--Thinking I'd buy Dave Brubeck's Christmas CD, I went to Amazon this morning. The CD is temporarily sold out. I thought about an MP3 download, which would be cheaper. But one of the reviewers talked about how delightful the liner notes are. Then I looked at a picture of the cover and thought, I wonder if I already own this. I went to my collection, and sure enough, there it is. I feel that happy feeling of saving money and instant gratification. Thanks, Kristin of the past, for buying this CD and making me happy today!
--I started my work week by decorating the school Christmas tree and I finished it by going to the holiday party. Both events made me happier than I anticipated. Very few of us showed up to decorate the tree on Monday, so we didn't have the arguments about design that we might have had if lots of people had arrived, each with their own ideas of how the tree should look. And the holiday party was a luncheon with a full meal that was actually tasty. I had time to catch up with people and to get to know new people better. Wonderful!
--After the luncheon, some of us retired to the conference room and enjoyed more talk over coffee that we brewed. The luncheon had all sorts of non-alcoholic beverages, but no coffee--My only complaint. But as we drank coffee, we caught up with some colleagues who hadn't gone to the luncheon--nifty!
--A week ago, I did some subdued decorating for Christmas. But it makes me happy to see the holiday placemats, the fireplace mantel, the needlepoint picture of a nativity scene that my Grandmother did years ago.
--My strange eye condition has cleared right up. So far, the cold that I often get in December hasn't appeared. Hurrah for health!
--I finished my essay on women poets and their use of Greek mythology to explore issues of work. I may write a more sustained post about this soon. As with many a piece of writing, it surprised me. At first, my academic writing skills felt rusty, but I warmed up quickly. By yesterday, when I called it done, the biggest surprise was how I had managed to transform it from a clunky piece of disjointed awkwardness to a graceful essay.
--Just in time, I got permission from the publisher to quote from Kathleen Flenniken's Plume in my essay. You may be wondering why I had to do that. Isn't it a Fair Use issue? Apparently not. I'd figured out a way to talk about the poems in "Augean Suite" without quoting, but the permission to quote made me so happy. I went back, added quotes, and sent the essay to the editor of the anthology.
--I'm the head of a fairly large department, so the issue of buying Christmas gifts for my department members isn't one I wrestle with; I don't make that kind of money. However, I do write a personal note on a Christmas card for each department member. I use the term "personal note" loosely. I write the same note in every card because I don't want to risk anyone feeling slighted. I write: "Thanks so much for all you do for our students, our department, and our school." I sign my name. You might be astonished at how much time that takes. So, I was very happy to get my departmental Christmas cards done and put in boxes before I left last night. I felt like an elf, leaving cards, happy at the thought of people starting their work weeks with a Christmas card.
--I'm also pleased with how I've managed to stay sane in terms of our schedule. I have had Decembers where we've been double and triple-booked at social events. This year, I've done a good job at calendar management.
--It could make me sad, the possibility that we have fewer invitations this year, but I'm not going to think about that. There may be one or two fewer parties, but for the most part, I'm seeing social events that have been moved which makes it easier on our personal calendar. For example, our church used to do a variety of holiday activities on Saturdays throughout December, but now most of those activities have been moved to Sunday. Having Thanksgiving as early as it's possible to have the holiday helps.
--Our campus pastor from our college years was in town, and he came to our house for dinner on Thursday. Words can't really express how wonderful this evening was, but I tried to do it justice in this blog post. We had a great meal, wonderful conversation, and then we lit the candle of the Advent wreath and shared some Advent devotional time. Thursday night was nourishing in all sorts of ways.
--Yes, if I had to choose one word to describe this week, it would be nourishing. I've had great meals shared with good friends. I've read lots of poetry as I've written my essay. I've done academic writing, along with a poem, and the start of a short story. I've been successful with my Advent intention of lighting the candle and praying several times a week. I got a great deal on a case of yummy wine. I've been reminded that my workplace may have annoyances, but it's got many benefits too--and one of the most important ones is the chance to work with a wide variety of people, most of whom seem to genuinely like each other.
The Summer of Reading
2 months ago