Sunday, December 30, 2007


The New Year is right around the corner. I really like taking the opportunity to reflect and assess and make changes each year. My New Year's have generally been quiet affairs (except for one spent hopping from one Dunkin Donuts to the next in Boston on an incredibly cold New Year's night) and I always felt a little embarrassed at how quietly the New Year would come. I have never had the glamorous New Year's party of Harry and Sally where I would need a new dress and special hair. But, now I think that just might be okay.

I am more of a reflector than a hoopla maker, anyway. Unless the hoopla involves baking.

This year I have several goals that I am trying to organize under one umbrella goal. I like the idea of having one thought or one word that acts as a guide for the year. Last year, the word was 'create'. And I think it would be fair to say that I met that goal.

Right now I am thinking through the mom part of being a work-at-home mom. Maybe for obvious reasons. I will be more mom this year. Well, at least mom to more people. And honestly, I struggle a bit with time with Andrew. We do all kinds of parallel play, but unless wrestling, there are few things that we actually do together. I want to explore this a bit this year. Doing things that engage Andrew and I. Things we both like to do. And doing them regularly. I am thinking through ideas of over-parenting and under-parenting and wondering what the balance should be for Andrew and I and soon for Sprout too.

Another thing I am thinking through is reading. I am a terrible reader. I am terrible at finding books. I don't particularly like buying books because then I will have to store them. And I think that is a waste because I really only read a book once (unless it is some sort of reference book). But, I have had a really hard time using our local library as a resource. I am thinking of lightning up on the 'only buy reference books' ban and stake a claim for the stimulation that comes through reading. Unfortunately Barnes and Noble and Borders are way better at showing me the books I want to read than the Brooklyn Public Libraries.

And the last thing is food. I guess I always really am thinking about food. How to cook balanced vegetarian dinners. How to make simple, colorful, delicious meals. I think about it everyday as I cook. But, I would like to be more playful in the kitchen. Experiment more. Right now I am reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver (thanks, Tara!!!) and I wondering if she will really be able to convince me to seek out more local options for food. I have a feeling she will, but let's wait and see.

So, I just thought I would share with you my New Year's thoughts as they are coming together. Another trick is to not let go of 'create'. It has been such a wonderful discovery for me to see how creativity is so important to me. But, I think it would be arrogant and impossible to think I could work on all of these areas and do them justice. So, as I continue to do what I do and think and reflect while doing what I do, I am hoping to be struck by a clear, tangible focus for the New Year.

I am excited to see what this year has in store for us. I have a feeling it will be a good one.

On your mark, get set...


Ms. Walker said...

Hi Robyn, good luck with all those goals!
I love reading and never have trouble finding books, but I have the same storage issue -- I'm out of it! I just recently heard of a service like Netflix, but for paperback books...I don't remember the name, but I'm sure you could find it. Maybe that would work for you?

Robyn said...

A friend emailed me a link to that. I could find it for you if you want. My trouble with that system is knowing what books to ask for. I browsed the site and still didn't know what I want to read. Pathetic. I think I'll start off by using bookstores and morphing to freer more sustainable options.

Firefly said...

Hey Robyn,

I was thinking your stamp system might work with books, too. You know how you were saying you go through your stamps each year and sell some of them online to make room for new ones? You could sell books online, too, for the same purpose. There might also be a place in the 'hood where you could donate books.

I underuse the library, too. Theoretically, libraries are a good idea, but they never end up being free for me because I can't remember to get the books back in time so I rack up huge fines. And I frequently lose the books for several months before I find them again in some random place, at which point I've already had to pay $30 to the library to replace an old, dog-eared book that was worth $7.99 to begin with. I HATE that. Libraries are for responsible people who finish books in under three weeks and return them. Not for me.

But I want to know about the Netflix thing. Do you know what it is called?

Holly D. said...

Hey Robyn-
I just bought Barbara Kingslover's new book myself. I just haven't gotten a chance to read it yet. I love reading and I have a ton of books waiting for me on the shelf right now ( at a time!) Here are some other suggestions: If you like Barabara's style of writing, she wrote another book called The Prodigal Summer. It's a fictional novel about 3 people who sort of intertwine with eachother. Easy, good reading. If you like reading about food (especially since one of your goals has to do with cooking) check out Omnivore's Dilemnia by Michael Pollen. It's a great book about food production in America. He explores meat production, organic vegetable production, foraging and life on a farm. The beginning of the book can be depressing in a way, but it gets better. Very enlightening!
Most of the time, I read nonfictional books which sort of explore different things in our society (i.e. food production). I have read a lot of the last couple years and have some great books. If you want some other suggestions, let me know...then maybe you can find your way into what you like to read.

Robyn said...

have at it!

Ms. Walker said...

Hi ladies, I use my local library all the time and I wouldn't, honestly, be good with the returning, etc. But, my library will email me when books are due -- which is fabulous. If your library has this feature, I say try it out! Despite that feature, I'd say I have paid about $25.00 in fees and replacement books -- but that is nothing compared to what I'd have spent buying all the books I've been able to read!

Seeking La Loba said...

Eric and I put a bunch of our books on BookMooch today (we've been cleaning house and had tons of books to throw out) and we already have 7 requests! 1 hour later. Now I have to see if I can get some books I want. :) Thanks for the URL.

Susan said...

you could check out as well. It sounds like it might be similar to book mooch.