The first month of 2011 is marching industriously out the door, and it was a good month. There were all the usual ups and downs of school and viruses, time-sucking events, and dark dour weather that precluded photography. The plans and intentions for the year are still holding together however, largely because they were built with all these factors in mind. Not only did I factor in time buffers, but also (and perhaps more importantly) some guilt buffers. Personal permissions: to fall down and get up again, to interrupt and resume, to regularly assess and adjust without the self-imposed label of failure.
Celebration is slowly working its way into our family mindset. We started with family dinners - each of us relating one thing to celebrate from our day. We've always discussed our various experiences over dinner, but in this case I asked that we each come up with at least one good thing. It had a powerful effect, more so even than I had anticipated, and although the practice got derailed for a little when illness and extracurricular events combined to disrupt the dinner routine, it will resume soon.
I was completely enamoured with all the candle stories in the comments of the Solstice post, and came up with the fanciful notion of a wine bottle holding a succession of colourful drippy candles, just like in my childhood. Our version would be lit every mealtime throughout the year, and the layers of wax would become a tangible reminder of our accumulated moments of celebration. Except we couldn't find the traditional wicker-enclosed Chianti anywhere in town, and mislaid the drippy candles while waiting for the right wine bottle to come along.
It will still happen, and it will not have a Whole Year's Worth of commemorative wax when it finally does, and that will be just fine. (In any case, a certain someone will not be able to resist picking off bits, and the dog will retrieve the larger chunks of family joy from the carpet and crunch them into tiny fragments in a less than ideal location... and that too will be fine. Better than Silly Putty, at any rate.)
I'd still like to add more seasonal milestone celebrations to our family's life rhythm, and as February starts off auspiciously, I'm working on ideas for the occasion. (The children have, predictably, suggested cake.)
How was your January?