HEY THERE HI THERE HO THERE WHOA THERE, what happened to the last… seven? Months? I wish I could tell you that I’m just waking up from a lengthy dream scenario in which I was Beyoncé’s extended middle fingers, but tragically I have just been me for the past half-year-plus, living my own regular dumb life.
What even happened since my last post? Two, three, seven things, even. Possibly 19. Let me recap in the form of numerous bullet points:
- After the miscarriage in early May, I decided to “try” again right away, mainly because I was fresh off the Pregnant Boat and it didn’t seem like too much of an imposition to have to turn around and get right back on.
- When this single attempt didn’t pan out, I instead spun on my heels and sprinted full speed away from the boat. Fuck that boat, I thought. My universe of potential had suddenly, violently expanded. June was upon us, the artisan mixologists were putting all kinds of fruit in all kinds of cocktails, and I decided that now was time to seize the season by the sweaty old uniboob. I was going to fill in summer’s brows and give it a nice smokey eye. I was going to holler at summer out of the window of a moving car. I was going to throw summer, laughing, into a clear mountain lake. Summer was going the jewel in my crown, the stars in my hair, the rose petals on my circle bed beneath a ceiling mirror. Summer was going to be mine.
- RECORD SCRATCH SOUND EFFECT, a new job falls into my lap. Like literally, I glance down and screech because HOLY SHIT WHAT IS THAT. Lest you be led to think I somehow earned this employment opportunity on skill and merit, let me explain that I had been catching up with an old friend when I offhandedly mentioned my dissatisfaction with my work and she offhandedly mentioned she was looking to fill a design contractor position. Suddenly, I was working for her instead. What I gained in pay I also gained in more hours, and on top of these new hours I was also working a side hustle plus a massive, unpaid volunteer project. Days, nights, and weekends were lived out inside the blue-white glow of my computer screen. What was that bit about making summer mine again?
- Succulent summer roses faded into desiccated despair. All was ashes, all was dust. Black clouds billowed ceaselessly overhead and the wind howled a funeral dirge. HGTV played only the dumbest home renovation shows with the most annoying hosts. All of the sparkling water was flat.
- Then the election happened!
- Lol wait I am getting way ahead of myself but that joke setup was just, like, too powerful for me to resist!!
- In July I hit pause on the work-a-thon and jetted to Portland, Oregon, for six days, during which time Loretta Lynn and Jack White failed YET AGAIN to greet us at the airport with pitchers of sloe gin fizz. I mean. It was cooler than I’d packed for because even though I know Portland’s ways I am a weather optimist, plus the whole trip was spent in a rental house with my in-laws, which probably says enough about how that trip went without going into any further detail.
- In mid-August I did a quick Friday morning – Sunday night trip to Lawrence, Kansas to visit a dear old friend. I spent much of the trip working on various projects on my laptop, but this annoyance almost didn’t matter because it was my first trip alone without my kid. For three days I got to experience a decadent abundance of time the likes of which I had not seen since late 2014. No one wanted anyone from me except to know what time I desired to head to brunch. It was so beautiful that the memory sometimes brings a tear to my eye.
- In mid-September the beau and I took a weekend jaunt to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, which is a quaint name for a town that smells like farts. Still, a fine time was had by all, even by our toddler who didn’t quite grasp the eating-out-at-restaurants concept and got splutteringly mad every time a server brought a plate or took one away.
- At the very end of September, still generally drowning in work, I turned in my very last assignment for my side job just in time to go to…
- CALIFORNIA, an old home and native-ish land, a beautiful place where they just let fruit grow on trees, and there are flowers, and there is an ocean? Like right there. The beau was back in Santa Barbara for his annual management conference and I tagged along for the excuse to see old friends. And at first it was fantastic! For a whole weekend I was filled with a renewed sense of wonder and love, and then we moved into the hotel where the conference was held and I realized just how misguided it was to try to stay for five days in the same room as your toddler while your partner is away for extended periods of the day and night. There I was in a gorgeous, warm, familiar city, playing full-time nanny to someone who had recently decided she didn’t want to walk anywhere (hi, I figured out like two weeks later that she didn’t want to walk because her shoes were too small, go me). Uh. I mean, it was challenging and whatnot and I definitely sort of unfairly yell-cried at the beau at least one of the nights, but I’d definitely do it again under circumstances which included at least two separate rooms and, I don’t know, a kitchen where I could actually prepare food and wash things in a non-bathroom sink. Also, someone else to be the nanny.
- Shortly after our trip ended my side project also ended, and with this plus my old side job gone I finally, finally, had enough time to sit down, catch my breath, and consider how I wanted to go about enjoying the rest of my life.
- Then I took a positive pregnancy test, which makes me two for four on getting back from a trip to California and finding out I was pregnant!
