Sunday, January 4, 2015

A Simple Plan

Today was the last day of having the family together before we went off in our separate directions, work, school, and wherever it is that I end up most days.

Where do I end up most days?

I spend a lot of time walking in the woods, on trails, being jumped on by puppies at the park, and at one of the five different grocery stores where my family's favorite foods are offered. I am seldom at home for long, so I have trouble saying I'm a stay-at-home mom. I'm an errand-running mom, a volunteering-too-much mom, a walking mom, an air-head, wandering, library-cruising, head-in-the-clouds mom, but I'm seldom a stay-at-home mom. 

And yet, I long for more time at home.

A friend of mine said she had heard of a new thing wherein you're supposed to think of one word to use for the upcoming year. It sounds suspiciously like a resolution. Did it sound like a resolution to you? I'm not sure I like resolutions.

But before she had finished her sentence and told me that she wants her word for 2015 to be 'active,' a word had already sprung unbidden to my mind.


Oh, there are a dozen resolution words I could have picked: finishing, cleaner, caught-up, which is really two words, but maybe hyphenating negates that. I could have picked: organized, cool, pretty, fashioned, crafted..... Oh, I could go on, but most of those words are potentially a death-knoll to my happiness. Can I imagine this being the year I cleaned? Oh, the agony. What about pretty? Not even possible and I'm beginning to think I've reached the age wherein any attempt at pretty might be hazardous, or worse, ridiculous. Do you know what I mean? Have you seen the fifty-something women who are drawing lipstick outside the lines of their lips and it's seeping into the wrinkles growing at the edges of their lips and they look a little like a kid who's just eaten a red popsicle? So, pretty is out. Cleaner is out. Caught-up is two words and it's a fairy tale anyway. No one interesting is ever caught up. Finishing is a fairy tale too. And who's to say those unfinished projects that are gathering dust should be spared my time anyway? I mean, if they were any good, wouldn't I have finished them? It might be simpler to get rid of them.

Oh, and let's throw out 'organized.' That's not me at all. Plus, it's way over the top as far as resolution crap is concerned. Neither is 'cool' or 'fashioned' part of my persona. Those are just high school wishes.

'Crafted' might be fun, but I suspect it might drive Mike nuts. I imagine sometimes that I have time to carve curlicues into my deck or paint happy purple doodles on one wall in my house. Once, I asked Mike about painting a wall and he almost put his foot down. He looked downright consternated. He also didn't want to put a slide where the stairs were on the outside of the house when Nick was a little kid either. That would have been so absolutely cool! Normal people could have come and gone from the house in the usual way through the front door, but Nick and I could have slid down from the second floor via a slide out of the laundry room door. Ah well.

Mike knew I was strange when he married me. I'm only getting stranger. It won't be long before he comes home one day and I'll appear with purple paint in my hair and tell him I've painted a wall of the guest room downstairs with runes.

Isn't that the part of the movie when you know the main character is off his gourd? Indiana Jones, the Transformers. You know what I mean.

But it's also where Gaudi transformed a whole city in Spain. There were curves and spirals and broken pottery in his houses and cathedrals and parks. It just explodes into your consciousness and never quite leaves. I like that about Gaudi.

Mike gave me stone-carving bits for Christmas. He must be at least a little interested in me doodling in odd places. I think he envisioned it as something I did with Nick. Oh, any moments we had at home, Nick was glued to the television. It was exhausting. I realize that quite a lot of creativity goes into creating those video games, but to watch and listen is draining.

So, even if I stick to this idea that I can categorize an entire year using one word, 'simple' might be a good way to go. Simple might mean clearing enough time to finish writing. Simple might be time to wander in the woods and feel the spirit of the trees singing through me. Simple might be learning how to be quiet with my best friends. I have trouble being quiet with any other person besides Mike. I'm learning how to quiet myself with Nick and I like how he's responding. Oh, I still tell him to pick up his socks from the floor, but I'm trying to quiet myself around him.

To be honest, the best resolution I ever made was to have a damned good year. That was about twenty years ago. I shocked some people who were very intent on losing weight or exercising more or getting their act together. One of my friends back then told me that it was important for her to be rich and she'd discovered that no man would ever do that for her, that she had to do it for herself. Then, she tried to recruit all of her friends, me included, into buying insurance. What good does life insurance do a single girl? "You could make your brother your benefactor," she told me with intensity.

I'm not friends with her any more. I'm convinced that you shouldn't get rich on the backs of your friends, even if they might happen to need life insurance. Plus, we weren't exactly a buried treasure to mine anyway. For that, you need rich friends who need life insurance.

Not my deal, I'm telling you.

So, here I sit on the eve of what I really see as my new year. That Monday, when the Christmas break is over, when the sleepovers are done, when the pinball museum has seen my backside going out the door, when the family walks are done, when gifts have been give, when Mike goes back to work, when Nick is back to school, that is my new year. That is the beginning.

I have a clear day tomorrow. I might have errands to run, but I haven't noted them yet. I will probably walk the dog. I might stop at the grocery store for dinner ideas, but the day will be my new beginning.

Any guesses what I'll do with it?

I could sleep in, make tea, and sit on the couch with a book and the cat on my lap. Now that could be considered a simple plan.

Thank you for listening, jb

No comments:

Post a Comment