Friday, March 24, 2017

Recipe for a Good Day

Yesterday, I announced on Facebook that I had a day that was "exhausting, remarkable, and ordinary." And those are now the things I hope every day can be - save exhausting - though I do think that the exhausting days, if accompanied by the other two, are usually the most fulfilling.

I love ordinary things.  I love eating popcorn in front of a movie in the basement with my family. I love chatting with my partner while he tries to read a book and I fold laundry. I enjoy tucking my kids in at night probably more than anything else on earth and doing our litany of things: book, arm wrestle, talk about the plans for tomorrow, discuss the importance of Magneto's gadgets, hug, kiss, tuck in again, lights out. I like grocery shopping, most days, and I enjoy seeing familiar faces as I do the very ordinary things around town that I do on the daily.

But every day should be a little bit remarkable, too, or they simply run together. Maybe it's just that you had a particularly big belly laugh that day, or you cooked a new and successful meal. Or you heard an inspiring speech or you read a fantastic book. Or, you traveled or ate at an inspired new restaurant or you pushed yourself farther than you thought you could in your brain, your body, your comfort zone.

And while I love a good lazy day and enjoy them more often than most, probably, I know that the days that end in a pile of tired are probably the ones that accomplish the two above goals the best. So when I complain of tired, ask me: was it ordinary? was it remarkable? And maybe I'll shut up.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

To My Children #1

Johnny and Lily,

Today I'll drive you to your grandma and grandpa's house to stay for a few days during Spring Break.

This is always bittersweet, as I do relish a few days to get only myself dressed and out the door in the morning and the ability to watch adult tv with abandon. But by the last day, I'm always so ready to have you back. Andy noticed recently that I am always unusually weepy toward the end of your stays away from me. Which is weird because I'm not a weepy person.

Lately, we've been bonding as a family while lying on my bed watching Disney movies. I do feel so guilty about this and I know we should be reading or practicing math or something, but there is something so divine about everyone piling on the bed together tucked into my bedroom away from the whole world and snuggling together with all of Lily's baby dolls. I just cannot resist it and I hope that those warm memories make up for any lack of education you may suffer because of my lackadaisical parenting.

Lily is into babies and shopkins and bless your heart, dear girl, but I just do not know how to play. I do not want to and I can't and I'm just never going to be that kind of mother. Johnny has accepted this and plays Legos at his table in the living room without my assistance and for that I am so grateful.

Anyway, it's a really fun time to be your mom and you get cuter and funnier all the time. Like Lily, when you told me to get you out of your carseat because you're "not getting any younger" and Johnny sings his ear worm "Lick it up" ad nauseam.

Please stop growing. I'm having the time of my life.

All my love,

Wherein I complain vocally and pathetically.

I can go ahead and do here what I know will be called by some as sexist, because this is my space and for a hot second I will, unchecked, say what I want.

I will also succumb to my somewhat balanced self and give a disclaimer: maybe there are men out there who do and think the things I am going to outline below, but I don't know any. I know good men, no doubt. But I know zero men who feel compelled to listen to, feel guilty about, or participate in the things that I am talking about here. The good men I know might do ONE of these things. TWO max. But they do not let their heads spin with all this garbage because they GIVE ZERO FUCKS about most of it BECAUSE THEY DO NOT HAVE TO. And they are not called to.

Here is what it feels like to be me. To look at myself, take in media, talk to friends, think about my mother, my past, my future, my kids, and the world-at-large:

My inner monologue is this:


But there's so much to do.

I should be doing yoga and taking up running. Lose weight. Better health. Get centered. Know your body. Live longer and set a good example for the children.

Cook healthier dinners. Reduce the carbs, salt, processed, gluteny foods.

Shop at the farmer's market even though it's an extra much less convenient more time consuming stop twice a week on top of the regular store.

Keep your wardrobe updated and flattering. Shop diligently for appropriate but comfortable footwear that will not ruin your already rubbish feet.

Have a skin care process you practice every day.

Curl your hair.

Mop, vacuum, clean up dust.

Buy tasteful and current things to decorate your home so that you look like you live in a magazine but cooler because it's you. Have a point of view about decor, whatever that is.

Teach your kids to read when they're 3 and also be sure they know about YOUR favorite music. Make sure they look like they go to J Crew Preschool and that they don't want too much tv and be sure to tell your friends about all the activities they do and how creative they are.

Pack bento boxes for their fucking lunches.

Be sexy.

Don't let your car be dirty.

Be a good friend, neighbor, daughter, sister, and co worker. Be sure to care for EVERYONE'S general welfare and emotional needs and don't be a bitch even when you're sick or under water.

Learn what the fuck Cross Fit is. Reject it. Go for regular walks.

Be a good listener. Know how to bake bread. Keep a budget spreadsheet. Buy your kids all the things they need and some they want but don't spend any money on yourself.

Read important books.

Be updated on politics but don't be too loud about it. It's annoying to others.

Volunteer your time.

Give away your talents for free.

Don't be negative or complain.

Have a pleasant countenance, watch your resting bitch face.

And you guys, this is all POST feminist revolution. THIS IS THE IMPROVED SITUATION.

We gotta do better.