We’ve reached the point of the year with Project Reverb where it goes to a daily prompt. As I already have so much to talk about, I limit myself to one post per week where I address as many of that week’s prompts as seem appropriate. If you’re interested in seeing my responses to the weekend Instagram challenges (which I’m sporadic on this year), head on over to my account.
Dec. 18 // What are you most proud of accomplishing this year?
I could say that I’ve achieved a lot of my personal goals this year, but getting married and becoming a (step) mom doesn’t feel like a thing which one accomplishes or achieves. It’s just a thing that happens. And people who don’t “achieve” or “accomplish” those personal life changes are no less in their lives.
So we’re going to have to go with something more professional/outside of the home. I’d say in my library career, a big accomplishment which happened recently was going to my first professional conference in 5 years, and getting up the nerve/feeling confident enough in my professional experience to ask a relevant question after a presentation. For an introvert, that is a HUGE thing. And the best part was having someone come up to me afterwards and talk to me for 10 minutes about my question. And then going on to connect professionally with a handful of librarians in related fields and mentioning a side-project/goal of mine, and having them be really excited and supportive on my behalf. SO AWESOME.
If we’re going outside of the professional library world, then I’m so proud of myself for being published twice this year in another blog. I was paid to write! Other people liked and were interested in the content I wrote about! SO EXCITING! Obviously I’m not writing enough for other publications at this point where I can expect more than a minuscule paycheck, but it’s a serious personal accomplish of which I am ridiculously proud.
Dec. 19 // ‘Tis the season for giving. If you had a giant chunk of spare change, to which cause(s) would you contribute? Why does that cause resonate with you?
I make a regular habit of giving money to causes I am committed to at the end of the year. Last year that list got a little longer because of the transition in administrations and groups that were either going to fight to stand up for vulnerable groups or else were vulnerable themselves for the nature of the work that they do. Those groups were the ACLU, Trevor Project, National Immigration Law Center, Planned Parenthood, and the NAACP LDF.
For a long time, instead of sending out paper Christmas cards, I went digital with paperless post, and donated what I would have spent on cards to worthy organizations that work to help people and mainly children all over the world. Those were charity:water and UNICEF.
And then, a couple years ago I stopped giving gifts of STUFF to friends, and instead made donations in their names to the Arlington Food Assistance Center, which provides meals and groceries to the hungry in our midst. I’d like to think that I was very creative and generous in coming up with that gift, but it was actually inspired by my college roommate and her husband who did the same for me a few years back and when I got the notification card in the mail, I burst into tears.
So while I may not have a giant chunk of change, I have a bit of money that I intend on putting aside for organizations that do good work and make me proud to know that there are people out there who care.
Dec. 20 // When your holiday mood takes a turn toward Charlie Brown, what puts a smile on your face?
Our big fat lit-up Christmas tree. Or a tin full of cookies. Combine sitting by the tree with a tin full of cookies, and that’s a guaranteed way to put a smile on my face. Especially if I can do it all while snuggled under a blanket next to my Boy.
Dec. 21 // Imagine it snowed all night long, and today is a snow day! What’s a snow day like for you? Do you remember the feeling of an unexpected snow day as a kid?
Well, as a federal employee, they’re usually pretty cautious about giving days off, so if there really is a LOT of snow, then chances are we get a free day. Mainly so that there aren’t multiple people coming in very late, or getting in accidents, etc. So if there is well and truly a crap-ton of snow on the ground, I’m home, free and clear. How the snow day feels depends on what everyone else’s status is. If we have the girls, and they have no school, it’s like a free-for-all, extra long weekend. If the Boy has to work from home, that puts a bit of a damper on things, because no one likes being restricted to one area of the house, or a specific volume of enjoyment because Very Important Phone Calls need to be made.
But yeah. Snow days are the best. There were a couple of years when I was a kid in the DC area, and we just got SO MUCH SNOW. Blizzards of ’93 and ’96 both dumped enough on the region to close schools for a week (if not more). I did so much sledding, igloo building and general outdoor wintertime fun, that you would be impressed. Nowadays, my main problem is that I don’t have ski/snow pants. So I have to be careful about my outermost layer, since most of the time that’s probably going to soak through, and I will have cold legs.
Dec. 22 // Do you have a favorite Christmas (holiday) movie? If so, why’s it your favorite?
I have some favorites among the big and famous holiday classics that I enjoy, but I’m not entirely sure that’s what this question is going for. Instead, I’ll dig a little deeper and share my favorite made-for-TV holiday movie which is both cheesy and awesome. And that movie is 12 Dates of Christmas. It was originally on ABC Family, and follows the familiar routine of the “Groundhog Day” style – where our main character wakes up again and again to discover that they are re-living the same day again and again until they get it right. In this case, Amy Smart is reliving Christmas Eve over and over, going on the same blind first date with Mark-Paul Gosselaar until she figures out how to live her life right. It is surprisingly good for a TV movie, and there are a couple of cringe-worthy cheese-tastic moments, but in general, it’s better than expected. I made the Boy watch it early in our relationship, and he did not hold me to perpetual shame for loving this particular piece of cinema.
And that’s it for this week. Look for the next post after Christmas, since I’ll be taking the holiday off!
Details: This post is part of Project Reverb 2017, which sends a daily writing challenge for bloggers during the month of December. If you’re interested in participating, sign up here or visit their facebook group.