I am one of those people who finds peace and energy in order and ritual. As a child, I tended to put my Venus colored pencils back in their box in rainbow array from red to purple; as a mother and manager of a busy household, I have a place for everything and notebooks filled with indexed sheet protectors housing recycling schedules and appliance manuals. My daughter (who, for better or worse has inherited my organizational trait) used to delight in bringing her high school friends to our basement, where I have a storage room worthy of an army on the move, with every cabinet door labeled with its contents.
It is no wonder that one of my end-of-year rituals is organizing my writing office so that I can make room in my writing life.
The practice of clearing my physical space—my desk, my files, the old but beloved calendar on my wall—sweeps away the mental cobwebs and shakes off the sluggish post-holiday torpor clogged with scraps of wrapping paper and sugar cookie crumbs. Sitting at my desk at this moment, with shafts of winter light illuminating scrubbed and polished surfaces, inspires and energizes me. I have all this room to fill—with the dreams and struggles and laughter of my characters. My mind feels as open as my notebook, its crisp and empty pages waiting for words.
I love this time of year—so full of possibility and intention.