Happy Monday night everyone.
I had a weird dream last night that I was on a fancy ship and it was sinking, all the rooms were filling up with water and I was watching it happen like a movie. I woke up after a scene where me and a woman, who spent what I was sure to be our last breaths painting her nails, discovered we were the sole survivors.
I’m not sure what that means, except it stuck with me all day and I think the chaos I experienced in my sleep might be responsible for the chaos that ensued in my house today.
In other words, Edie discovered the kitchen cabinets. And, even though I was prepared enough to buy those baby-proofing cabinet locks, I didn’t install them yet. And, when I went to do it today, I discovered that the baby-proofing cabinet locks I bought are stupid. And I hate them. And I need different ones. But I live 30 miles from town and apparently we’re in another two-day blizzard warning, so I have to wait for Amazon.com again, the same store that was responsible for my stupid purchase in the first place. Because nobody’s review said they were stupid.
So basically, nothing’s safe anymore. When I go to get ready for the day, Edie thinks she needs to put on makeup and scatter my bathroom drawers across the floor into the bedroom where she then unloads my entire bottom drawer before moving on to the next one so she can try on all of my bras before heading to the closet for the scarves.
And I could stop her. But then I would never get my teeth brushed, hair combed, face washed, eyebrows plucked, etc.
So I just let her loose. And if you can picture what our master bedroom and bathroom looks after those ten minutes, well, just apply that scenario to every room in the house.
Oh, I love her. She’s so fun right now.
Fun and exhausting.
She’s sleeping now after a bedtime performance featuring her singing and waving her arms and swaying back and forth across the living room. There was to be no “night night” until the applause.
So now I have a moment to share this week’s column, which is basically an extension of my last post and my thoughts on the new year and how sometimes I think we don’t give the whole “who we are in the moments we’re in” enough credit.
I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately–the need to focus on the present instead of all of the plans I think I need to be making.
And I was doing really good at it for the first week of the new year. But you guys, yesterday it was colder here than in frickin’ Antarctica and the North Pole…
and I had a couple glasses of wine in the evening and my sister was here to instigate and my mom was here to cheer us on and my husband was in the “whatever you want wife” mood and before I knew it I booked him and I a trip to Jamaica.
I feel like it was a bit of a cabin fever, I’m freezing my ass off and it’s our tenth year of marriage and we never had a proper honeymoon impulse purchase, but it’s done and, well, I did say we needed to have more date nights so, well, take that new years resolution!
So that’s where we’ll be at the end of May. And until then you can find me and Edie in this house at the other end of a trail of bras. I’ll be there trying my damnedest to get this book done. I’m almost there friends.
If I could just keep Edie out of the kitchen cabinets.
Peace, love and childproofing,
Sunday Column: A resolution for more sweet things
by Jessie Veeder
I’m finding it hard to concentrate this morning.
After another two days of more snow, the sun is finally shining bright through my window and the arctic, frosty air is creating a big rainbow halo over the stock dam.
If I didn’t know better, I would think it might actually be a nice day out there. But I’ve lived here long enough. This is what five below zero looks like.
The baby is at daycare, and it’s the first time in a couple weeks that I’ve been home without her. It’s quiet. I can hear the furnace turn on and off, the background music to the thoughts I should be thinking about the symbol of a new year, a fresh start, another chance to make myself better.
However, I keep getting distracted by the part of the internet that features tropical vacations while last night’s dishes stay piled in the sink and Edie’s toys stay scattered on the ground alongside the crumbs from the crackers she was carrying around, one in each hand, before her noodle supper.
Welcome to 2017.
It looks about exactly like 2016 except colder, messier and, well, there’s more snow.
I’ve always sort of hated the fact that the whole new-year-new-beginnings thing falls smack in the middle of the longest season. I mean, how does anyone expect to swear off carbs and start a treadmill regime in January in North Dakota when we need the extra padding the most? It’s irresponsible.
Talk to me in July about healthy resolutions, and I’ll be the first one to schedule us a hiking trip.
Talk to me about resolutions in January and, well, here are the necessary life changes that are on my mind:
- More snuggles
- More sleep
- More sweaters
- More vacations
Oh, and I should probably shovel off my deck before it collapses under the weight of the five foot snowdrift, but that looks like the only mildly productive resolution I’ve accumulated.
Don’t get me wrong, I have career goals brewing, and some fun projects coming down the pipe for 2017, but this year I’m not sure how complicated I want to get in making personal promises to myself.
Because I’ve spent the entire duration of 2016 in the new-to-me universe of motherhood, wondering what it is I should be doing and how my limited time, limited energy and limited money is best spent, a question that seems more pressing now that I’m responsible for a little one, and she grows and changes by the second.
And you know what I just realized? It isn’t caring for this new life that’s been so tiring and challenging. No. That’s been the fun part.
The hard parts have been on me and that nagging voice in my head that I keep nurturing, the one that keeps suggesting that what I’m doing isn’t enough.
Working more or home more? Daycare or no daycare? More play dates? More real dates? Early mornings spent writing? Even earlier mornings on the treadmill?
Nobody tells you that about new motherhood. They don’t tell you that the biggest adjustment is getting to know the new version of yourself after that baby is born.
It’s been over a year and I’m not sure I’m there yet, except I’m determined to stop being so hard on her in 2017.
I’m determined to like her. Because I haven’t written a song or done a lunge in months, but I have pulled a tiny human in a sled to the top of a snowy hill all in the name of a smile, and I think that might be just as important (and more aerobic) these days.
And I simply can’t bring myself to say I’m going to eat fewer caramel rolls in 2017 because the New Year needs more sweet things, not less.
So here’s a thought I’ve never really entertained in a life spent making plans (plans that got us to this very magical and demanding moment of our lives): Maybe what we’re doing right now is exactly what we need to be doing right now.
And maybe it’s perfect timing after all. January is the best month for snuggling.