As I noted, I have been away from blogging for almost a year. I’d like to swagger in here and talk about my big year, the drama that kept me away, the amazing project I undertook, the book I wrote, or the company I started. Nope, it was none of that. Truth be told, the past year has been ordinary. Gloriously, maddeningly, ordinary.
I have not been doing it all. Not even close. I’ve been working. I’ve been parenting. I’ve been reading a lot. I’ve been watching tv. Putting the kids to bed (why does this get HARDER, not easier?). Sharing a beer or glass of wine with my husband when we survive the bedtime battles. Friday night dates with my husband. Movie nights with my neighbors. Started working out again. Started eating too many cookies again. Discovered Downton Abbey and Breaking Bad (late to the party, I know). Took a trip to visit my best friend in D.C. Took a trip to Colorado where I didn’t ski. Took a much-needed anniversary trip to Puerto Rico. Read a lot of books. Didn’t read a lot of magazines, as indicated by the stacks piled around the house. Made some life decisions. Didn’t make any big life decisions. Debated whether to redo the kitchen, or completely remodel, or move altogether. (Still debating). Stopped nursing my last baby.
But I have not been trying to do it all. I have let myself go this year. I have let myself be lazy and sit still. I have not gotten up early and gone for a run. I have not gotten up early and written. I have not accomplished a lot of things I thought I would. I have not hosted dinner parties. I have said no. I have ordered more take-out than I would like. I still have not gotten my kids to eat many vegetables. I still let my baby have a bottle before bed, even though I cut her brother off at exactly 12 months. I have yelled more than I have liked to at my kids. I have enjoyed my kids more than I thought I would. I let my son wear his costumes every day. I try to make him drink milk. I got stressed out for a minute about private school admissions and then thankfully, came to my senses. I do my job well, but I’m not necessarily interested in a promotion. I am late to work sometimes. I still haven’t found the perfect way to do my hair. I am still looking for the perfect pair of leather leggings. I still talk to my mom on the phone every day.
Some weeks it’s flowing, and I think I am getting the hang of things. Some weeks it’s all I can do to just survive. Some weeks we have hard-boiled eggs and toast with jam and oatmeal and fresh fruit. Some weeks we have a LOT of frozen pancakes. Some days I drive to work smiling, noticing the sky and the smell of my coffee and feel hopeful. Some nights I drive home and play a song that is certain to make me cry, while I take an extra lap through my neighborhood and sing at the top of my lungs, tears flowing freely.
I’m not sure what people mean by having it all. What I envisioned as a young person was a glamorous job, where I wore glamorous clothes and told people what to do. I assumed there was a husband and kids and a house, all perfect angles and glowing. I don’t have that. I don’t even know what that is. I had no idea about anything. I don’t have it all. But when I think about it, I do have all that I need.
It’s been almost a year of ordinary days. Somewhere inside each of those days, it’s happening, the outlines of what will compose my childrens’ childhoods are being drawn. Like a paint-by-numbers, those days are slowly bleeding into color, creating a picture in their heads. One day they will look back and these will be the days for them. These ordinary days are what they will remember.