what I know after 9 years of marriage

I had no idea that marriage would be like this.

As a kid, I never dreamed up a wedding or fantasized about my future husband. As an adolescent, the idea of marriage could not have felt further off. I didn’t plan on it, quite honestly, because through college, I was never in a serious enough (or any) relationship. To my post-college self, the idea of marriage felt dusty and stifling.

When my husband and I met in 2001, we were babies. Just a year out of college and both self-involved in totally different ways. He was recovering from a recent breakup, and I was just starting a giddy love affair with New York City. Our relationship, when it began 14 years ago, was just what we both needed.

We had one of those colorful, swirly, intoxicating affairs in the city that never sleeps. I thought that nothing could be better than what we had.

But within the year, he moved home to Boston, and in an era before text messaging and video chatting, we maintained a long distance relationship…for four years. We logged hours on Peter Pan buses, exchanged thousands of emails and ended most nights with a sleepy farewell by phone. After spending our twenties living separately and in our relationship across state lines, we reached a tipping point. I was leaving my job and changing careers (again) and I wanted this relationship to be long-term. It was time to forge something together in the same zip code.

If I asked my 23-year-old self what I expected from my relationship or from marriage, she would have laughed, ignorant to the possibility of marriage, distrustful of its permanence. I hadn’t yet become so many things and to my 23-year-old self, the prospect of not knowing my self deeply enough to have a long term relationship probably frightened me.

But marriage seemed like the next logical step. So, when we finally moved in together, I was hardly surprised that we were engaged and married within a year. I doubted married life would be radically different from dating life, even if we were in the same place. I was wrong.

It was better.

When I think about the things that are truly good in my life, the things for which I have deep, unending gratitude, my marriage is right there at the center.

I don’t know why it’s good. As I wrote and edited and finessed this reflection on my marriage, I thought I had it all figured out. But truthfully, I don’t. Our marriage just works. We try to be flexible, we make important things precious but not sacred, and we trust each other. We are endlessly curious about each other–even after 14 years together, we’re continuously finding out something new. We don’t mind being silly or trying new things. There is no saccharine romance or excessive public displays of affection, but every night, we hold hands as we fall asleep. And there is always dancing.

I do know that the nature of all of our relationships changes over time, and in relationships we change, too. This is what scares me most about marriage–we cannot predict what will happen that spurns those changes. In these 9 years, we have lived 9 lives. In the course of this relationship, I have been many things on my own–a graduate student (twice), a sociologist (still), a financial analyst, a professor–and because of my marriage, I have been several things with my husband–a wife, a homeowner, a parent. And though we may grow and change, we often become more like ourselves, a distilled version of the people we once were.

Though lots of things about me are the same, my 23-year-old self would hardly recognize my 37-year-old self. In this life, I’m not just becoming a distilled version of who I once was–my marriage to this husband is shaping me into the person I hope to be.

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It feels like we just got started….

It’s over.

Kindergarten is over.

182 days completely and utterly finished.

I should not be surprised. For the last few weeks, my older daughter has counted down the days until her last day of kindergarten.

With each pronouncement, though, I secretly hoped time would stop somewhere between Memorial Day and Flag Day so I would not have to face this moment.

“Can you believe it? Only 8 more days!” she crowed gleefully one night over dinner a week ago.

“No, baby bug, I cannot believe it,” I said to myself.

Then the next week, she kept the reminders coming: “Three days left!” And then, “two more days.”

Finally, over dinner tonight, she dealt us a heavy blow.

“Tomorrow is the LAST day of kindergarten!” Her voice was filled with joy–not a note of sorrow. “And today we visited first grade, mommy. First grade looks like so much fun. I don’t care who my teacher will be, it is going to be great.”

It has been an incredible year for our family. My husband and I have worked incredibly hard, and we have watched our children change tremendously. These incredible little girls remain familiar and yet hardly recognizable to me. They are taller, smarter and sassier, and their energy draws you in. Every day, they surprise me with something new they have learned, a new observation or question. And every day, at least once a day, I kiss their scrumptious little faces, trying to reconcile the fact that they are not babies anymore.

