Was relieved to get up early for yoga this morning, if only to escape the circular anxiety dreams.
But I was tired in yoga class. As I lay, half-awake, in the final shavasana, I thought to myself, nothing had better get in the way of my morning nap, or I’m not going to make it through today.
Must have been a premonition. I drove home through the rain, thinking, the kids aren’t going to enjoy their walk to school today. And I opened my email to discover: SCHOOL CANCELLED! Apparently a massive ice storm was in the offing, though I can’t say it’s materialized as promised (which is not a bad thing, I realize). Frankly, all I was thinking was: with school cancelled, how am I going to get my nap???
I was desperate. I told the kids they could play electronics while I went back to bed. Worked like a charm, although those dreams were even more bizarre. I was on a train in Syria doing an aerobics class led by a Serbian instructor whose moves were comically complex. I couldn’t follow. I sobbed into my seat cushion (being on a train, remember), a feeling of fear and despair permeating the dream, which I understood was a dream, and I worried in the dream about having a dream that would make me sob.
And then I woke up, and cleaned the house. Electronics time over.
I stopped cleaning at lunchtime, in a really grumpy mood. I made a delicious homemade chicken noodle soup. I went outside and grabbed some ice photos. The photos aren’t terribly impressive, there not being much ice. As far as I can see, the cars keep whipping along our street without any trouble at all. But not to worry, the kids are safe, playing soccer in the living room and creating a Lego bomb in the upstairs hallway. It is now around the time I’d expect them home from school. I’ve hooked them back up to their electronics again, which gives me the luxury of writing this post. I’ll admit no feelings of guilt.
I’m still kind of grumpy, though. Can you tell? I’m not hiding it very well.
Yeah, well. We’re all a little grumpy. We’re all accustomed to activity and go, go, go, and even if it’s not a really bad storm, the weather is still yucky and cold and wet and not conducive to outdoor play, and everything’s closed, and we haven’t gotten up to anything more exciting than electronics and housecleaning.
Total side note before I sign off and unhook the children: Have you seen The Mindy Project yet? It’s a sitcom, so if you hate sitcoms, don’t bother, but we find it hysterically funny at our house. We’ve been letting the older kids stay up to watch (be warned, there is some adult content). I found myself fighting not to giggle out loud while lying on my yoga mat this morning, waiting for class to begin, because I was remembering scenes from the episode we watched last night.
Hello, weekend. Hello, rain.
I don’t mind. I feel indoorsy today, sleepy. A long run is planned for late this afternoon, but I prefer running in the cool damp than hot hot heat. I’m baking bread. I’m sipping a cup of coffee and opening the newspaper — and finding a review that I wrote on an essay anthology called In the Flesh (read it here.)
That’s an awfully lovely discovery after a weird writing week. (The dinosaur story got sent yesterday; an interview for another story due next week went well; but I got very little work done on my new novel. It’s always easier to set aside work for prospective payment in favour of work for guaranteed payment.)
Above, a photo of my well-dressed recital children. With the approach of summer holidays, we are coming to the end of lessons. Last piano lessons last week. Last swim lessons next week. Highland dance recital next weekend.
(Soccer, however, will go on. And on. No matter the rain. But it wouldn’t be summer without soccer, at our house …)
Just before my reading yesterday (Wednesday) evening, the skies opened up. Talk about raining and pouring. And hailing. It was dramatic. Perhaps it purged my anxious mood, because by the time I got to the event at the library, everything felt magically relaxed. Or maybe that’s experience coming into play. After all, I have been reading and speaking in public on a fairly regular basis for the past few months.
A friend commented yesterday that she hoped I would find hidden value in my decade of at-home-with-children work; and there is no doubt it’s made me who I am.
I’m less self-conscious, for example. Any public outing involving infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and yes, even 11-year-olds, toughens the hide considerably. And my children have taught me how to ask for what I want — on many levels. If your child has ever been in need, you will discover within yourself reserves of grit and determination, you will knock on doors, you will be persistant and annoying and you won’t give a damn about being judged. On a different level, asking a child to do a task requires simple, straightforward communication. Forget fancy, forget dancing around a subject — state what needs doing in three words or less. So these are hidden assets I’ve gained over the years.
