My stomach has been in knots for weeks. And will remain in knots for at least another week. Until this crazy election is done and gone and we can all take a deep breath. I hope I can take a deep breath.
In the meantime, between panic attacks and sips of Pinot Grigio*, I want to share this article that I posted to Facebook nearly a year ago.
It’s a good reminder.
To be nice to each other.
To look out for each other.
To take care of yourself.
*Pinot Grigio is certainly not the best way to handle shitty days, but it helps. Friendly cows with crazy tongues at darling orchards help too.
The last few weeks have been spent shopping and baking and wrapping and celebrating. And we’re not done. We’re having friends over for New Years Eve and then our annual Best Neighborhood Ever Progressive dinner is this weekend. Thankfully, I was able to take some time off to slow down and fill up. I’ve been writing a bit, thinking a lot, and reading constantly.
I also signed up for a class through Creative Nonfiction and I can’t wait for it to start. The class I chose requires me to write 300 words each day, Monday-Friday. I can find 300 words, right? I KNOW I can crank out 300 words. Just these two paragraphs are 110 words already. Now it’s at 115, see how easy?
And with the new year comes a fresh attitude and hopefully some fresh snow. I’m not making any resolutions this year, I’m not going on a diet, I’m not going to tell myself I’ll do something just to do something. I’m just going to try to smile more, eat more vegetables and slow down.
So here’s to a New Year. Enjoy!
Today I turn 43. 43? Where the hell did that come from? One day I was in my mid-twenties, the next I was 40. And now this? I am grateful that I can celebrate 43. And I am grateful that I was able to celebrate it by swimming a mile and then playing in the pool outside with my family. My mom told all her pool friends it was my birthday, and the daughter quickly followed it up with “She’s 43!”. Geez. It’s a tough crowd.
But I’m glad to say I decided to come back here. To this space. To some writing. I hope to make some changes here and be here more often. I’m happy when I’m here. And I hope you’re happy when I show up.
So, get outside, hug your family and enjoy.
I’m joining Erin for a year of 52 weeks.
This week you:
• had so much fun with your classmates at a birthday party
• declared Daddy to be the best fort builder, and spent many an hour building them
• cuddled on your bed with a book and pretzels and “read”
• rode “Fancy” the unicorn around and around and around
• tried to teach Bogey how to use the iPad.. you were very patient
Wow, 2013 was a rough year. My Dad passed away. We listed our house nearly six months ago and we’re still waiting to close. Our daycare center was turned upside down by outdated laws and greed.
But so, so, so many good things happened! We spent nearly two weeks in Paradise. I played hockey with a new team that became like a family. Daughter turned 4 and has become one amazing little girl. My Dad found peace after a long struggle that took both his body and his mind. We welcomed the sweetest, craziest puppy from our vacation on the islands. I completed my third triathlon in (personal) record time despite all of the above. And we spent a few days enjoying the fog of the north shore… just the two of us.
There’s one more night to enjoy before we say Happy New Year. We’re making Shrimp Tacos and watching The Princess Bride. Whatever you decide to do, have fun, be safe. I’ll see you next year.
I’ve been missing from this place. Have you noticed? I have. I had major deadlines at work last week, but finally on Thursday things were quiet. Then the weekend hit and there were outings and ice times and hockey games and a showing. Now it’s Monday night and I’m finally able to sit down with myself and write.
Tomorrow we are having yet another showing. I have no idea how many groups have been through our home, but they keep coming. And while we have a contingent offer, we’re still able to show the house in hopes that a stronger offer comes in. Eventually it will. Eventually we’ll be done and we’ll pack and we’ll haul our stuff across town. Yet, we have no idea where that place will be across town. Or when.
It makes it hard to plan ahead. It makes it hard to find a school. It makes it hard to think of anything that’s more than 30 days out. And if you know me you know I like to plan ahead. Yes, even sometimes beyond those 30 days. It makes everything feel like it’s on hold.
Half our stuff is in storage. Photo albums, toys, cake pans, random bits of our lives that we’re missing but don’t realize aren’t here. Most of those things could probably stay in storage forever and we wouldn’t care, but it’s the little things that I miss. My paints, Daughter’s doll house, those cake pans.
