Friday, December 18, 2015

Pincushions

Friday, December 18, 2015

It would not be December if I wasn't attempting an ill-advised last minute festive craft.

I should be knitting the two gifts I have left on my list, but no. I'm learning to sew again.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas 2015

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Here is a list of things that I am looking forward to this holiday season:

1. My friend Frank's Hanukkah party.

I cannot spell Hanukkah, but I am super psyched for this Saturday's brunch party with Latkes! I know Hanukkah is over, but whatevs. It's the thought that counts.

Also, I love a brunch party that starts at 1pm. This means I get to have breakfast at least once, if not twice, before we go to that brunch party. Brunch at my house is at 9am, because we get up at 5:30. Because we procreated.

2. Cracking into a Penny Vincenzi novel.

Every Christmas I read some giant, suitcase-sized smutty extravaganza of a family saga. I've had this one on tap since last Christmas, when I bought it for myself with the delusion of being able to host the holidays, make my daughter's first Christmas magic-magic, and not have a mental breakdown. I was still nursing so there was no wine. It was hard. I'm super looking forward to diving headfirst into some total escapist fiction.

3. Bratwurst and Sauerkraut

I married a Bavarian. My family used to do sausage and perogies on Christmas Eve, and his did  Brats and Sauerkraut. Different, but the same. Sausage. Bringing us all together.

4. Getting over this tooth pain

I had oral surgery last week and it's been killer and I can't wait until I can crack into a spiced rum and coke and kick back without fear of mixing painkillers and booze and ruining Christmas, emergency-room style.

5. Watching holiday movies, eating curry

We like to watch Love, Actually and Die Hard each December, and eat butter chicken. I don't really know why those things are related but they are.

6. Family

Seeing my brother, my parents, my extended family, and watching them love on my kid. Going to be great.

7. Cooking

I love cooking, I love cooking impressive stuff, I can't wait to butter up that bird and roast it. Also, LEFTOVERS!

8. Stockings

I love stockings. It's not so much fun to open my own because I have to stuff it, but I love stuffing the stockings of others.

9. Yule log

We don't have cable, but did you know there's a yule log on Netflix? AWESOME.

10. Silent night

There's something about the soft glow, the warm room, the peace and quiet. There's not a lot of this in my life right now, and I look forward to soaking in the calm when I can.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Woman Scouts

Sunday, December 13, 2015

I think there should be merit badges for being a woman during the holiday season.

Yes, my millennial is showing.

But honestly. I sent 47 Christmas cards today. This feat required considerable use of cursive handwriting, coordinated stationary, international postage, photography and advance planning skills (took that photo back in July, damn it), and a bloody MAIL MERGE.

Last weekend we hosted our annual Christmas shindig. I work full time. I'm losing my mind. I baked at least 5 kinds of holiday treats from scratch.

Today I bought an extra roast, "just in case" we need it during the holidays.

I deserve a badge and a sash. Just call me Martyr Owl.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Tis the season!

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Gary and I put up our Christmas tree last night. We watched Elf, drank holiday beverages from Starbucks, and sprinkled glitter all over our apartment like we do every year. It's one of my favourite things to do, even if fluffing the tree makes me feel weirdly itchy.

Em and the tree have co-existed in the space for less than an hour and we've already reminded her to be"GENTLE" and to "Look with your eyes! Your eyes! Not your hands!" more times then I can count. It's going to be a long month.

But oh, the look on her face when the three of us tiptoed into the living room at 5:30 this morning and she saw the tree for the first time, shimmering, sparkling, glowing.

Pure magic.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Hello...

Tuesday, December 01, 2015
Time passes alarmingly fast. Another week, another month, another year, and here we are. The days blur into the months and suddenly the year is closing.

I'm not living on autopilot. It's not as though there aren't little chocolate chips of joy and pain and boredom sprinkled throughout the days, and tears in the shower, and long days and long nights. I taste all of them and try my best to live in the moment, celebrating each one. But they tick on, and on, and they're fast.

I went to the dentist yesterday. It had been seven years but the hygienist was the same. The office was the same. My name, address, insurance information was different, but my birth date was the same. 

Things change. Things don't.

I write a lot of blog posts in my head. On my way to work. In the elevator. I think, god, that's funny. I want to share that. I want to let people in. I want to show them who I am, how I think. See me. Read me. Understand me.

When you first meet someone, they're fascinating. You soak them in. Drink up all you can. Read their words over and over, listen to their voicemail again, hang on their words. Google them, friend them, add them. There is never enough, and you are parched. You're dying to know who they are, what they think, how they feel.

When you truly know someone, you can just be, together, in silence, fold yourself in to your partner. Sit side by side with your friend, finish your mother's sentences. You know them. You don't need to ask, you don't need to wonder. You do, of course, but you can predict, and that comfort is deeply satiating. You can stand there, soul naked, in the calm comfort that comes with years and shared experience.

But that in between phase is damning. 

You get tired. We're all overexposing ourselves, shouting into a the void, desperate for attention. I ate this! We went here! See, I'm so clever! Love me! 

Do you never shut up? Are you always so boisterous? Must you share everything you do? You know, your life isn't really that interesting. 

Oh. I see you. You're not perfect. 

The illusion is lost. 

You struggle. Just like me. 

Tarnish rubs off. Relationships deepen and those that stick around become true partners in crime.

So what's the point of all this navel-gazing?

I have so much to say. Sometimes I'm afraid that I'll crack open and the messy bits will spill out and I'll hurt someone, or you'll need to look away. I guess that's ok. 

I don't like over-sharing. Pictures of my kid? Cool. Social media check-ins? Sure, you know where I am and what I'm doing, and who I'm with. I'm funny? I want you to think I'm funny.

But do you know who I am? How I feel? I think it's written on my face, but maybe it's not. "I'm fine, I'm ok, I've had better days."

We don't ask why. "Why are you fine?" "What's great, what's not?" 

I loved blogging. Because I can throw it out there, who I am, who I want you to think I am, who I'd like to be. But things changed. 

I take crappy photos. I'm not interested in presenting a picture-perfect life, except when I am. I'm going through some really tough shit. I'm lucky. I'm blessed. I'm happy and laughing and sobbing and miserably moody, all on the same day. 

I went to a therapist. 

"You're so well-adjusted!" he said. "You've got a good handle on things, I'm impressed." 

Then the receptionist called me into his office and the conversation I was having with him in my head ended, and I had to split myself open in front of a stranger. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. 

Turns out being well-adjusted and having a good handle on things is not going to help me in my current situation. There is no proactive measures that can be taken to deal with sadness, loss, anger, fear. You can't plot a plan in advance, you have to do it while you're riding the wave.

Maybe you'll stick around with me while I try?