I am a freelance, nonfiction writer who cares about the environment, individuality, creative expression, and simplicity. I'm glad you've found my blog, and I hope you'll join in the conversation by leaving a comment. Disagreements are allowed, even encouraged, but cruelty, vulgarity, and slander is not.

Keeping Time.

December 15th, 2008

I'm not going to get much sleep this week.  How do I know?  I looked at my calendar.

It's important to review our calendars at the beginning of each week to remind ourselves of upcoming commitments. The transition from whimsical weekend schedules to deadline-filled weekday timetables is made easier when we know where we are going. I already know my days this week will start early and end late, so I want to be careful not to commit to anything else unless absolutely necessary.

Additionally, my appointment-keeping tool is a simple one. It's a generic, spiral-bound, Staples model that lies flat when I open it and shows me a picture of my entire month.  It takes no batteries.  I don't have to synchronize it with anything.  I can erase or scratch out commitments when they change.  It's as flat as a tablet of paper and fits easily into my totebag.  It serves my needs perfectly.

What kind of calendar do you like to use?  Are you able to get a clear picture of your week ahead?  Are you going to get enough sleep this holiday season?

A Secret Santa.

December 10th, 2008

I think I have already received the best holiday gift for 2008.

I acquired it through a Secret Santa Gift Exchange between wonderful friends.  We each contributed and then selected, switched, fought over, and clutched one anonymous gift. When the hostess determined the game was complete, we tore open our surprise. Of the 12 people in the room, I was lucky enough to have "won" the best gift of the pile.

I overheard the contributor later downplay the item by describing how inexpensive it was. She quietly explained to an envious audience that the costs involved were minimal. I think the total came to about $2.

Why then was my gift so special? Because it was a piece of the giver. She had contributed a small, personally hand-painted picture of three Santas. Lori is humble, yet her art is esteemed by the few who know about it. I nearly cried when I opened my surprise. 

Our talents are not always as tangible as a painting. But they are our individual gift. When we share this gift with a friend or loved one, we give a piece of ourselves. There was a second handmade piece in the exchange, and I expect that the recipient cherishes her's too.

So how do we wrap up a piece of ourselves when our talents are not so easily transferred into a beautiful painting?  Your thoughts, please?