I know I’ll probably cry when she hops out of the car tomorrow on her last day of kindergarten. I am so proud of how independent she has become, how curious she remains, and how determined she is. But tonight, after her pronouncement about the last day of school, I looked at my husband and sighed as small tears welled up.

“Doesn’t it feel like we just got started?” I wondered aloud.

He smiled, shaking his head, “It does.”

“Will it always feel like this?” I replied, gaining composure.

“I think so.”

Posted in everyday life, kids, marriage, motherhood, parenthood | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Home stretch…or maybe, victory lap?

Back in January, when I told people that I would simultaneously teach out my contract and start a new position outside of academia, it sounded simple to me even though I know it was an extremely complex arrangement. Most friends told me I was crazy to juggle two jobs besides everyday life. And as the semester progressed and I learned the rhythm of the new job while managing the demands of my two college classes, things were surprisingly manageable.

Weeks passed and on campus, the student papers started pouring in and at the new job, the demands for quick review of testimony for public hearings picked up. The kids sensed my constant distraction during family time: they stopped sleeping through the night and my little daughter started throwing exhausting temper tantrums during the day. Suddenly the work hours in the day just weren’t enough, especially because our sleeping hours were so frequently interrupted.

It snowed. It snowed more in one short month that it snows all winter in many places. Snow made everything scarce in our world: parking, traffic, space, patience. Snow piled up made for traffic everywhere and I started to run a razor thin margin picking up my girls at the end of the day. No matter what I did, every day for weeks I carefully sprinted through an icy parking lot around snow drifts taller than my house to make sure I squeezed through the preschool door before 5:29pm.

We saw audible after audible called on our schedules. A school sick call and a sick day. Dentist appointments and well child visits scheduled months ago that were somehow impossible to reschedule. The conference I agreed to attend back in October that came out of nowhere at the end of February. The out of town trip to Washington DC for a family Bat Mitzvah in March. New expectations of face time in my new position that my college teaching position never demanded. Feeling out how to manage the needs of my students while simultaneously devoting time to my new job. Three email accounts constantly pinging with messages.

Every minute of every day for almost four straight months I have been barreling from one thing to the next. It would be enough if I was overextended at work, but my husband has also been up to his eyeballs in an enormous work project that went live at the start of April. Because we were out of our faces working all the time, things felt like they were constantly coming apart at the seams.

I started stripping back anything that wasn’t relevant to family, work or sleep to reserve the time after dinner for the inboxing for the next day’s job. At night when I logged the day’s events in my journal, I found myself beginning every day with “busy” and I hated it.

All lives have busy. Busy is relative. What is busy to me might not be busy to you. Sometimes busy is the crushing weight of many small things to do. Sometimes busy is the impending anxiety of one large task that takes over everything. More often busy is the balance of acute and immediate demands layered over the long term pressures of work and life.

But for us, busy became the new normal, and we clawed our way from one day to the next, prioritizing and re-prioritizing the day to make it through.

I tried all semester to document where I was with my work but because I have been burning the candle at both ends, I started post after post and left them to languish in the drafts folder. I could not find the time to put together a coherent thought to share with anyone else. I managed to write about my mother’s birthday and pined for an extra twenty minutes to polish one of many blog drafts with titles like “the calm before the tectonic shift” and “idling” and “we made it to the middle” and “fighting our way back to normal” and “the change of seasons.” These reflections are a great road map for territory I hope I won’t traverse again (at least not for a little while).

Spring semester classes ended and not a moment too soon. I muddled through the presentations and the grading and the administrative stuff you do when you are closing up shop. And on a sunny day in May, I went to commencement. Commencement day for my students felt like commencement day for me, too. The end of something and also the beginning of something.

With the last four months in the rearview, I am not giving myself (or my husband) nearly enough credit. It would be easy to list the things that went wrong but too many things went right to even indulge the negativity. We managed to be out of town as a family, I went to a conference, we planned and executed our daughter’s birthday, no one has gone to ballet or swim class without their necessary attire, and we haven’t forgotten a lunch (though we did forget a snack one day–and never heard the end of it). No library books lost, and I read at least one book for book club. I registered the kids for summer camp and got coverage for their school vacation. We even found a place to take a much-needed vacation right after school ends for the kids. All in all, life around here is pretty normal except for the unrelenting flow of work.