But other skills are rusty …
Alright, I started this post many hours ago, this is how far I got, and I’d like to finish it before bedtime. What has this crazy day held? I worked all day on a story on dinosaurs that is still not quite done. I set up an interview for tomorrow morning. I discovered we have a meeting at our eldest daughter’s new school early tomorrow morning; and that Kevin can’t attend due to work. I managed to make supper from scratch in about twenty minutes flat. Instead of eating it, I worked on the dinosaur story. Soccer girl and I biked to her soccer practice. The weather was gorgeous! I went for a run, and discovered speed — for the first three kilometres. And I hacked it out for the next two, and ran 5km in 23:38, my fastest time yet; and then I hacked out another kilometre and a bit, making it 6km in 28:52. (This is not record breaking time for anyone but me; but it felt good.) After soccer practice, the two of us stayed and practiced penalty shots — AppleApple in net, and me kicking. Addictively fun! Then we biked home. Dishes awaited. Laundry still on the line. Supper still on the table. Exhausted children to put to bed.
Man. I’m tired. I should not be typing, I should be reading in bed right now. I’m currently reading about the life of Edna St. Vincent Millay, and I spend a lot of time turning to my husband to report on the crazy things she’s getting up to. Did you know she was one of the most famous women in America in the 1930s? A poet! She sold 68,000 copies of a book of poems in eight weeks in the middle of the Depression.
More on Vincent to come, methinks.
For now, to sleep, perchance to dream.
buds on lilac, yesterday
This hot weather has revealed a serious gap in my wardrobe. Where did I put all my not-ratty, not-stained, not-holey, not-unflattering t-shirts? I’m good with the jeans (refreshed on my birthday). I’m good with the sandals (footwear should last for years on end). But the t-shirts have up and left town. Actually, no, they’re still hanging around the bottom of my over-stuffed shirt drawer, crumpled and neglected and forlorn.
So here’s a fantasy or two. Or three.
1. Side fantasy to precede other fantasies: An IKEA-like organizer magically appears in my closet into which I can stuff all of my smelly sports-related clothing. Because I have a lot of technical shirts, sweaters, and tanks that are not appropriate for anything but exercise. And the drawer is too full. So I can’t see what’s actually in there. This would save on time and irritation.
2. Sticking with the drawer-clearing theme: Someone goes through my drawer and forces me to give away anything that a) I haven’t worn in a year or b) I shouldn’t be wearing and someone should please inform me. Maybe I’m fantasizing about a What-Not-to-Wear scenario. Without cameras.
3. Now that the drawer has been organized and emptied: Someone, who is my exact size, drops off a bag of cast-off clothes and I dig through and find at least THREE excellent shirts, new to me. (This is how we got all of our clothes as kids — we had lots of older cousins — and it is my preferred shopping method even now.)
Okay, back to reality.
1. I could do this. I’ve been meaning to for months. Why haven’t I?
3. The realistic and therefore less fantastic version: a super-fast t-shirt shopping session at a secondhand store. I hate shopping. But this version looks likely to come true, possibly as soon as this evening when I’ll be taking Soccer Girl to goalie training. Apparently the arena is located near a top-notch secondhand store. Girding loins now.
Thus endeth the fantasy portion of this post. Is it just me, or was that pretty lame?
The fears portion shall begin now, but really it’s just one Fear, an underlying anxious hum. This morning, I woke early. The clock said 4:34. The windows were open, and a machine was beeping the back-up beep somewhere down the street. And I couldn’t for the life of me get back to sleep, though there were still forty minutes before the alarm was set to sound. Finally gave up, and got up to scour The Weather Network’s web site for clues — because there is something about this sudden onset of spring/summer that is distinctly unsettling. I want to be glad to see buds and tulips and green grass. Usually it’s downright thrilling. We’ve survived winter! And here is our reward!
But this year, we scarcely had winter. And it feels like the reward is coming far too early and too easily. And whenever things come easily, I get suspicious. This must be a trick. Fool’s gold. Fool’s spring.
AppleApple sat in my office yesterday and with a concerned face told me she had a theory: “You know how some people think the world is going to end in December, 2012? What if it just keeps getting hotter and hotter and hotter until then? And the world ends?”
Sounds like the plot of a movie in which I’d rather we not star.
I reassured her that such a trend was highly improbable. And said that we should enjoy today, because we can’t predict the future. Like a character says in The Juliet Stories: You don’t control the weather. (Of course, there’s so much we don’t control. Not just the weather. What to do but take my own advice, enjoy today, walk barefoot in the new green grass, bend down and see the flower unfurling?)