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Thursday, December 23, 2004

The important things

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): One of your main assignments in 2005 is to cultivate your sense of wonder. It's true that you already possess a more acutely developed sensitivity to marvels and miracles than most of the other astrological signs, but you still have a way to go to reach your highest potential. With this in mind, I'll ask you to make 52 appointments with yourself in the coming year. They could be at noon every Monday, or whatever time you choose. During each meeting, you will renew your commitment to seeing with fresh eyes. You'll vow to be alert for previously unnoticed delights lurking in the midst of your familiar surroundings. You'll promise yourself to seek out experiences that teach you things you don't know.
~ Freewill Astrology

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I have two goals in mind for next year. One is to work more in Flash so that I am more comfortable and proficient in it. Although I still do really love the Christmas card I did two years ago (click it for the Flash version):

It's kind of simple, though. I need to master animation.

My second goal is to make more things. Not on the computer, but with my hands. I was looking at some soap making websites yesterday and got kind of excited about that. So I think next week while I'm off I'm going to explore that. It sounds like a fun thing to do, and fairly simple.

This leads into another goal -- to make more of my Christmas gifts myself, and to cut down a bit on what we do for Christmas. Bob and I realized that we spend an awful lot of money on Christmas, and while we love doing things for our family and friends, we probably overdo it. What happens with me is, like last year when I knitted scarves for almost everyone, I start to worry that maybe a handknitted scarf isn't enough, and I still go out and buy something. I need to remember that it is enough.

Sitting down and knitting something for someone, making something with my hands, and knitting love into every stitch, is definitely enough.

I had a conversation with someone the other day, someone who has a small child. We talked about the fact that a child won't remember some plastic toy past the time it takes to unwrap it (and break it), but the things he will remember will be the times you sat down with him and fingerpainted, or the special meals you fixed him or the cakes you baked -- the time you spent rather than the money you spent.

I have a friend who has decided to stop "doing" Christmas. I'm not going to do that -- I do enjoy it -- but there's certainly some validity in realizing that we "do" way too much. Too much money, too much worry, too much stress. If we could just simplify it a little bit, realize the the important things aren't the things under the tree, but the things in our hearts, we'd be a lot better off.

So anyway, if you're on my Christmas list, expect handmade soap next Christmas.

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