If I had a dollar for every person that asked me how I was “doing it all” over the last four months, I’d have a nice little kitty to spend on vacation this summer. There is no magic pill, no special potion. We just overextended ourselves, and what I fear has happened is that we have all adjusted to feeling stretched. What we’ve been doing for these weeks is an unsustainable arrangement that is rapidly reaching its logical conclusion.

As one chapter ends and another begins, all I can do is thank the people who cheered me on during this home stretch of the hardest professional work I’ve balanced. I can finally look up and take a humble little victory lap.

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The days of remembrance colliding

We celebrated my mother’s sixtieth birthday just three weeks before she died. Her death was completely and totally unexpected. And when she was gone, it was not immediate. Her life ended on one day but was not over for another. The funeral was four days after that.

In subsequent years, I have struggled with the weeks leading up to the day my mother died. From the end of March to the beginning of May, I put myself through the exercise of choosing a day as the day of remembrance. Her birthday in late March marks the passage of years unlived. Is it April 11th, the day of the accident? Or April 12th, the day of her passing after an interminable wait for the transplant team to arrange surgery? Or was it April 15th the day of the funeral? Inevitably, every year since, the date of her yahrzeit, the Jewish anniversary corresponding to the Hebrew month and date of her passing, falls on yet a fourth date of the secular calendar. Mother’s Day caps off the “season of grief” as my sister and I have to come to call it.

This year though, my mother’s yahrzeit is on April 12th and somehow, the date feels firm to me. Like a date, for once, that I don’t have to question. For the first time in eight years, something about remembrances collides.

Eight years feel like yesterday and also like eternity. At her last birthday celebration, my sister and I cooked dinner for our family, we lit candles, and ate lemon cake. We didn’t know how special that meal would feel because we didn’t know it would be our last birthday celebration together. And this year, on her birthday, I struggle with how I honor her and celebrate her even though she is not longer part of everyday life.

I will never stop missing her nor feeling sad that she is not in my everyday life. But eight years later, I cannot miss her in the way I did at first because I don’t know the same version of her anymore. Eight years feel like an impossible length of time. Enough time for so many things to have remained stagnant and for entirely new universes to have opened themselves to me.

And that aching longing, that feeling of missing her has evolved into new chronic grief where I don’t feel sad that she isn’t a part of my life now but that she hasn’t seen me evolve. She does not know me as a parent. She only knows me as a daughter. And I can never know all of her hopes for me as a parent.

And the sadness I feel is not in losing her but in losing the security of being someone’s daughter and not yet someone’s parent. The utter weight of the responsibility of another human life is so much to bear that at times I can hardly believe this responsibility has been entrusted to me. That I have been blessed with the care-taking and safekeeping of these little people as my own parents were for my sister and me.

She can never know how much I understand her. How much I remember her own frustration with us when we were small and how I know that deeply because I am her now. I know so deeply in my bones, even deeper in the marrow how she felt because the grief I will always know for not having her is mixed with the love I feel for my own children. And in understanding her greatest achievement in being our parent, I grieve losing her all over again in never being able to tell her or to thank her.

Because I can’t tell her or thank her, I try to do for my daughters what she did for my sister and me. She praised and challenged us but didn’t coddle us. She treated people she encountered with respect and kindness, thanking them for the littlest of things like making change or pouring tea. She always made conversation with people to signal to them that she saw them. Maybe it was because in her work as a secretary she often did not feel like people saw her, maybe she was just chatty.

I find myself doing these things for my own children, praising them, challenging them, modeling kindness to others, engaging with everyone. Yet in the achingly silent moments of my day, when I creep into my daughters’ bedrooms at night to kiss their little cheeks and smell their hair and thank some higher power for making me their mom, I feel my own mom there with me, not just a presence in the room but a passing breath in my lungs, exhaling any worry I have into the ether.

And if I was being honest, with every year that passes in my life as a mother without my own mother to count them down for me as she always did, aging me by one year as my next birthday closed in, I foster irrational fears that any moment could be my last. And that I could miss the chance to know my daughters at a time in their lives when they felt most proud, most assured of accomplishments, at the height of their stresses and in a time when all of the hopes I have for them might be realized. This is my fear. And it is also my prayer, the same prayer that I will say in remembrance of my mother this week, that my precious daughters will know enough of me to live fearlessly and gracefully with or without me by their side. Because while I hope to be there, I know that I will always live in their sinews as my own mom does, holding things together.

