The January List
Updated: Jan 6
Happy New Year!
Last week, the week between Christmas and New Years, was very relaxing in my household. The studio closes during that time, so there was no commuting for me, and I got to slow down from the mad pace I'd been sustaining since November. After testing negative for Covid after our exposure, we were able to have childcare again for a few days and we got so much done around the house that we didn't have the time or energy for while quarantining with Jasper.
We rang in the New Year on the couch, rewatching Ocean's 11, eating leftovers, and tuning into the Times Square Ball Drop at 11:58pm with vesper martinis in hand. We went to bed shortly thereafter, but not before a candlelit first slow dance of 2022 in our pajamas.
Tomorrow, it'll be back to reality and responsibilities, and it feels like January can pick up steam quickly from there. This weekend, we'll be celebrating Jasper's first birthday with one of the two sides of our families (originally one event, we split it up to minimize exposure risk for our family members, then postponed my side once my sister tested positive for Covid a couple of days ago). Sometime soon, I'll be setting a start date for my new job, likely later this month. It'll be a huge change for me after a full calendar year away from work.
There's a lot going on this month, so I put together a January list meant to declutter my life and leave space for changing routines and new activities.
Clear electronic clutter
After getting a notification that my Google account storage has reached 70%, Kev has been encouraging me to unsubscribe to a few promotional email lists every day, and I have to say I like the idea of a less cluttered, more organized electronic life. This means taking a look at my Google Photos, Drive, and Gmail for items I can delete. It's a massive undertaking, especially going through my many many photos, but I can do a little bit here and there if I make an effort to open these apps during those times I'm mindlessly on my phone.
Complete some home/home studio projects
There are a few small projects that we've had on the list for some time, and which we began to tackle last week. I'd like to get these out of the way this month so I don't have to think about them anymore:
Fix the water damage in the basement and bedroom
Repaint water damage, basement stairs, and touch-ups as needed
Pour the plaster for my clay wedging board
Make a plinth for product photos
Settle into 2022
2021 was a whirlwind that ended with a tiny window of calm. One week is not enough to process all that happened last year. I'm going to take the first couple of weeks in January to continue to make pottery at a slower pace, to dither about the house with a face mask on and a paintbrush in hand, and to get ready for Jazzy's birthday parties. All year I dream, plan, and make lists... I'd just like to do little else for a little while longer.
Make new things
I haven't been able to make any new designs since the fall, so I'm really excited for this month's pottery time. I've gotten through my holiday backlog, and I'm ready to bring new ideas to life. The picture above is the first new piece of 2022, sculpted from a mix of porcelain and speckle stoneware. A classic amphora silhouette with offering cups atop the exaggerated handles.
Enjoy these days before I go back to work
Afternoon naps, late nights, all-day pjs, all the time I want for pottery... it's easy to romanticize this "break" I've had without a standard day job. I feel so fortunate to have been able to watch firsthand as Jazzy developed lightning speed from a newborn into a bright-eyed nearly 1 yr old baby. The year off has meant so much more to me too, from actively living my values, to the ability to pour more into Mammoth & minnow. It'll be bittersweet to end this particular chapter. This new job certainly will help us financially (M&m might get there one day, just not today), but it'll also allow me to continue on my career path and grow skills that I don't exercise (yet) as a small business owner, such as presentation, consensus building, procedure writing, training development, and consultation. I look forward to getting back into the workforce, but who knows when I'll have extended time off like this again? As this phase of life winds down, I'm going to savor as much of it as I can.