Everyone is doing it. The year in review. 2006. What do we remember? In pictures. In film. In politics. In environmental disasters. It was the year of _____. Fill in the blank as it suits you.
Where does my reflection take me? Well. I keep a tally of books I’ve read this year and even the ones I haven’t finished reading. I like to keep the list in a place where I can see it and feel good about what I’m reading or remind me to read more. I used to keep it in the inside pocket or very first page of my journal. Although when journals took longer to fill, the lists of books became longer as well. Now that most journal entries are posted on the world wide web, it has a different feeling to it. Less tangible, but always there to see. I suppose I can review the more recent lists anytime I sit down at a computer and take a stroll through my blog. But the lists of the past, they exist only in the early pages of journals. Dozens of them. Hiding away in my mom’s ‘hope chest.’ Where someday when Ali and I have a more permanent home, I can gather them up and hide them away in my own special place.
Back to the book list: my goal was to finish Love in the Time of Cholera before the new year began. I finished it this morning. My reading patterns tend to be during my commute to and from work and then at night before I go to bed, this is flexible, but also the only time I tend to find during the work week to read now that I live in London. While in Switzerland, well that was another story. So, this afternoon, I ticked off the book as ‘read this year’ and headed over to shelve it. I have dozens more waiting for me to read, as does Ali. And he stuffed three more books into my stocking this year, so which one will be the first of 2007?
As I look over my list, I see a recurrent theme among the titles of the texts. Love. Best Sex Writing 2005. Prince Caspian. We Were the Mulvaneys. The Great Gatsby. The Falls. The Penelopiad. Rape: A Love Story. Maps for Lost Lovers. Matilda. Love in the Time of Cholera. Most of them were read while I was in Switzerland, while I had plenty of time. And not many folks to spend it with. I don’t have some grand epiphany about my books and how they all fit together. Ali would say ‘oh, it’s just a bunch of women writers,’ which is NOT true as you can clearly see and as we add the two that I have yet to finish -and I will- Lolita and Snow. But essentially, aside from a couple of them, they all have something to do with love. Peculiar. Or not. Since the year two-thousand-and-six for me, was, essentially, all about love. Engaged, reunited and married all in the one year. Beautiful.
So it’s no surprise, that when I stumbled upon the Mayfly Project, my twenty-four words which were to sum up my year, were in fact. All about love. And it’s various forms.
“Switzerland: living alone
London: new job, home, friends
England: mom visists
Little Gidding: married
Michigan: visit family, friends
happy with myself, hubby”
At the end of every year since 2000, we invite readers to look back on the last twelve months of their lives and reflect on what has been important, defining or constant during that particular year, and then sum their year up in just 24 words.
We believe that embracing the constraint of summing up the last year in a handful of words helps to focus what has really mattered.
Take the challenge. Vist the site above and leave your mark. Or just think about it. Jot it down in your journal. Tell a friend. Someone you love (!) Take a reflective moment.
Happy New Year. There were challenges and triumphs in 2006, but there was also a lot of LOVE.