a very small office and there seems to be an abundance of drama around me. Very frequently staff are upset with each other or with the attorneys. When someone was upset with me, I used to be greatly saddened and shed more tears than I should have. I think I've made a decision to let it go. I've tried not to take sides in things I hear, tried to discourage people from telling me what they think about others in the office, and to share less about my life (though I never shared much before). I'm kind of sad that I can't mix work and friendships, I had no problem doing that at my last job, but admittedly most of my friends were fellow attorneys and not staff. But here, for my own sanity, I need to stay as emotionally disconnected as possible. I did a blog post several months ago about how I felt after I learned that someone who seemed to be outside the drama-fray had said something about me, and how hurt my feelings were, and now I feel like I've kind of checked out, let go of the drama. While people still come into my office to vent (and I sometimes do it as well), I've tried to let go of the emotional connection and to discourage it. That's kind of sad to me, but I think it's a better decision.
December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)Well, it's easy to do a quick answer to this -- I made an awesome saffron black bean orzo dish a couple nights ago using the ingredients in the recipe. And I need to make Christmas cookies and need to clear time to do so, likely on Sunday, which is the day I've blocked on the calendar. But given the nature of the other questions, I'm guessing I should attempt a deeper answer. It's tough. Everything that comes to mind is cooking-related. I made Thanksgiving dinner for 9. I made a strawberry cake for my cousin and his wife. I'm not very crafty and don't really make things.
Here are my recent photos of those last two things I've made (cake in hospital, and Thanksgiving with partial pics of my cousin's wife and their daughters):
I can come up with many non-food things I need to make -- tops on the list are my 2011 resolutions, and our wedding scrapbook. I'll probably do the resolutions at some point while flying for the holidays. And the wedding scrapbook might be a good New Year's weekend project, though it's been on my to-do list for ages and still isn't done, so making it happen in the next month isn't particularly likely.
December 7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)This one is easy since I started this blog this year, so I've officially joined the blogging community. I'd read a few blogs for a long time, but never had a strong desire to start my own. I can't pinpoint exactly why I did, but it's been a fun way to chronicle my training and more. Getting that BQ was a long time coming. I'd kept a diary at various stages when I lived at home. And then I journaled some in law school and periodically since then, but this is the most consistently I've ever written for pleasure.
As for looking to 2011, it's hard to say. For years, I've wanted to join something like the French meet-up group so I can get my language skills there back up to par, but since we're going to Italy this spring, I think I'd be better off studying Italian more (not that it will help much, my husband's family speaks dialect more than Italian). I was very involved with the Italian group here, but that ended up draining a lot of my energy and I pulled back after a few years of varying levels of involvement, including one term on the board of a related non-profit. So I don't want to dive back into that too enthusiastically. I'm already very involved in a running group. I don't want to get involved in anything else professionally. So maybe just getting more involved in an online community? It will be fun to follow the blogs of people who will also be running Boston in April, so maybe that can be my focus. But of course I'm still going to keep reading all my old favorite blogs, running-related, Boston-related, travel-related or not!
Today's responses aren't probably as deep or reflective as they should be, but it's all I've got right now!