Christmas was good. Our Puppy Surprise tree worked out wonderfully. I wanted to write a whole Christmas poem about it but I didn’t because, ya know, reasons.
The kids loved their presents. Rowan is particularly adorable when receiving gifts. He just puts his whole body into the appreciation. Like he cannot believe that this random object is actually for him. Lorelei gave him a toy guitar and mic and he grabbed it from her and looked like the happiest kid ever. Christmas morning, when he walked out and saw his ride-on toy, he strode right over to it with a sense of purpose, sat down, and started scooting around the house.
Lorelei got her Puppy Surprise. It only had three puppies but one was a runt, so for some reason, that seemed to make it all ok. But y’all… you tell me right now that this does not look like a puppy c-section. Also, I cannot believe how grown up and big she looks in that last picture.
I’m so tired, though.
I’m not supposed to be. Zach took the kids to his parents’ house for three nights. I was supposed to get to sleep and relax (and work, because that’s why I stayed home).
Six hours after they walked out the door I started puking. At first, I thought the beer and chicken nuggets at lunch were the culprit and was feeling pretty lame. A few hours later, when I puked all over the hall, I realized I wasn’t so much lame as disgustingly sick. Earlier, Lorelei said that big kids don’t have accidents in their pants. I told her that sometimes even adults have accidents. Fucking universe and it’s shitty sense of humor is all I have to say about that.
I spent two days basically in bed but at least I had time home alone? At least if I was going to get sick it was without kids demanding my attention? Poor Zach got sick in the mountains with both kids.
This is the third of four years where we have had the stomach plague in the week around Christmas. Next year we’re going to isolate ourselves and not talk to anybody for the entire month of December.
A blogger I follow recently mentioned having a one-word intention for the upcoming year and invited her readers to share theirs. I never make traditional New Year’s resolutions. I can barely sit through an entire tv show without losing focus, no way will I make it through a year of shit I don’t want to be doing. Previous years I have done two-week resolutions or a resolution-per-month approach.
For some reason, this year her question resonated with me. Immediately, a word floated into my head and latched on.
My word for 2017 is definitely, “less.”
I need to consolidate my energy into the things I really enjoy, rather than having a “because I can” approach.
I’m especially talking about writing. In 2016 I got caught up in the addictive aspects of having someone say you’re good at something. I had some wins and wanted more and more. It felt good to be approved. To be sought after. At the end of the year, I feel like I’ve hit a wall. I am never going to be a great journalist — I don’t like talking to people or doing research. My general lack of follow-through and focus means I’m not going to write the next great American novel. So why am I striving? What am I striving for? I need to quit jumping at every single opportunity. Writing is starting to feel like a chore, rather than a pleasure. I am finding myself worrying about the things I’m “supposed” to write. I keep trying to force it.
I want to step back. To write what feels good to write. To quit worrying about my “brand” (whatever the hell that means). I want to consider a dozen shares to be practically viral again. Fuck SEO.
I’m just not feeling it.
Last week I signed up for MailChimp to work on making a weekly mailing list so people could keep up with what I’m writing (since FB sucks for that). And I suddenly thought, “why?” It feels icky to put myself out there like that. It’s all feeling weird and broken right now. Honestly, it was feeling a bit compulsive.
So I’m stepping back. I will still write — I’ve always written. But I’m going to try to tamp down that every-growing need for “more.” More outlet bylines, bigger publications, more likes and shares and comments. This year is about quality over quantity.
Less can also be about the overindulgence I’ve fallen into. Too much sugar, caffeine, and beer. Too much sitting still.
We’ve already cut screen time drastically in our house and I was surprised at how quickly I noticed an improvement in the flow of our evenings.
Less. Quality over quantity. 2017, y’all.