On the Sixth Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a Mass full of friends, and some time to think about priorities.
Yesterday evening, rather depressed after a fruitless afternoon of searching (this phone has disappeared pretty thoroughly, and even the quick fix finder-software that I thought would solve the problem instantly yielded no results whatsoever), I piled into the van with Indy, Rosie and AnniPotts to head off to 6pm Mass. We got there late, as people in my Family are wont to do, and as we were heading in the side door, we saw a familiar figure going up the steps in front of us. It was AP, who had just gotten off work, and headed to Mass himself not knowing that we would be there too.
Inside, we searched for an open pew big enough to hold all six of us. There weren’t many open spots, so I was about to advocate the Every Sibling For Him/Herself seating plan, when Indy spied an opening, and headed for it – straight down the center aisle. And, giggling inwardly like mad, we followed just like ducklings behind their mother, as we marched straight down the center aisle towards the very front pew. Only when we hit the front, we discovered that there was someone already sitting on our near end. So instead of asking that person to move over, the entire line of us instead made a hard left, and walked across the front of the church to enter the pew from the other side.
This was just like old times. You see, back in the day, our parish priest took one look at our burgeoning family, so preternaturally well-behaved during church (we have the kind of father who seriously gave us hand-folding lessons with refreshers if he felt we were getting too lax), and decided that we should always sit in the front pew as An Example To All of What A Catholic Family Should Be. No, really, he did. And ever after there was nowhere else Mom would have us sit, no matter how late we were (we were always late), and she would march right up the center aisle, like another processional, to get there. And even though, as a sensitive pre-teen and teenager, this was agonizingly humiliating, the consequences of not following were not to be thought of. So we followed, just like we followed Indy last night.
Anyway, once we got into our pew, and I stopped having to fight the urge to laugh out loud instead of singing during the intercessory psalm, I looked around. There, in the pew just across from us, and grinning at us madly was a girl who used to be in my youth group small group, and the mother of another old family friend sitting in front of her. And then, at the Sign of Peace, I looked up to see Papi grinning and waving at me across the church. And then after church, we found Johnnycakes and his girlfriend, plus Pixie, plus another lady who knew me (I think) from my old job. Unfortunately I have no earthly clue who she was, but she knew my name, so I couldn’t ask hers.
This was in addition to the lady who reached out and snagged my arm as we were coming through the parking lot, and chattered away at me all the way into church about my family. My siblings knew who she was (she’s a faithful parishioner at the parish our family grew up in), but I don’t go to the family parish very often (usually only on special occasions), so to me she was a total stranger who would not let go of my arm, and seemed to know way too much about us. I wish I could have responded a little more warmly, but it was frankly creeping me out a bit.
In other news, since this is New Year’s Eve, I’ve been thinking a bit about what I want my ambitions for next year to be. I was looking at my ambitions for 2012 , and I feel like I’ve been somewhat successful. I didn’t knit myself a sweater, but I sewed myself two (maybe three if you count the sweatshirt-ish top). My house isn’t as squared away as I would like, but it’s much better than it used to be, good enough that I feel comfortable having company over (something I couldn’t say last year).
Unfortunately, because of my leg injuries this summer, the most Lindy-travel I’ve done was down to Cincinnati for Smorgasbord, but then that’s more than I did last year, so I’m going to count that as a win. I haven’t been able to make it to daily Mass at all (except for the one time I specially negotiated coming in later so that I could go to morning Mass for the Feast of St. Anthony), but I kinda knew that going in. I’m not sure if I’ve succeeded on the last one or not. I think maybe I have, but without having kept track of exactly how much time I spend with my family, it’s hard to know for sure. Over all, however, I think I did pretty well.
I’m not sure yet what my ambitions for next year will be. I think one of them is going to be to get rid of half of my possessions. I have too much stuff, a lot of it is stuff I don’t use (for example, I don’t actually wear a lot of the clothes I have), and it gets in the way of having a manageable life. So I think this year I would like to pare down dramatically. I still want to knit a sweater for myself, but I’m also starting to feel a little pressured by the number of projects I’ve promised people that I have yet to finish or, um, start (see also: a Christmas stocking for Baby Bear). So I’d like to really clear out that queue of projects as well.
And then, I think this might be the year that I really start transitioning into having a wardrobe of me-made clothing items. Ideally I’d like to have a collection of wearable things extensive and varied enough that I could wear something I made myself every day, possibly at some point having the majority of items in my wardrobe made by me. For example, I have the fabric to make my own uniform skirts, and I am very close to having the pattern ( just a few more fitting tweaks), and then I’d even be able to be me-made at work. It’s just finding the time to get into the sewing room.
There’s a few more goals I’m turning over in my head, but I’m not quite ready to commit them to writing just yet. So we’ll have to wait and see on those.
Happy New Year!