Time is whipping by. I am in school now, and finals are suddenly upon me. I have a birthday next Saturday and was planning on cooking all day, grounding myself in the kitchen where my feet feel most rooted, laying out platters on the kitchen island and cocktails, too, filling up friends with food and drink, filling up my heart in so doing. It is the best side of me, I think. What better way to enter a new decade?
But the menu has not yet taken shape, and undone dishes lurk in the kitchen, surely trying to intimidate me. There is a murky financial situation to deal with. There are the aforementioned finals. There are Christmas presents to make or maybe, in a pinch, purchase. And yet, in between trying to make sense of and find time for these things, I find my mind drifting, daydreaming about more and more projects I would like to take on. Why does this happen, this unstoppable brainstorming when I am most overwhelmed? Actually, let’s not look too deeply into that. I’m guessing it smacks of escapism. Maybe let’s just run with it anyway.
I have a birthday coming, which, for me, means reflection and resolution. Most of that is private jibber jabber, appropriate only in my journal, but some of it, the scheming, brainstorming, creative part, is quite relevant to this blog. And so, some resolutions.
In the next week, I will clean, sew, make some cheese, read some recipes, cook some food, mix some drinks, do some homework, start some finals. I will enter my first food contest. I will finish my birthday present for my 2-year-old niece. Not necessarily in that order. These are the commitments I have already made. In the next 2 weeks, I will get through the finals, be in a wedding, find appropriate tokens of affection for my loved ones for the holidays, make what I can make, buy what I can buy, travel and come home, and then I will take a deep breath, stop cramming, look forward.
And so. Looking forward.
In the coming year, I would like to do more crafty things. I would like to have something to show for it (not to keep, you understand, but just to put out into the world). Here are some things I would like to complete in the coming year, not the most pressing, necessarily, but the things that are on my wandering mind this week:
- bottled bitters all in a row, imagined uses for all of them
- this crazy deliciousness and other boozy concoctions
- homemade tonic syrup
- more shiny jars filled with jam and fruit butter than I managed to fill this year
- hard cheeses (this one requires equipment that might not come into reach, but let’s keep it on the list while we’re in the scheming stage)
- kefir, yogurt, various other fermentables
- a finished quilt: pieced, basted, quilted, bound
- new pillows to cheer up my slightly haggard sofa
- the imperial IPA Shawn has wanted to brew for ages
- the secret-ingredient tripel I dreamed up months ago
- some dresses, some skirts, some things to wear
- soap from scratch — lye and fats, the whole shebang
- combs, clips, fascinators (it makes my mom excessively happy to see me put things on my head — this is really a service I provide, like putting on the Talking Heads when I visit, a little spot of sunshine I can bring)
I have this little book, a gift from a friend, that reminds me to write ideas down.
The list is sure to expand. The book will fill up bit by bit. Surely I will have time when the crunch of December passes to breathe, to look the list over and see what makes sense at any given time, to get things done. I look forward to the new year, to some kitchen and craft-room creation (and by craft-room, I think I mean livingroom). These are some ideas that I have. These are thoughts that keep me happy. So bring on the birthday. Bring on the new decade. Bring on finishing school, new career, continued exploring, expanded breath, the time to make things, and the lists to remind me to get things made.