January always seems such a good month to take stock of one’s surroundings and to formulate a plan for the upcoming months and year. No, I don’t make resolutions, but I do make plans.
For the last few weeks, I have been going through a stack of old shelter magazines that I kept for a reason, in the hope of discovering what that reason was.
This morning I picked up a copy of Traditional Home from March 1996 and instantly knew why I had kept it — the cover had given me an idea about placing a mirror on the bottom back of our antique hall tree to bounce a little light off the surface and spread it outward, just like the image on the cover of that magazine. Sometimes just that hint of a plan can conjure up remarkably intuitive ideas.
Another thing I’ve noticed is how many of these magazines are no longer in print. Southern Accents magazine is gone, so is House & Garden and Metropolitan Home. House & Garden, a really lovely magazine, had been in print for over a hundred years. Reading through an old copy of Southern Accents led me to realize that what probably killed the magazine was that the generation it was talking to was mostly gone too.
I suppose what this January reflection is, is the need to accomplish something with my time. I do like to end a day by observing something I’ve worked for, written of, or planned for. My little brother used to say that proper planning prevents poor performance. Both of us added an extra ‘p’ in-between prevents and poor. I’ll let you wonder what that was.
So why do I take the time to go through these old magazines? I suppose it is the need to put a period at the end of that sentence and be done with it. To move on down the road to whichever idea needs planning, or which ever one needs doing. And sometimes one has to simply let some plans go.
These magazines are on their way to the recycle bin, with a few ideas ripped out I hope.
Susan Woody has been a home and garden writer for more than 20 years and is a master gardener.