Accounting for: December

Yes, 30 years ago, these were still a thing!

Happy 2018! We’ve arrived. Not as exciting as a new decade, but I’m hoping we’re a year closer to a post-Trump political landscape.

Although I say I don’t do Christmas real big, it does tend to take over December. For some reason I felt inclined to spend time being with people all month. It was easier than usual since at Christmas time there is more of a tradition to pop by everyone’s homes without a lot of notice or preparation. I was visiting back and forth with family a lot. Although we put up a Christmas tree, I didn’t do any other decorating or baking, and it was perfectly OK!

I took time off work and finished all my Christmas shopping in 3 days, rather than dozens of trips after work or on weekends. One of the days, I went to the mall and lunch with my sister and mother. I was very proud of Mom for being willing to navigate the mall with her walker, which is still new for her. On another occasion, my dad wasn’t feeling well while recovering from a cold, so he asked us to accompany them on a day trip. It was the first time Dad ever asked for help with driving, and I was so impressed that he asked for help.

I attended staff holiday parties, one for the whole library system and one for my local branch. The first one always falls on the same night each year as Rom’s work function, so we each go solo to our respective events. The local library party was cozy and we had a great time playing Scattergories. Sounds librarian-ish, eh?

Last December, with much trepidation, I went out for breakfast with the early-morning swimmers who work out at our local pool. This year I attended my “second annual” swimmers’ breakfast! I am much more comfortable with the gang now. Plus, we all got to joke, “So that’s what you look like in clothes!”

I treated a co-worker to lunch on the occasion of her retirement. We attended “library school” (our library degree program) together 30 years ago (eep!) She has worked for the same library system the whole time, although in various roles. Meanwhile, since 1987, I have worked in 7 jobs in 3 library systems. That will delay my retirement, but I have no regrets.

I was thrilled to get back in touch with another library friend from far away. She has also been working at her library for 30 years! But her workplace is restructuring, and she has to apply for one of several new jobs after all this time. What a shock after 3 decades!

In other friend news, a church friend for whom I had the greatest admiration died of ovarian cancer at the age of 44. She had been sick for a year, but totally owned her life and decisions. She handled the whole process with an amazing combination of gravitas and joie-de-vivre. I will never be able to think of her without smiling because of her sharp and sparkling, yet matter-of-fact demeanor. (The dumbo octopus swimming is one of the cute sciencey things we used to share!)

You know Rom would own this on the green vinyl…

Rom and I attended a jazz concert of A Charlie Brown Christmas. The drummer from the Vince Guardaldi Trio, Jerry Granelli, lives in town, and he performs it every year. However, Mr. Granelli is so ill that I would be surprised if he is able to perform again next year – I hope I am wrong. His drumming was marvellous!

Adam Driver in “Girls” TV series and in “The Last Jedi”

Of course, we went to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi which we both liked a lot. Although (nod to Girls viewers) I still can’t get over seeing Adam as Kylo Ren 😊

I usually take a few days off between Christmas and New Year’s, but this year I worked. It was quiet at the library – a very rare occurrence! It was much busier today as people came in to load up on books and DVDs before the big storm. On Christmas Day we had an ice storm with gale force winds and a neighbour’s tree fell into our yard – but caused minimal damage. Rom and I went over to talk to the neighbours and they appeared with a chain saw and removed the tree the next day! We were worried about a recurrence today – the winds were brutal – but we only had our window boxes go flying about.

For New Year’s Eve, Rom and I did our usual thing of going out to lunch instead of dinner at a lovely spot, then did nothing in the evening, and it was perfect. Of course, my real tasks for the New Year were to finish my new budget, analyze my grocery spending for 2017, and similar “wrapping up” tasks!

Coming up you’ll see a grocery tally post, something about my new obsession, and a resolution or two.

How was your December?

25 comments

  1. My spouse and I did a few local (ish – everything was within driveable distance) Christmas-y things in December, and there was exactly the right mixture of celebration and relaxation. 🙂

    I tend to start vacation/time-off planning a year in advance (I kind of have to, as I’m self-employed), so I’ve already got my eye on next December (2018). I took one week off in December 2017; I’m hoping to manage two next time around. It’s lovely to have a restful break before jumping headlong into the busyness of a new year.

    Happy 2018!

    • Happy New Year to you, too! For next December, the library requires staff in on Dec 24 and 31 for half-days, so everyone is jockeying to get those two days off. Glad I don’t have to make serious plans that far ahead.

  2. todadwithlove

    Happy New Year, Dar!

