As mentioned previously, this was a year of books, food, and travel. And if I fill a blog post with discourse on those topics, we can conveniently ignore the fact that I utterly failed at the word of the year, which was finish.
I read 55 books this year, which is my lowest total since 2015. Only six were non-fiction. My top ten:
- The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern
- Circe, by Madeline Miller
- Skeletons at the Feast, by Chris Bohjalian
- Window on the Square, by Phyllis Whitney
- Florida, by Lauren Groff
- Daisy Jones & The Six, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- The Passage, by Justin Cronin
- Educated, by Tara Westover
- World Without End, by Ken Follett
- Beneath a Scarlet Sky, by Mark Sullivan
I expanded my baking repertoire, becoming competent at macarons, French bread, and several recipes from The Great British Baking Show. I also cooked dinner for my family almost every night. Here are 10 recipes that I enjoyed trying for the first time.
- Baked Gnocchi with Vodka Sauce
- Sweet Potato Biscuits
- Hyderabad-style Chicken Biryani
- Fig Rolls
- Chicken Vesuvio
- Melon Caprese Salad
- Spinach Basil Pesto
- Heirloom Tomato Pie
- English Muffins
- Homemade Pasta
The heirloom tomato pie deserves special mention; it was worth every minute of prep time.
We traveled a LOT in 2019.
I returned to some of my favorite places: Montreat (NC), England, New Orleans, Chicago, Ellijay (GA).
And I visited new places: Minnesota, Scotland, Auburn, Chattanooga.
Then there was all the crew travel – Jacksonville and Tampa and Sarasota, oh my.
All that travel means that I feel I am starting the new decade weighed down by the things I didn’t get done in 2019.
Last year, I chose finish as my word for 2019. Not only did I not finish some of the big items I hoped to tackle, I added several new endeavors to my already-full life.
Basically, I’m a moron.
Instead of finally cleaning out the storage unit that holds my mom’s things, we added more to it. Instead of finishing the novel I started in 2018, I pushed it to the back burner. Instead of making sure that this introvert got time to breathe, and read, and recharge, I crammed too much onto my calendar’s pages. I said yes when I should have said no.
It’s tempting to make NO my word of the year for 2020, but that seems excessively negative and unproductive. So I’m going to make my word Refine. I would like to refine my list of commitments. I would like to refine my priorities. I would like to refine the things with which I surround myself.
That’s the goal, at least.
Happy New Year!