Hyvää uutta vuotta! Buon anno! Bonne Année! Happy New Year!
Sending you the absolute best wishes for this new year, on whose advent many of us have pinned high hopes for a measurable improvement in fate compared to what we collectively endured in 2020. To quote Emily Dickinson:
I wish you a kinder sea.
And to borrow from an old Irish blessing that my first grade teacher, Sister Teresa, had us recite daily in the narrow first-floor classroom of my small parochial grade school:
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
I often think of this generously-spirited couplet while running, when its material aims would afford considerable physical relief, but it’s just dawned on me now, as I peck out this note to you on my laptop, that perhaps those words materialized by divine intervention during this year in which I have often yearned for felicitation, grasping at the slenderest of victories, angling for respite, clawing for good.
So, yes — in 2021, I wish you kinder seas, gentler winds, and a rising tide that will lift all boats…
+2020 was definitely a year in which I celebrated the normal days of yore.
+I am currently watching the Hulu adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel, “Normal People,” and whew! Did somebody turn on the heat?! Yowza!
+In advance of more snow, ordering this inflatable snow innertube. We just don’t have the space to stow another bulky seasonal item like a sled, but this can collapse…genius!
+If you staring into the face of an interminably long winter with children, a few thoughts on basement activities that might provide some indoor exercise and/or distraction:
FORT BUILDING KIT (MY SIBS AND I WOULD HAVE BEEN ALL OVER THIS)
CARDBOARD PLAYHOUSE (EMORY WOULD FLIP, ESPECIALLY AT THE OPPORTUNITY TO COLOR/DECORATE!)
MORE INDOOR ACTIVITIES HERE
+Still on a puzzle kick. I find it so relaxing to work on a puzzle while listening to an audiobook and drinking a cup of tea (this is my all-time favorite flavor) while the children are napping/having quiet time. I used to feel guilty — “I could be doing so much more productive things!” — but now I recognize these little pockets of an hour or so as an opportunity to recharge the batteries in a meaningful way.
+Oof. A little tough to revisit this post on what I learned in 2019. I mean, can we all agree that we aged and matured about two decades in 2020? I don’t even know where to begin with what I learned this year. In some ways, it feels like we’re too close-up to draw any meaningful conclusions. (More on this idea here.)
+On that point: NYC is still a shock.
+What are you cooking this year? Any new cookbook recommendations? I could use some inspo — let’s swap ideas? Here are a few beloved recipes you might want to try:
DELICIOUS COUSCOUS SALAD — IT’S SUMMERY, BUT I EAT IT YEAR ROUND
+My favorite cookbooks here. (Still love and use all of these routinely.)
+Why is it that certain things pertaining to aging happen in dribs and drabs?
+Do you have an artificial tree? Mr. Magpie has been begging me to switch to artificial for years, and I think I might be waffling finally. I found this clever storage bag in case you need a better place to stow it than free-form in the eaves of your garage (or in a decaying box). (They also have one for wreaths!)
+On the subject of Christmas trees: I’m guessing many of the ornaments I was obsessing about this year will be on sale soon! Post-Christmas is always such a good time to score deals on holiday decor for the next season. And now’s a good time to buy a better storage solution for ornaments.
+Speaking of ice blue, these joggers and this matching sweatshirt are in my cart at the moment. I am trying to hold out until I can legitimize the purchase of a fancier Le Set loungewear situation but the blue is calling my name! And you know j’adore a funnelneck.
+Yes to this striped tee in all the colors.
+More of my shopping list here.