*The Works of Mark Twain; Early Tales & Sketches, Vol. 1 1851-1864, (Univ. of California Press, 1979)
But at the top of mind, there's the question of the couch. At least for me, anyhow, New Year's is a couch issue.
It's like the pull of an annual migration, or whatever impulse that makes bears and porcupines wake up in the spring. Midwinter and its myriad festivals of light and sugar-cookies pass and I look around with a sense of urgency like a vulgar itch. It's time to rearrange the furniture.
At the literal end of the day this year, the living room is still in a bit of disarray. Turns out the little red chair and foot-stool were ready to retire. Ten years of service in a home-made slipcover? Okay, then, go on, thrift-store find, thanks for your service!
Plus, the inexpensive IKEA rug I picked up to cover more square footage of the plywood floor is –– to the inch –– the exact same inexpensive IKEA rug I have had for four years. Whoops. (A foolish consistency would be the hobgoblin of little minds, just ask Ralph Waldo Emerson, but this? This consistency shows unflappable design taste, baby.)
But the drive is wearing off. I think the impulse that kept me hustling around the house today is almost the opposite of a resolution: I make no promises for the coming year. The work is done, aside from returning that rug and a bit more cleaning. In the coming weeks, I'll be utterly guilt-free as I think less and less about the process. And by May, I too will have forgotten humbug promises and the shiny sense of a whole new year full of potential and improvement.
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