I love this time of year. Call me a Grinch, but while I enjoy aspects of the holidays, I love the fresh slate of January even more. All the champagne and gifts and merriment need to end at some point, and what we’re left with is sensible, down-to-earth January.
January is a wonderful time to re-evaluate your life and cast a new vision for the year. I have a lot of balls rolling in my personal and professional life. January is the perfect time to dive into projects with gusto and prune back areas that need pruning.
For one project, I’m looking at applying for a grant from the Gilroy Foundation. Their application cycle opened last month and will remain open through the end of January. The Gilroy Foundation has seeded many local organizations and causes and they are actively looking for new ideas to support. Think your organization has what it takes to win a grant? Applications can be found on their website.
I’m also loving the minimalism of my home post-holidays. I was a little sad to see the Christmas decorations go, as I am every year, but this year I embraced the clean slate the giant dead tree and festive knick-knacks left in their wake. For a moment I even considered leaving my mantle entirely bare. I ended up putting a couple things on it but stuck with a minimalist theme. Blank spaces give me space to breathe.
When I was up at my parents last month, my mom asked me to go through a box of stuff I’d been storing at her house for…. oh, just nearly fifteen years. In it, I found my old poetry collection. Louise Gluck, Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Ezra Pound, Sylvia Plath, and more. I read poetry as an angsty young college student but as I got older, “real life” got in the way and I stopped reading it for a decade. I took those old books home and I’ve been reading parts of them each night. It’s been healing in a way--rediscovering an old part of myself that had gone dormant. I don’t really make New Year’s Resolutions, but I did tell myself I’d read poetry in 2018.
While I don’t make resolutions, I do like to find a word or phrase to set intentions for the year. This year, I’m thinking of borrowing something I saw on a mug at Starbucks: “Speak Your Kind.” I love this because with my memoir coming out this year, I’ll be speaking my truth a lot. But as I go boldly in that direction, I want to remember to do it from a place of radical love and kindness.
Happy New Year, dear readers!