And someday we will unpack it. We’ll enter a house that is empty and bare and we’ll gradually make it our own. My easel and paints and sewing machine and supply of paper will find it’s way back to me. Daughter’s doll house and zip car and pipe cleaners will land in her new playroom. Those cake pans and the immersion blender and all those fancy champagne flutes will be unwrapped and lined up neatly. Somewhere. Someday. Somehow.
Meanwhile we wait. We wait.
I wrapped up the Mondo Beyondo course I was taking just over a week ago. Or maybe longer. Has it really been two weeks?
And it was actually pretty amazing. I didn’t know what to expect. I had taken online classes before, mostly writing classes, but nothing so “dreamy.” Is that the right term? I just went into it with my eyes and ears and open. And I’m so glad I did.
It was freeing. And it was hard. And I walked away knowing a little more about myself than I did five weeks earlier. I also walked away connected to a new group of strong, powerful, hard-working, fun-loving women.
A few of us are writing each other letters. On paper. With pens. That we’ll actually send in the mail. I got my first letter today (Thanks, Brenna) and it was a joy to read. I can’t wait to sit down with a mug of tea and write to these women. And to write about the experience.
It’s quiet. Husband is downstairs watching a college football game. Daughter and the Dogs are in Wisconsin with my in-laws. I’m sitting upstairs, at the desk that husband and I now share (!). There are few runners outside on the paths, traffic is light. The wind is slow through the yellow leaves. Our neighbors have turned off their waterfall for the season.
We slept in this morning, probably too late, because I barely made it to the Kick-boxing class I used to attend. But I made it, groggy with sleep and maybe just a bit dehydrated from the late night with dear friends and one too many beers. I went to the class faithfully before daughter was born and now I make it 2 or 3 times a year. It’s good to go back and it’s good to put my body through something besides running, biking or skating.
This past week was good. I finished up the dreaming class I took. It was inspiring and it got me back here, at the keyboard, hitting these keys. It got my mind racing about everything else I want to do! And it got me to realize that dreams can come true, just one step at a time. Nothing’s going to happen unless you take that first step, right?
I also went to a concert all by myself. I have never even gone to a movie by myself, but I really wanted to go and we had a sick kid, so husband generously stayed home while I went downtown. It was awesome. And amazing. And really, it didn’t matter that I went alone because I was surrounded by hundreds of other people who were there for the same thing. To listen to great music.
It was really good. The whole week was really good. Even with a fever and meltdowns and rain and dogs that hog the bed. It was good.
How was your week?
I watched part of the Twin Cities Marathon this morning, mostly because the course goes past my house, but also because it’s such an inspiring event to see in person. From the first wheelchair racers that have faced life-changing challenges, to the leaders who sail past gracefully, to the run/walkers that told themselves they could run a marathon and they’re doing it. It’s amazing.
Daughter and I ran outside just in time to see the leaders run by. She brought her drum, and I brought a mug of steaming tea to keep warm. She banged and I cheered, for the men, the moms, the veterans and the rookies. We looked for my coworker, missing him just as he went past. We looked for other friends, but applauded new ones instead. I cheered louder for the 40-44 year old women, and I told them their hair looked great, that they haven’t even broken a sweat.
This year I helped my neighbors hand out bananas, 600 lbs of them (I might have handed out 1 full lb). I watched the runners reach towards my outstretched arm, their hands and fingers moving unpredictably with the fatigue. Some said thank you, some cheered, some just nodded, completely spent.
Running 26.2 miles is amazing. The farthest I’ve run is 10. And I barely made it. (Yes, I’ve done a sprint triathlon, but that’s just 5k!) I can’t imagine doing 26.2. But for those that can and those that want to some day, go for it. You can do it. And when you run past, We’ll cheer for you loudly and then hand you a banana.
(photo taken last week on Lake Superior)
I want to thank everyone for their thoughtful posts, emails and comments about selling our house. But I think I might have created some confusion. We have not sold our house yet, we have not moved yet. The point of that post was to just let go of the house. To release it. Believing that now it will sell.
Is that crazy? Probably. But it felt good to write it and it felt good to let it go.
We still have no idea where we’ll end up or when we’ll make a move. It will happen when the stars align.
In the meantime, here’s a little reading for your weekend. My husband found this in a pdf form online, printed it out and brought it home. It sits on the desk we both share and there’s lots of good stuff here.
My goal for this weekend is to Be Kind.