Wednesday, December 4, 2013

another month later, I'm taking stock.

It makes sense, right, that this blog has evolved as my life has evolved?  This blog was born when the kids were babies, and now they are so not babies.  It's funny to look back on the early days when I was so quick to share everything we did, and so frequent to update, to tell every story, to post every photo I took.

In the early days, it was fun for me to update all the time, but I was a little manic about keeping it updated and making everything looking shiny and sweet. Now it feels better to wait, to wait for an idea, for things to say, for a collection of photos to pile up in my camera, to resist the need to chronicle everything.

As I'm nearing my 40th birthday, I have caught myself sort of looking at myself from outside my body. I have been checking myself out. Who are you, and what do you do, and what do you care about, and how do you make your life work with respect to what you care about? All my shortcomings and 40-year old wrinkles aside, I am pleasantly surprised to see some obvious progress in myself.

It is so cool to have the benefit of perspective and experience and trial-and-error. Turning 40 is not something I fear or dread at all. In fact, I'm excited to be 40. (As my mother says, wistfully, "Oh to be 40!")

40 means that I know myself pretty well, and I trust myself. I know what feels good (running, a lot of salad, being honest with myself, being organized and disciplined, setting up the coffee the night before), and I know what feels bad (agreeing to too many commitments, trying to make everyone else happy, procrastinating, rushing my children).

I find regular routines to be invigorating and empowering, not boring, as I might have thought when I was younger (family meals at the table at the same time each night, getting up early for masters' swimming, going to the gym). I know I am best in the early morning, so I get up early. If something is bothering me, I talk about it.  If I need to set some boundaries with people, I do it.  These are things I used to struggle with.  I spent a lot of my 20s and 30s worried about how I might be perceived, and what a freaking load off my back to let some of that go. Seriously, I think it's a 40-year old thing when you give yourself permission to put that shit down.

I am finding a lot of joy in not feeling tied to the blog, or to my laptop at all, which almost always remains in my school bag these days.  I love coming to this space to write and reflect,  but the slower frequency of posts feels right for now, so thank you if you are staying with me.

If November was the month when we said "I am grateful for..." a lot, then December is the month when we say: "Where on God's green Earth did you put your other mitten?"

I am grateful to have kids so I can do crafty things and baking.

We are grateful for our family and for "hot coo-coo"
And we are grateful for time to make messes with sprinkles.
a triple-decker!

The end of November around here means the Turkey Trot road race, which is often one of the first really cold days of the year.  Holy head-wind, this one was extra chilly, and the wind slowed everyone down.
I am grateful for running and for these two fine people. 

Reed's new obsession is skateboarding, and I am grateful to have time to let him learn new tricks at the warm indoor-skate park.  And mommy has time to watch and drink coffee and cheer him on.  

 And time for movies and frozen yogurt with Meredith, who joined us for Thanksgiving. 

The Thanksgiving meal was a total team effort.  My job was potatoes, sweet potatoes, and pies (2 apple, 2 pecan) and Skyler crimped the edges of the crusts.  

This gorgeous crew at the Thanksgiving table made me grateful.  I had no trouble thinking of things to be thankful for here.
Hillary hosts a photo contest among her friends of the "best looking" Thanksgiving plate.  Last year, I entered but lost, and vowed to use sparklers as a garnish if I had to in order to win this year.

And so, there were sparklers.

And, I won Hillary's contest. 
And there were like 25 entries in her contest!  But I'm not bragging.

And now, lo and behold, it's winter.  Getting ready for Christmas, so far, feels fun and not stressful yet.   But seriously, where are the missing mittens?

The kids are rehearsing for parts in the Christmas pageant.  Reed is going to be "A shepherd with no speaking part" and Skyler is going to be "Angel of the Lord with a speaking part." 

Can you see their halos?

Shopping is mostly done, so now we have time to enjoy the snow.  

 We will see if I can maintain my "I'm-almost-40-now-so-I-don't-get-stressed-out" equilibrium throughout the holidays  I have a lot of help in keeping things upbeat around here.  Look at their attitude about the approach of winter.

Thanks to our friend Marlee for the photos.

May you all enjoy the season, and may you all find both the mittens.  Happy December, dear readers.  xoxo


Maureen Montgomery said...

Emilie, Dear,

YES..."drop that shit!" It's old and stinky...and it makes it difficult to live with joy and balance. My little grand daughters are teaching me that life is a joy and a gift, and to say "I love you" every day. I'm so glad that you are feeling positive about entering your forties as I am leaving them! :-) Love to you!


Hanna said...

Still here =o)

Transitional Objects said...

I'm still here, too, and it's such a pleasure to feel consistently inspired (and happy!) as I read your posts.

Also. You're glowing with happiness in each of your pictures. I'm very glad. =)

Emilie said...

Thank you, all three of you. I am lucky to have you out there. :)