Posted by: Hannah | 01/17/2017

in which I try try again

January always makes me feel like writing again.

It’s kind of a lonely time. I’m indoors a lot more than usual – even hardy me and my strict get the hell outside, it’s good for you, may I discuss Finland’s outdoor schools with you philosophy struggles when the temperatures drop below -10C. The kids’ extra-curricular schedule is lighter because I like any excuse to not be driving over messy roads night after night.

We’re in the doldrums. My sails hang droopy and crackly with ice. Add in that all my favourite people from Twitter are rarely there anymore, driven away by the constant and relentless barrage of PEOTUS-related garbage (PEEOTUS)? and suddenly I don’t have a place to interact with adults during my workday.

This space is neglected. It’s the first symptom of my total lack of self-care – leaving this space to gather cobwebs. If I can’t take the time to write, I am not taking the time to do anything that’s for me. And that’s a problem.

I need to stop writing for an audience, too. I’m pretty sure everyone’s left. Blogging is dead, long live blogging! Everyone’s gone to Instagram, they tell me. I tried that while we were in Florida (more on that in another post) and all that happened was a friend of a friend who I’ve never met, will never meet, and wouldn’t know from Adam followed my family vacation pictures. I’m sure I could lock the account down (or delete it altogether, which is more likely) but it just made me feel weird. Remember back when blogs were for the wider world and your social media accounts were more circumspect? I still don’t follow anyone I haven’t at least had one interaction with. Call me a curmudgeon but why would you follow the Instagram of someone you’re two steps removed from, unless they are actively promoting something?

Anyway.

Let’s see… what am I into now?

TV – The Crown, Jane the Virgin. We finally cut the cable altogether last week. We agonized over the decision probably more than we needed to, but after about 36 hours of feeling oddly unsettled it was fine. Of course less than a week later the telecom company called to ask if we didn’t want to add TV to our current bundle (no) at a special introductory rate (still no) and after me refusing with steadily-decreasing politeness three times I finally just hung up on her. You don’t get paid commission, sweetheart, so don’t push me. Seriously. Your call metrics look BAD if the customer hangs up.

Movies – Rogue One, Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them. It’s turned out that being almost 39 means you completely run out of fucks to give on paying $12.99 to see Oscar-bait art pieces with tortured protagonists and probably an Affleck. I’m all about the big-budget splashouts these days. I would like to see La-La Land but as a lifelong fan of musicals that’s kind of a given. Probably going to John Wick 2 in February because the first one kicked all the ass.

Books – My Kindle left home. Seriously, it disappeared. I have NO IDEA where it went. It always lived by my bed and one day it just wasn’t there anymore, so I’m sort of flailing around lost, trying not to admit that I probably need to replace it because I must have left it somewhere. While we were on vacation I tried to read Lock In by John Scalzi but I was too tired and overstimulated to focus on it properly… neat premise, but there were too damn many characters and since a part of that premise means some characters are actually two people I was woefully confused. In the absence of my brain, I’m rereading the last four books of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series.

Music – I am the only person on earth who isn’t familiar with the soundtrack to Hamilton.

Food – Soup. Hearty homemade soup. I’ve become that person.

Snack food – Triscuits, olives, and cheese. I’m also THAT person.

Video game – I don’t know, I miss video games. I’ve been contemplating tackling the one Zelda title I own but never finished.

Beauty product – Dry shampoo. Yes, I’m years behind the curve on this one but whatever, I always get there eventually, and this stuff is amazing for my busy life (and the decreasing availability of shower time now that I have a kid in junior high).

Tea – Twinings Christmas blend. We bought it at Epcot and I’m greedily parceling out the 20 bags, trying to make it last.

Well, George just noticed I was sitting peacefully and writing, so he’s decided nothing will satisfy him but getting my attention. God, that kid (also a story for another time). Hopefully it won’t be three months before I write again.

Posted by: Hannah | 11/17/2016

wilting on my fainting couch

Oh, November. How do I hate thee.