- Why am I telling you this now, right here, in a rando bullet point in this unasked-for life update? Because, friends, I have been writing this post off and on since, like, August, and it kept evolving as time went on, and after I found out I was faced with trying to decide between scrapping this whole post and writing a new one, or somehow finishing this one without mentioning pregnancy and then writing a whole other post about it, and neither of those options seemed appealing, so right here it remains. Not trying to be all surprise-I-buried-the-lede-y, I am merely lazy.
- What else happened? Three weeks after I peed on a stick the Very Bad Day occurred, and everything went black for me. One positive effect, I suppose, is that I was moved to political action for one of the first times of my life, but then I got too involved and upset and had to pull back, and then I felt guilty for pulling back, and I got too involved and upset again, and the moral of the story here is that I have been wholly unable to find some sort of middle ground between remaining an informed, active, and responsible citizen and not losing my goddamned mind over the terribleness of the world. It’s either all or nothing, so far! If anyone has any tips on how to hit the drama and skip the trauma, holler at me.
- Then for kicks I turned 36, which officially makes me closer to 40 than 30 and I remain more creeped out by the passage of time than I’d care to admit. For my birthday I ate some pierogies and the beau took me to see a hockey game, which was fun but my team ended up losing 6-3 in the final period, which was a real bummer because I felt like, after a long series of little to big losses, I could have really used my guy to win for once. Sadly, even at 36 you don’t get to influence outcomes outside your own sphere! Maybe 37 is the year of omnipotence; I’ll report back.
- Right around the beginning of December I finally went to my first doctor’s appointment, which occurred approximately seven months after I took the pee stick test. I’m joking but like, IT FEELS LIKE IT. You wait so long, suspended in this amber of not being sure, and to a degree you take that with you the whole journey, but most of the uncertainty is weighted in those first several weeks. I did elect to wait a bit longer for my first appointment so I could bundle it with my DNA testing, which was recommended since I am over 35 and thus qualify as a “geriatric” pregnancy. I’m pushing 80, fertility-wise. These eggs are eating dinner at 4pm and arguing over the daily crossword before falling asleep in their armchairs to reruns of M*A*S*H. Anyway, everything checked out. Now I just have to wait another five months until my second appointment. I’m due in June of 2020!
- Two weeks after my birthday my kid turned two, which was really low-key in the sense that I did nothing because the beau was out of town for work. We “celebrated” instead on the weekend after he got back by taking her to bike around a frigid lake until she cried, and then attempting to serve her a piece of carrot cake, which she was Not Into. And I was like: my good woman, you will have to get used to people serving you seasonal desserts for your big day, this is just the light burden we late fall people bear. I mean, my own mother made me a pumpkin spice cake for my birthday! YOU DON’T GET A SAY IN THIS, EVERYTHING MUST BE HARVEST-RELATED.
- And finally, next came the holidays, which outside of the fact that I kept looking forward to to the next event (decorating cookies, eating, opening gifts, eating again) and then getting mildly irritated about the event and wishing for it to be over, was generally pleasant enough and unremarkable enough to get the distinction of being called “totally fine.” So, a tally in the win column, finally? This Christmas also marked the time my kid finally got into the concept of opening presents, and now every time we get a delivery she demands that I go get a knife and we find out what’s inside the box immediately. She also really got into our holiday lights and since we still have them up, each morning the first demand on her lengthy Scroll of Demands is that we turn them on. Then the beau took off the week between Christmas and New Year’s and while I put in a few hours of work each day I also got a lot of menial household to-do list shit done, which felt pretty good. So I guess what I’m trying to say here in way too many words is that we got to cap a mostly crap year in completely passable manner and yeah, in comparison to everything that’s been going on, that feels like a towering Rocky-style triumph over here.
Okay that finally brings me up to speed but speaking of triumphs, I have one last thing. Since lately I can’t get my shit together on this blog to crank out more than one post every half year, I’m going to try doing a TinyLetter, which is a “post” that gets sent directly to your email inbox of choice. I’m hoping this will free me up to write more breezy, current, journal-style entries more often, instead of pouring my occasional late-night energies into meticulously crafting essays about things that happened months ago. I’d still like to publish bigger, thinkier stuff here but I’m hoping this will just get me back into writing, with which I’ve completely lost touch due to life obligations. I can’t and shan’t promise good writing, but at this point I just need something, man.
I don’t have a clear idea of what shape this TinyLetter endeavor will ultimately take, but I do know that initially probably 90% will be about pregnancy and baby stuff, which not everyone is into but is super on my mind right now, not sure why. In other words: I get it if you don’t want to follow along.
I aim to send the first letter out this week or next. Here’s the link if you want to sign up.
Thanks for hanging in with me on this non-post, guys, and I hope your 2016 wasn’t a total garbage fire. See you around internet town?