It all started with those dadgum Christmas decorations. Christmas decorations. You know the ones, right? The ones you lovingly take out, admire, display, remember, and enjoy for a few weeks. The same ones on New Years Day you look at and despise for daring to clutter up your home. And then you huff and you puff and shove them up into the attic again.
Well, the scene isn’t quite set for you because you didn’t know that my whole family came down with the flu right after Christmas. It was lots of fun. Not really. I thought my eyes were going to pop out of my head at one point because my head hurt so bad and I was so hot. Not hot like that, now. Disgusting. My husband and I spent two days in bed together hacking and coughing and sweating out our fevers. It was not romantic. Also, the kids were ahead of us, and I was glad because they were well enough to feel a little sorry for their mother. So, after this, you can imagine what the house looked like complete with germs plus all those Christmas decorations.
A few days after New Years, I was feeling strong enough to tackle the mess and start anew. After only a few groans, the girls were moving and so was I. They had the tree cleared off in no time, and I packed away the stockings. I was contemplating how to pack the little church that was my mama’s which got knocked off onto the floor this year and is pretty much broken now but I don’t care because I will never throw it out, and Maile said, “You know what we should do?” “What?” I asked, curious at her tone of wonder. “We should write letters to ourselves and put them in the Christmas decoration buckets! Then when we get them out again next December, we can read them!”
Immediately, Lydia dropped the ornament she was holding and ran to get some paper. That girl has enthusiasm. I told Maile I thought that was a great idea, brilliant even. Claire looked pensive. Then she disappeared. Lydia had a tiny corner of a sheet from a legal pad she had torn off at which Maile scoffed. Maile grabbed a legal pad and went to town. She wrote in every line a page and a half…pink ink on yellow paper is hard to read by the way. I tried, but I have no idea what that girl was saying to herself. Lydia kept saying her beginning out loud, “Dear 2015 Lydia!” Protests flew from Maile about the incorrectness of her statement. “You’re already 2015 Lydia! Oh my gosh!” I chuckled.
I went in the office and grabbed some envelopes. I began to write on a smaller note pad with a gold sharpie keeping my list short, simple, complete with high expectations. Lydia read hers aloud. No one else did. We shoved them all in envelopes. I wrote my name on the envelope and threw it in the green bucket with the stockings. Lydia wrote her name with a few doodles and carefully place her letter in the arms of the snowman with spaghetti legs who sits on our mantle at Christmas time. Claire reappeared with a folded paper and quickly sealed it into an envelope. Maile spent 30 minutes decorating the outside of her envelope before placing it in the bin. Matt arrived home and wrote a note to himself, a bit begrudgingly I might add. He was glad after he did it, I just know it. Anna was out of town so I need to include her when she gets home. The rest of the day, we worked our fingers to the bone. Not really, I just wanted to say that because it’s kind of a gross saying. The point is our home was transformed back to order and space. Lovely.
Everyone can use a new beginning right? I am starting this year anew with a year behind me that included a lot of accomplishments. New goals are etching out of me this week, and one of them has to do with this little blog. I have goals for the girls. I have running hopes. And this year contains a little dream of mine that has been in the works forever (stay tuned). You could use a new start, I can tell. So, why not start it with a note to yourself. Don’t be shy. Go get some paper. You might want more than a corner. A gold sharpie makes everything more sparkly. And remember.
Always simply begin.