The weather has been mild, at least, so that’s something, but two weeks ago now I came down with a cold and basically my entire immune system said “you know, we work too hard, really” and folded like a cheap suit.

The first week I could only function if I took Advil Cold & Sinus every 5 hours (no, not a sponsored post, I just like the stuff). The second week the coughing started, and now my sleep is interrupted every night by fits of pointless tubercular hacking. This week just for fun I also had some kind of half-assed gastrointestinal complaint that didn’t make me sick enough to just go to bed but did make me cranky and miserable.

It’s been raining a lot, the world is doing that gray-brown-yellowish November thing, Leonard Cohen died, America somehow managed to elect a racist tangerine to be their next President and George has decided he doesn’t want to go to Disney for Christmas, he’d rather “stay home and have peace & quiet”, which is some bullshit because he talks from 6:30AM until 7:30PM so “peace & quiet” not something that ever exists in his living space, but whatever.

There’s a teacher’s strike looming, my kids are learning violin, trombone, and recorder so I’m fantasizing about losing my hearing, my house is a mess and I need a new bathing suit before next Saturday.

There.

That’s it. I won’t complain anymore. Everything on this list is stupid and petty, and I know that it is, but right now I don’t feel like I have any place to vent or anyone to vent to. I will either be spouting White Lady Problems in an echo chamber of far worse things, or I’ll be talking to someone who immediately wants to turn it into the tragedy Olympics, or I’ll accidentally be talking to someone who actually has much more serious problems right now and thus I’ll be insensitive.

Five weeks from this very moment I’ll be at Disney, and since I’ve wanted to go there my whole life this is very exciting. Going to focus on that, not the recalcitrant child currently complaining that I won’t let him go blow all of his carefully-saved money on an overpriced Paw Patrol playset he’ll never use.

 

Posted by: Hannah | 11/08/2016

November

For the first time in five years? maybe six? I am not participating in NaBloPoMo.

I feel oddly guilty about it. Guilty, and sad.

The fact is I’m busier with my day-to-day life than I’ve been in a long time. My dayhome is full with a mixed-age group (and more littles than I’ve had in the past couple of years). I don’t get a naptime break anymore as the older kids don’t sleep. Harry catches the bus at 7:10AM so I’m up at 6:15 to keep him company while he gets ready, and as he doesn’t go to bed until 9PM I’m quite literally mothering for fifteen hours a day.

It’s fine, most of the time. I don’t exactly mind it. I’ve hit my stride in the dayhome and except for Ron and George’s constant, never-ending bickering I feel like I’m handling parenting OK too. There’s just a lot to juggle, and by the time I’ve set aside “mom” and picked up “spouse” I’m maybe an hour away from falling asleep. It doesn’t feel fair or sustainable to spend that hour blogging every day for a month.

Last night I was awake for most of the night. Most of the dayhome parents have a head cold and while the kids seem mostly fine, the adults are dropping like flies. I’m fighting it as best I can but my throat was too sore for sleep, so I made a mug of tea and sat up, wrapped in a blanket with our new kittens in my lap, watching the fireplace channel and wondering about what the world will look like not just on November 9th but in the months and years ahead.

I haven’t been writing at all lately and just trying feels like that first day at fitness boot camp all over again. The muscles are rusty. I’m gritting my teeth to get through and just hit ‘publish’. I’m not exactly enjoying this. My focus is split because I’m supervising free play, making sure the 16mo doesn’t get scratched by the kitten he’s enthusiastically investigating, wondering why Harry’s teacher emailed to say “hi, are you Harry’s parent/guardian?” after I’ve confirmed that and in fact communicated with the woman twice, hoping the kids’ dental appointments go well, trying to remember everything for our big family vacation to-do list, watching the clock, bracing myself for a long damn day, trying not to stress about an impending teachers’ strike that could completely bollocks our winter… my brain is the proverbial long-tailed cat in a roomful of rocking chairs, and I just don’t have enough left over to write anything people want to read.

 

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