Sunday, January 01, 2017

There is no day of the year as focused on One, First, Beginning, as New Year's Day is. Well, the first day of school comes close, but it doesn't usually include that great big unsullied One.

Courtney Carver wrote a post six years ago called The Power of One, and she has revisited it on other posts since then. Why do we need so many multiples, extras, backups?, she asked. What if you limited certain possessions or activities to a one-and-only? Or, for things that come in sets, one set?

The all-commanding nature of a One can appeal to us, while still being sometimes unreachable or impractical. I can think of situations where a spare is not excess but common sense, or where it is an opportunity for giving. An extra sandwich in your lunch means the chance to share. Every little kid needs a backup pair of mittens. And, as in one of the last Mitford novels, you do not want to be buying toilet paper one roll at a time.

There's also the long-cherished idea of having an "everyday" and a "Sunday" or "special" whatever-it-is. In Josephine Tey's novel Daughter of Time, Mrs. Tinker makes a point of wearing her "blue" on important occasions. Some people will remember the "red plate" tradition, a way of honouring one person at a meal. Bringing out a "best" tablecloth or pair of earrings or bottle of something can be the way we mark a celebration.

However, the idea of One's Enough, at least in the everyday, gives us a chance to focus; even, perhaps, to value, cherish, practice loyalty, and see the uniqueness of our One Thing, like The Little Prince's rose. So with that in mind, here are some of my Ones.

1. One new handicraft this year. I was a book winner on Sew Mama Sew's Handmade Holidays posts, and sometime in the New Year I will be getting a copy of Sew Illustrated, a book of zakka embroidery projects. This is all new to me, but I'm game.

2.  One neighbourhood takeout pizza place, and one go-to Chinese restaurant. This saves us from having to keep track of all those coupons from other chains.

3. One general stream of ethnic food tradition: we lean towards Eastern European cooking rather than Indian or Tex-Mex or Japanese. Not that those other things aren't fun sometimes, but they all have their own must-haves in the fridge, in the cupboard, with the pots and pans. If I cooked Asian all the time, I'd want a rice cooker and probably a wok; if I made curry regularly, I'd need all the spices. I worry more about running out of sauerkraut than I do salsa.

4. One pair of blue jeans. For awhile I didn't have any, then I had one plus a backup pair that didn't fit quite as well. Now I'm back to one. Some people might call them mom jeans, but I don't care.

5. Related to #3, I have one favourite recipe for brownies, one for oatmeal cookies, one for rolls, and so on.

6. One husband. Because there is only one Mr. Fixit.

Over the next few days I will be posting about Two, Three and Four. Stay tuned.

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