Tuesday, December 7, 2010

True Confessions

28º ~ coldest night so far this winter, 22º, but bright sun, a few puffy clouds barely moving, nearly all the leaves that will drop have dropped, some will refuse all winter

So, here we are in Finals Week, and I should be jumping for joy because I've completed the grading of my composition papers and only have the world lit exams left to grade tomorrow.  I have exit conferences with my comp students today and Thursday.  Then, all the grades will be tucked in tight and I'll be free, free, free.  And yet, I continue to feel sluggish and unmotivated.  To complicate things, my Puritanical, Midwestern ethos seems to have settled in and I continue to flog myself for not taking advantage of all the extra time for writing that opens up before me when a semester dwindles to an end.

If history holds any consolation, I believe this mood will shift, but the muddling through it is no fun.

Still, I'm thankful for so many things:
time and health
the sun
great blog friends
great poetry friends
great friends in general
a warm house
two warm cats
a wonderful extended family, perhaps distant in geography, but not in love
a wonderful and amazing spouse whom I love and who loves me back


I finished Housekeeping the other day and am dazzled all over again by Marilynne Robinson's skill.  There's a poet behind each of the sentences in this book; the whole thing sizzles with imagery, metaphor, and music.  I dog-eared so many of the pages that the top of the book bulges now.  I added as many underlines and notes in the margin as I'd written the first go-round.  I stand in awe.  Y'all stop whatever you are doing and go read this book, right now!


True confessions, indeed.  Don't hate me, Dear Reader, but I am not a fan of decorating for Christmas.  My mother loves Christmas and does the house up right.  My mother-in-law will have decorated several trees already in her house, especially for the DAR tea she hosts each year.  My sisters have the tree and the lights and all the trimmings.  I loved it all as a child/young adult.  Have I been replaced by alien pod people?  Or am I just lazy, since I love the trees and lights that are done up by others?  Or am I burned out from a long semester?  (Maybe Scrooge was actually a teacher??) We can blame the fact that there is no tree in our house on our young cat.  We adopted her in May of 2009 and within a few weeks I knew that there'd be no tree last year.  C. held out hope that she would 'mature' this year, but no, no tree again.  Her one goal in life is to knock down whatever isn't nailed down.  She loves to push things off desks and coffee tables.  She lives to up-end coffee cups and pop cans, the more liquid in them, the better.  No amount of 'discipline' dissuades her.  I drink from an adult sippy cup for obvious reasons.  Still, we fell in love with her on one meeting and wouldn't give her up for the world.  Now, she makes a great reason for de-cluttering most of the house...a way I prefer to live anyway.  However, during the holidays, the lack of decorations does subdue the cheer a bit.  Another character flaw with which to wrestle... 

For reassurance, I'm no Grinch, no Scrooge.  I do love the spirit of the holidays and wish you all a special season with lots of food and family/friends and time for reflection, too.


Tricia said...

This sums up cats and Christmas, basically

Karen J. Weyant said...

I won't judge you, Sandy -- I dislike decorating too! Right now I have a wreath with bells on my doorknob -- which my kittens play with all night long. I can imagine what they would do to a Christmas tree!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Ah, Tricia, thanks for the laugh.

Karen, I imagine those bells are cute the first go-round, but maybe not at midnight! :) Thanks.

Kristin said...

Scrooge as adjunct faculty in the business department . . . hmmm. I'm going to play with this idea in poem form, if you don't mind.

We could have real fun and write companion poems! (no pressure of course; downtime is vital, and it sounds like that's what you're needing).

But if a Christmas poetry exchange sounds fun, I'm game (instead of cookies--less calories!).

Sandy Longhorn said...

Lovely image, Kristin. Let me mull it over a bit. :)

Anonymous said...

We are so uninspiring re: xmas decorating, that last year when Lance actually brought home a tree -- some guy was practically giving them away for $15 -- we didn't even have ornaments to decorate it with. We do have lights however. Easy enough to string 'em around the ceiling with tacks. That puts me in the Christmas spirit. Happy end-of-semester to you!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, Marie! Maybe I'll get inspired and do something with the lights.

Kathleen said...

I just took down my Halloween decorations. Orange heads will roll...

Sandy Longhorn said...

Love it, Kathleen!