A retrospective is not possible today.
It's probably not possible any time soon.
We still have house guests: one party that left for New Year's eve, another that came just for New Year's eve and left this morning (the former party returning), with additional guests expected this afternoon. From Christmas to today, we've done breakfasts and brunch, quite a few dinners, dealt with left-overs, and come close [once] to my goal of actually running out of food. Left over that particular night were only the pan-drippings and bones from the prime rib, a scant helping of mashed 'tates, and half a helping of an incredible croissant bread pudding for dessert. [WARNING: it's from Martha Stewart, but you can find the recipe here.] All the veggies were gone! Seconds were had by many of us. . . .
But to return to the non-retrospective: we've been learning about being a host, and how to be hospitable without being overbearing. My biggest question is how to excuse myself to do the clean-up! We've had guests now for over a week, and little time even to deal with the daily mess I make in the kitchen, not to mention the increasing clutter on the floor from dog hair, gravel and leaves being drug in from outside, and the imperceptible accumulation of fuzz that inexorably accompanies our lives.
Yesterday, we had help from 'outside', when the high winds rounded all the leaves up off the front meadow and off the roof and gutters (which the king had planned to assault with his ladder last weekend, but couldn't) and deposited them all into 3 piles. One is in front of the dining room, one in front of the studio, and one in the courtyard.
That's a bit what life has felt like this last year. After being blanketed with so many different things, a storm blew long and hard, and we ended up with everything 'done and dusted' and in 3 different piles. One: the house; finished and moved in. Two: the doctorate; finished, printed and bound. Three: the what-next; which is coming together surprisingly, although still a bit uncertainly. All I know is that there's a big third pile of 'stuff' out there that we're exploring. It looks like this next month will bring a new clarity.
Unless another wind storm pops up!
Meanwhile, the Rose Bowl starts in a couple of hours; I've made the smashed bean dip/hummos, put the tomato sauce to simmer on the stove, and should shortly be found in front of the fireplace dividing my time between knitting and watching instant replays of impressive runs. Time enough tomorrow to spend some time in reflection.
Happy New Year!