The Postscript: Taking a New Year Inventory

Published 12:29 am Wednesday, January 5, 2022

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The New Year is when we take stock.

In some cases, like my husband Peter’s, this is literal. He keeps an inventory of our canned goods and chastises me if I mess up his inventory.

“Did you mark off the black beans?”

“Um, no.”

“You have to mark it off on the list or I won’t know how many I have.”

“Oh. Sorry.”

I am less concerned about our supply of canned goods in the New Year and more concerned about stockpiles closer to home—on my hips, for example.

I had gotten out of the habit of weighing myself, and I decided this was probably unwise. So I started weighing myself in the mornings. Monitoring my weight is far more disconcerting than losing a can of beans. I cannot see how I can go out to dinner, eat a heavy plate of curry, and lose a pound and a half, only to eat almost nothing the next day and gain it back. My weight rises and falls like a rollercoaster.

This morning I noticed that I had inexplicably gained two pounds overnight. I looked at myself in the mirror. I looked fine. In fact, I thought I was looking particularly fit. The mirror and I decided the scale was crazy.

The New Year is also an appropriate time to recognize that not all that is lost will be found. It is tempting to believe that the picture frame mysteriously lost in the move will reappear, or that we will find that kitchen gadget that Peter and I are both convinced we used to own, but no longer seem to. The New Year is a good time to just give up and get a new frame and a new gadget.

The same is true of socks. Socks are like kidnapping victims. If they are not recovered within 48 hours, the odds of them ever returning to their mate are substantially reduced. After three months, as in all True Crime stories, the trail has gone cold.

But then there will be that one (as there was, just the other day) miraculously recovered from beneath the mattress of the bed who was joyfully reunited with its mate because I had not quite abandoned hope. It’s things like this that keep me holding on to single socks far too long.

At any rate, I am trying to keep track of things a little better this year. I even bought a daily planner. I didn’t have one last year because I remembered what happened to the one I bought in 2020. It had a flurry of events penned in the first two months, then it sat looking at me accusingly from the corner of my desk, unused for the rest of the year.

“What are we doing today?”

“Same as yesterday. Nothing.”

Remembering to go out on the front stoop to talk to the neighbor and her dog did not require an entry in my planner.

So I held off on buying one last year and got along just fine. This year, I gave in, and I am busily filling my new planner with things I’d like to do and accomplish.

It may all be foolish. Perhaps this year will be as uneventful as the last two. Still, there is hope. And I guess that is the point of taking a New Year inventory.

It’s the time of year when I imagine life being a little different and somehow a little better. It’s the time of year when I make sure my inventory of hopes and dreams is stocked to capacity.

Till next time,


Carrie Classon’s memoir is called “Blue Yarn.” Learn more at