Prompt: Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?
Did you know that a sense of wonder doesn’t relieve depression? I used to think that I didn’t have my attitude of gratitude, or enough curiosity or a cultivated sense of wonder, and that whole idea is crap. My girls are a constant source of wonder. Watching their personalities develop, enjoying their funny and profound comments, just reflecting on their origins as a few cells in my womb, all that is amazing. If I have any illusions that it will make me feel any better, I’m doomed.
Prompt: Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?
And that is one thing I have to keep letting go, the idea that good things will make me feel better, that trying to be more mindful, for example, will lift depression. It won’t. Struggling too hard is part of my problem. Do you remember the Devil’s Snare in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets? The more you struggle the tighter it holds.
I also had to let go my father, and with him what feels like my final ties to childhood. My memories seem more tenuous, tethered to nothing. Only a small, small portion of his life remains as stories, some that he recorded and some that my brothers and I tell each other. I’ve now let him and my mother go, and as much as possible, my regrets that my children will never know them as more than shadowy memories, theirs and my own.
Prompt: Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?
The last thing I made was a pan of fudge for work. I looked for the easiest recipe I could find, one that wouldn’t require a candy thermometer or dropping bits of goo into cold water to read the signs. I used butter, milk chocolate chips, and sweetened condensed milk. I don’t know if it’s good – it sounds rather bland and mind-bogglingly sweet. But I had to make something for work to go round a lot of people. I did it with bad grace.
What do I need to make in the next year? There is an ongoing need to clear time for writing. Writing for fun. Dear Husband gets aggravated that I don’t find a way to write for money, and that always grates on me, as if writing is only valuable if it earns its way, if it manifests itself as a book with and advance and royalties and, dare I say, an audience. I’m happy with a very small audience. For years I made do with the audience of myself. Writing for me is a pleasure, but not a frivolous one. Also, I finally need to put 10 years of photos into albums and print out 5 years of photos that exist only in the ether right now. That is something I can give to my children, a map of memories.