A List for January


Here are some random thoughts from January.

  1. Everything that is required of me right now is basically the opposite of my skill set.
  2. If I manage to make it through the next few months with my marriage, my sanity, and the majority of my friendships intact, I’ve basically won at life.
  3. I’m bouncing between procrastination, overwhelm, and squashing my to do list.
  4. While procrastinating, I’m Knitflixing dishrags, socks, and watching the BBC/Masterpiece Theater Victoria and Vikings (I think from the history channel) from Amazon Prime.
  5. For someone who is NOT a keeper of stuff, I really have way too much stuff.
  6. I think it would be really lovely to sell off every earthly possession, buy an Airstream, and just spend a year trekking around North America with Jesse and the kids.
  7. Or have a hobby farm.
  8. But only if I had someone to help take care of the hobby farm. (Because there is a gaping hole between the person that I would love to be and the person I actually am and that gaping hole is made up of laziness and a distaste for physical labor/discomfort).
  9. If the world is really going to hell in a hand basket, this is going to be my guide for how to deal with it.
  10. Discomfort = growth. Growth = good.
  11. All of the problems I’m facing right now are GOOD problems.
  12. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
  13. What other people think of me is none of my business.
  14. I want to write again. Not just lists and Tuesday Things but actual writing. It may not be for awhile though.
  15. Once this remodel is done, I’m going to get back into the habit of creating art and cooking with my kids. I’m missing it.
  16. Days with inches and inches of snow and warm winter temperatures are some of my favorite.
  17. Houseplants can actually kind of become like pets.
  18. Down comforters in January are basically a requirement.
  19. It’s always fun to see your kids find a passion and then work toward it despite setbacks.
  20. When the list gets too long and everything is swirling – taking a nap is magic.


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  • Your photos are spectacular. The colors and details call to me. As for your list, I know a blogger who did exactly what you’re talking about in #6. The family sold it all, then moseyed around the USA with their kids, homeschooling as they went. Her blog was fascinating as they discovered the country and themselves. I don’t think she’s around anymore. It was a long time ago.

    • Thank you so much for the kind words about my pictures! I’ve been terrible lately about using my camera and I really do want to get back into the habit of using it! I’ve found a couple of blogs/articles about families that have chosen to do it. I really put some work into seeing if would be feasible, but it just really isn’t. I do like to dream about it though!

  • I love this post, Kate!
    I’m not sure how extensive your renovations are, but (FWIW), when we were going through ours I could barely think straight, let alone manage to write anything beyond to-do lists…
    Our move/renovations also highlighted the fact that we had way too much stuff. (Even though I didn’t think we actually DID have a lot, pre-move.) There’s a big difference between having your stuff stowed away in an organized fashion (where it “belongs”) and having it pulled out and boxed and then having to *actually* see it and *actually* deal with it! This was the point in time I discovered minimalism blogs, and although I’m not sure I could do the Airstream thing (or even a bit bigger — a tiny house), I do still dream of a much, much, much smaller house.
    I’m glad to see you knitting still. The other day I had to defend the fact that I was knitting my THIRD scarf of the season (it’s therapy, I said to my husband, and way cheaper than the real thing…) (and to my son, who ALSO commented on it: it’s fair trade yarn, I told him, and I’m supporting women in Uruguay…).

    Best of luck with everything that’s going on, Kate 🙂 !

    • Oh! It really has been an adventure so far and we haven’t even started anything in the house besides making decisions! Our whole main floor with be ripped apart at one part and it’s VERY exciting, but a bit nerve wracking too as we won’t be living here for part of it. My inlaws have graciously offered to keep a roof over our heads and I’m so grateful to them, but scared a bit at how all the moving pieces will work. I’m *SUCH* a creature of habit. I appreciate your well wishes. It’s going to be an interesting couple of months!!

  • Oh, Kate. Your lovely, lovely photos. It is hard to reconcile your images with your words, as the former make your life look idyllic. But I know that no one’s is, really. Still, I love those photos.

    I agree with #20. I let myself do that this weekend, and it felt SO good. I can’t remember the last time I did that on a Saturday afternoon. I had blocked it out as time to make some art, but I realized I was too tired for that. (It’s why I also haven’t responded to your last comment to me. I was too tired a lot of the weekend. But good tired, which is good.)

    I would love to see you write more–but I also love Tuesday Things and lists, which I consider to be real writing. Your list here is an essay, really. A hybrid between poem and essay, which is something I want to play with.

    You help me remember why I like winter. Thank you. 🙂

    • My photos help me remember what’s good too! My mom requested an old photo from a family trip this week and as I was digging through my pictures, I found so many from when my kids were little/little. I remember being exhausted and 100% certain I was totally mucking everything up, but I see those pictures of us at the park or making art or them sitting on their bean bags with stacks of board books and I’m kind of proud of how I lived those days. (I mean, I definitely mucked things up at times, but I was also so damn exhausted because I spent my days actively engaged with my kiddos.) I’m really trying to pick up my camera more because these days are a completely different kind of busy/exhausting but there’s just as much good stuff to remember.

      I’m so glad you had a chance to take a rest! Especially as you were the GOOD kind of tired. It’s such a pleasant thing – being GOOD tired and then giving your body what it needs.

      And thank you so much for your kind words on my writing. Our community recently started a literary journal that is accepting submissions March 1 for its second publication and I’ve been playing at the idea of working on/submitting a fiction piece that has been stewing. I don’t know that I consider myself a REAL writer but this seems like one of the growing/stretching/learning things that I want to do – even if my piece isn’t picked for publication.

      • Do it! Growing/stretching/learning is always good (even if not always comfortable). Also, anyone who writes is a real writer, which is a different thing from a published writer or a professional writer. I think the distinctions are valuable.