On New Year’s Day in 2015 I somehow managed to start a new:
- bottle of lotion
- tube of lip gloss
- pack of contacts
- pot of eye cream
And I didn’t even try! It all just fell into place like that, like magic. Like new toiletry magic.
I shouldn’t be impressed by sheerly coincidental alignments, but at this time of year I can’t help but find meaning in the most benign, useless stuff. I know a new year is just a different damn day in the same old story of your life but the hopeful promise of a fresh start is always too much for even my cynical old heart to completely shrug off.
Did everyone in the world have a shitty 2014? I feel like the overwhelming tone at the end of the year was “good riddance!” Hey, I’ll join that chorus. For me 2014 was not the expansive, explosive year that 2013 was. 2014 was more like a closing-in. 2014 sounded like the deep silence of a winter’s day. 2014 was a suffocatingly low ceiling of clouds. 2014 brought bad news in the world and in my family; we spent the year working and stressing and not having fun. I was pregnant for much of it and that condition brought its own myriad frustrations, discomforts, and anxieties.
About being pregnant: I am not anymore. I’d wanted to write about becoming unpregnant in a more linear fashion, in exactly the order it unfolded. I’ve pounded away at the breech series when I can, but life and time have predictably gotten away from me and here I am one month into parenthood already. With growing distance I’m finding it harder and harder to write about the experience but it’s important to me that I record those stories here, so I will. It just might take a while. I mean, look, it’s taken me nearly two weeks to write about the damn New Year. I can’t guarantee how long it’s going to take to unpack having a baby.
Anyway, so I had a baby. I still have the baby, I haven’t sold it to the circus yet but I am sorely tempted. It is a girl baby and I like her very much except for when she screams in my face, which is quite often. They say parenthood is hard and I have to agree with them. There have been times, especially in the first two weeks, where it felt like I was slowly drowning in the blackest void. It is not so bad anymore but it still isn’t amazing, but that’s okay. Between us we’ve got the rest of our lives to figure it out.
I’ve been mulling how I want to talk about my kid here and on the internet in general. For the sake of maintaining some semblance of privacy — and if not privacy, then merely making it slightly more difficult for my family to google our names and come across this here web log — I think I’m going to call her Vera, because Vera was originally one of my top name choices for her and the beau voted it down because it sounded like a “Disney villain.” Fair enough! His opinion counts in meatspace but I get final say here.
At midnight on New Year’s Eve we were actually still awake except for Vera, who was napping in the beau’s lap. I was using the precious hands-free time figuring out how to get that damn U2 album off my phone, THANKS APPLE, because I wasn’t about to carry that kind of baggage with me any farther down life’s path. I glanced up briefly during the countdown and then back at the glow of my handheld screen after the TV people shouted “ONE!” This is my 34th new year, I don’t need showy displays to mark the passage of time. I’m doing just fine with my new toiletries, thanks.
So it’s 2015. That’s cool. That works. I don’t have any expectations about it except that I hope it’s better than 2014. If the first two weeks are any indication it’s off to a shaky start! That doesn’t necessarily mean anything though. 2005 started in the toilet and ended up being one of the best years of my life. No pressure or anything, 2015.
What else? Here’s a picture from when the baby was new, when we were still in the hospital:
Okay, 2015. Let’s see what you got.
Image credit: from the 4CP | 4 Color Process blog, comic book scans and crops by John Hilgart // www.4cp.posthaven.com/in-defense-of-dots-the-lost-art-of-comic-book