By Amanda DK

Every December I spend between four and six days in Vermont with my family.  I like to call this time “hibernation.” It is quite fitting.  The temperature drops much colder than I’m used to and I avoid human contact as much as possible. Unlike most hibernating animals, however, I am (mostly) awake.  And so I use this period not only for much needed sprawling on the couch, but also to reflect on the year that is coming to a close and the one impending.

During the past few visits home to Connecticut, my big project has been to purge my childhood bedroom.  Throw old clothes in bags for Goodwill, clean out desk drawers, sort through the piles and piles of photos I have collected over the years – I am constantly amazed at how much crap adolescent and teenage me managed to accumulate (Did I really need eight empty journals and two address books? Was it that important to keep the beads from when I got my hair braided in the Caribbean during spring break 1997?).  Since I only make the six-hour trek east two to three times a year, I still have a ways to go on this journey.

This winter, I had only a few hours to make what little progress I could before we embarked on our annual migration up north.  Rather than set to work on more nooks and crannies in my too-massive desk, it was my CD rack that caught my eye, untouched since the summer after my freshman year of college, now over seven years ago.