  3. After a busy Christmas I took a week off work this week to straighten myself and the house out before going back. I am busy too with the budget – frightening how prices have risen so much here because of Brexit. Even though we economised last year we need to do more. Looking for some good ideas so hope you will reveal all about your upcoming posts soon!
    Here’s to a briliant 2018.
    PS your library parties sound quite good – different if nothing else, everyone at my place of work is complaining the ‘works do’ has become same old, same old.

    • Our work parties change a lot from year to year – these were more fun than most! I don’t think we’re experiencing inflation like you are, just somewhat smaller sizes of packaged food for the same price. You’ve had a lot of life changes these past few years (cottage, grandchild, mother, health, job) so I wish you a calm and SMALL year 🙂

  4. Happy New Year! I sounds like you had a lovely month with a great mix of parties, family time and other activities.

  5. We’ve been home at least a week now and I still feel like I need another 4-6 weeks of my old routine to make up for all the holiday travel nonsense. There was too much socializing and not enough quiet down time for me!
    It’s not that it was unenjoyable, it was just too much in an intense packed period.

    We only had one work party to attend this year, but we hosted a lovely brunch with a few local friends and I’d like to do more of that this year. Weather wise we seem to have gotten baby snow drifting in late at night and melting by the time we’re up in the morning. I’d hoped to catch a bit of it for JB and Seamus to play with.

  6. EcoCatLady

    Deepest condolences on the loss of your friend. I, too, lost a friend to ovarian cancer last month. Sigh.

  7. Margie in Toronto

    Happy New Year! I too had a busy but very pleasant December with friends. I seemed to be busy all month with Christmas Tours, concerts, lunches, dinners and even a 50th birthday party for one friend. Since I no longer travel to family for Christmas (I’m single it was always expected that I would travel to them), plus the fact that most friends now prefer spending time together or just gift small things like consumables or experiences, it has made the whole time much more low-key but fun. I actually like that I can enjoy the whole season instead of rushing from one obligation to another while trying to shop & clean & make travel arrangements,
    I didn’t put up a tree this year but I did put out a few other decorations, plus I received a lot of lovely cards which have all been on display. I did a bit of baking but not too much, but did cook a few meals for friends, a brunch, coffee and dessert afternoon and a luncheon – and I enjoyed doing it all.
    It is bitterly cold here in Toronto and it has been this way for nearly a month now – Minus 22C today with a howling wind – although I know you are having a terrible storm down your way – I hope you don’t lose power! I’ve decided to stay in for the next couple of days and get things sorted in my apt. The kitchen & pantry need a bit of a clean and re-organizing, plus I need to get the decorations put away and then I want to go through my Day-Timer and get things sorted for the next few months – I’m calling them goals rather than resolutions – but I don’t want to waste my time. I too have lost friends at much too young an age and it makes you very aware of how precious life really is. I look forward to reading your new posts. Stay warm!

    • Hi Margie, Happy 2018! I hope you are recovering well and able to face the rest of the winter. Brr, that is so cold! We are not as hardy as you and we complain when it’s -10 to -15. Your December sounds ideal! For the new year I have decided to switch to my smartphone for appointments instead of a day book, but keep a short-form personal journal at home. We’ll see how that goes! I am feeling very grateful for everyday pleasures lately.

  8. Onevikinggirl

    I was snowed in and didn’t attend the Christmas work thing this year (flights rescheduled and cancelled three times in a row, I just stayed home) but I have still a gift left to open when I get there next time (I work online or on site and rarely in the company office). Lots of goals for next year, mostly concerning heart and health. I too look forward to your posts next year!

    • Hello and Happy New Year! I wonder how I would do working from home…considering how long it takes me to write a blog post, probably not well. If I had to book a flight to attend a work party I certainly wouldn’t be there 🙂

  9. Fiona

    Happy New Year, Dar! That sounds like a very balanced Christmas/New Year period, with just the right amount of everything. I hope you feel somewhat refreshed. It’s nice that the swim group can meet outside the pool occasionally. I am sorry about your friend from Church. She sounds like a remarkable person to face death at such a young age with such an apparently clear sense of resolution and direction. Will look forward to hearing about the new obsession! 🙂

    • Hi Fiona, Happy New Year and summer vacation! It confounds me to think of planning Christmas at the same time the school year is coming to an end. But I like the idea of a new school year starting in a new calendar year; a real fresh start. PS Do you still have your Christmas Yoda?

  10. Jamie

    We spent December settling in to our new house. We had a quiet Christmas at home, then had some friends visit between Christmas and the new year. They are a pair of fit young men and begged us to give them hard, physical labour every day of their visit to combat their sedentary uni/office lives. We all achieved lots and were left aching at the end of each day- but there is still so much more work to be done! Slowly, slowly, now that they have gone home.

  11. With the exception of your friend, it sounds like you had a great December. All the best for the new year.

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