(I loved Reverb10, where I was sent a writing prompt every day of December. It was a great way to reflect on the year and set some goals. Alas, Reverb11 is not going to happen unless I do it. So, I’ve collected the prompts from last year, exchanged a few of my own, and will select one every day.)
Prompt: Let Go. What (or Whom) did you let go of this year? Why?
Just now, I let go of the idea that I will ever be the kind of person that throws themed parties. Yesterday, when I realized I had ninety-nine cookbooks on my kitchen shelves, I went digging about for books that could go and I won’t even miss them. I found five right away. Then, I got serious. I took a good look at the books I love, but haven’t touched in years.
I have three books on party planning: the late-great Budget Living’s month-by-month guide, a thin Sunset publication on picnics called The Getaway Gourmet, and a book on how to host a monthly wine tasting gathering. These are awesome books with great ideas. I had also clipped articles from magazines that outlined parties – a Prohibition Themed Cocktail Hour! A Picnic on a Ferry! An Oscar Night Costume Contest! – and inserted them into the pages as reminders of all the parties I could throw.
Except I don’t. Ever. So why do I have three books dedicated to a fantasy?
Don’t get me wrong. We throw a great party around here. Just last night we had people over. The food was great, there was laughter, and everyone was comfy. People like coming here. We often host New-Year’s eve and a big beer tasting bash for my husband’s birthday. But it’s never themed, and it’s never fancy. I have never sent out an invitation more complex than an e-mail.
The books have to go, and with them the idea that I will be the kind of woman who invites everyone over for a Cinco de Mayo celebration, or decorate my house for Halloween. I am not the woman who will have a monthly wine tasting event, complete with paired nibbles and sheets fro tasking notes. I am the woman who makes a big pot of soup on a cold night, cuts up good bread and says “Come on over, we’ll play poker.” And that’s ok. More than ok. It’s great.
P.S. Last year I wrote this.