100 Words: Evening.

Does it count as Wednesday if I haven’t gone to bed yet?

We watched the sun set on the wall opposite the windows tonight. The striped clouds lit the sky, the colors reflected on our white wall as one color. It began as bright orange, silhouette of trees sharply lined. No definite dimming, no sinking of image; just a softening, a graying of the silhouette and a graying of the orange brilliance, until they met in the middle depths. The Geeklet was eating his grilled cheese, staring out at the original sky, and Chris and I smiled over his head.

Not going to kick or scream

I have had a couple of bittersweet weeks, of Yule celebrations and closing doors, beautiful ritual remembrances with friends (the smoke of sage and the tears of beautiful, wise people) and with family (the smoke of burning flour and tears because my feet hurt at 4am, still up and cooking for the morning from the night before). Now the excitement is coming to a close…

And now it’s January 1st. Hush, you’re reading this tomorrow, right? Nighttime counts as the day before if I’ve not been to bed yet.

January 1. I’ve heard all kinds of people say all kinds of things about how they wanted to begin the next year–resolutions, plans, with thoughtfulness and with boisterous activity and with same-old same. One friend, however, pointed me in the direction of choosing a word for the year, just one word.

At first it struck me as a little… cute. Trite. Even before I read the post itself I was imagining choosing words like “love” and “happiness” and as nice and as good and as necessary as all those things are, the words made me kind of squeamish and squirmy inside, like I was about to put on a pair of pink tights. I am not a pink tights kind of person.

The funny thing, though, was that even as she was explaining the concept and even as I’m having this rather unfriendly thought, at the very same time a word popped into my head. Embrace.

Pretty squirmy to write it, let me tell you. About as pink and sticky as Pepto Bismol. Blech. But the expletive word just will not let me alone. Every day this week it has followed me around. It’s like that puppy in sitcoms. But I can’t take it to the shelter. I have to keep it. It’s my puppy now. Embrace.

So what does that mean?

Embrace means take advantage of opportunities even when they don’t feel like opportunities. Not just suck it up, but take advantage of them.

Embrace means find a way to find the joy in situations.

Embrace means go out looking for good things, and find them. Don’t just live in the world. Give it a fondle. Stop kicking and screaming and making excuses for why I don’t like this or that thing. It’s getting rather tiresome. (At least to me.)

And embrace means finding out what makes me happy in the world, what it is that makes me do a little dance, and finding some way to insert it into every day. And embracing that thing, not as (so often this happens!) something to roll my eyes at or be ashamed is a time-waster (like weaving or reading or drawing or researching odd topics that pop into my head, the latter of which does take some time when you don’t open up the computer as soon as it occurs to you but wait until after the Boy has gone to bed). In face, in my vocabulary this year, “time waster” is not being deleted, exactly (because I don’t believe in deleting words from any collection–I might decide to write fantasy some day) but it is being dyed light gray and I’m demoting it by throwing in a hyphen.*

I can’t make promises to myself or others that this will be the day that I turn perky and that pink bunnies will greet my visitors at the doorstep. That would be a resolution and/or insanity and neither is really a good idea, I feel. But a little effort will be expended to enjoy. Enjoy in general. Embrace.

O post, you are becoming somewhat wordy and a little fluffy around the edges, so I will leave it at that. If I say the word much more I will forget what it means. Okay, once more: Embrace. Let’s see what I can do with it.

*someone once wrote that there are three stages to a compound word being added to popular usage: first, it is used as a hyphenated word, so as to link physically two words that otherwise would not be connected. Like “ice-cream.” I’m going to the soda shop to order an ice-cream. Second, the word is used side-by-side in common parlance and known to be a compound phrase: baby carriage. Perhaps it was once baby-carriage, but now it is unhyphenated: First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage. Finally, the word is made a true compound word: motorcar, clawhammer. I don’t know why, but this theory has stuck in my head and I like to look for examples. In the kharold personal dictionary, time waster has become time-waster. Ooo. Snap.