between the autumns of 2012 and 2013, i lived in china. although I've been back for a long time now, i still think about time in relation to that year i spent away from new york. i think that i thought that i would have accomplished a lot more than I have during the year+ that i have been home, but maybe i am being too hard on myself. or maybe not. (it's a common complaint among those writing dissertations, no doubt.) at any rate, it's now 2015, and time again to think about the expectations that i want to set for myself. i'm going to be teaching and writing, and also thinking about whether or not this scholarly life is one that i will pursue. after all, i have a lot of other interests that have nothing to do with academia or ngos, as this blog so clearly shows.
anyone who knows me knows that tidying is one of these interests. i was always very particular about keeping a clean house, but this book really took it to the next level for me. i've already made it the topic of far too many conversations. but it seems like an apt topic for the threshold of a new year, doesn't it?
yesterday, i packed up the holiday decorations and tucked them back under the stairs. the living room feels tidier without them, but i am itching to cull away a bit more. maybe it's sarah's influence, or all those minimalist rooms i've been seeing on remodelista. god knows hhh and i love our tchotchkes, but i'm hoping somehow that 2015 will be the year we decluttered our lives. we're off to a good start, i think - hhh spent the better part of our holiday break in california sorting through the debris of his childhood (although i think he would say "treasures"). have you ever sorted through an entire lifetime's worth of mementos? i wouldn't recommend it. (i have never seen such so many pez dispensers in one place before. nor snapple caps from the 1990s.) to prevent this fate, i'm going to be more deliberate and mindful of the things i buy and keep. the housing works up the street should also expect to see me hauling bags to their door with increasing frequency.
but hhh's great purge also unearthed some delights. among them: pencil sketches by his grandfather (including this incredible likeness of queen elizabeth), his first book (written when he was 13 in 1990, about a father who goes off to war in iraq), and a misshapen wooden carving of his adolescent hand made in shop class, which i insisted on bringing back. after all, home wouldn't be home without the things that remind us of those we love.
so, with that in mind, it's back to decluttering - but remembering that there is room for the most precious of tokens. (but you really gotta be careful here.)
have a wonderful 2015! xoxo