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When the day turns itself around

There was nothing poetic about this day. Nothing lyrical or dramatic. And this account of this day is none of that either. Sometimes, though, a messy reflection on a mess of events is the right way to remind yourself that nothing is exactly as it seems.

Like this day.

Judging by the start of the day, it was going to be long. Long and tiring. And potentially annoying. And definitely a little frustrating.

I woke up congested and exhausted. I’m not sleeping enough because I’m balancing the demands of two jobs right now. I am working all of the time, tethered to my email, worrying if I’ll miss a message or drop a ball. And our whole family has been sick, starting with my little daughter and working its way to me. As the other patients are on the mend, albeit with runny noses, I have been taken down by a sinus cold. I won’t ever be able to show a correlation between my lack of sleep and the strength of this sinus cold but I have a hunch that if I was sleeping more, I might be feeling better.

I remember nothing of my shower except that I didn’t want it to end. As I fixed my hair, my daughters woke up and wandered into my bathroom, acting like little sweethearts until we asked them to get dressed. Big sister whined about dressing herself, something she is fully capable of at almost six years of age. She wanted me to pick out her clothes. And little sister insisted on wearing tights with a dress. The whining and the fussing with tights pushed me closer to the edge.

Dressing a preschooler in tights is a special form of torture. Hell, putting myself in tights is pretty uncomfortable so trying to squeeze them into their little tights is a parenting feat. After trying on two pair of tights, rejecting them as she went (one was too itchy and one was too bumpy), she rejected the dress and tights concept entirely. At this moment, I started to wonder if the day was going to go my way or not. It was only 7:45am.

On the way downstairs to the kitchen for breakfast I remember that I left a leg of lamb to defrost on the counter. In my fatigue last night, I left the frozen package wrapped in butcher paper on the naked counter with nothing beneath it and walked into the kitchen to find a bloody mess, literally. Lamb blood pooled on the counter, dripped onto the floor, and ran under the refrigerator. I yelled for my husband who came down to feed the girls breakfast while I mopped everything up. I disinfected the area, washed hands, and quickly prepped the meat for the crock pot. Mixing together cumin, garlic, salt and paper, I hoped this dinner would turn out okay because I had no back up plan.

Miraculously, we managed to eat breakfast, pack lunches and backpacks. After weeks of being tightly wound and over-organized, we apparently fell apart last night, leaving all of the school prep for this already harried morning. I hustled  little one out the door and buckled her into the car.

The short drive to our Jewish Community Center to drop off little sister at preschool took three times as long because of a blinking red light at a huge four-way intersection. When I arrived at the JCC, I lost my temper searching for parking. We’ve had so much snow and parking is tight in this lot anyway. I completely lost my temper, however, when I missed on parking spot after spot because one particularly selfish parent parked in the fire lane and lurked until a space vacated–something I never do. I eventually settled for a spot in the far reaches of the parking lot and rushed my little daughter along and because I was rushing her, she tripped and fell. As I stared at her dear little face full of crocodile tears, I was immediately full of antipathy for that parking lot lurker. What makes people think they’re so special that they shouldn’t have to circle the parking four times like I did before parking in the outer reaches of the universe? I have a little one, too. I know it’s cold out. My shoes aren’t exactly comfy bedroom slippers. But I parked where I could find a spot fair and square. Deal with it.

I dropped my little daughter off, ranted to the preschool director about the parking lot, apologized for ranting, and trekked to my car. It’s not even 9am and I’ve had enough of this day. I call my husband to tell him how annoyed I am and at the end of my voicemail message I start to tear up. I’m crying and it’s not even 9am.

I call my work colleague after leaving my husband that teary message and she talks me down. Husband calls back and I tell him to delete the message. Then I drive 50 minutes to work where a big day awaits. There is a big budget announcement at the state legislature and it is my first day doing a quick analysis of the plan. Plus I’m prepping for a big meeting on the following day. Needless to say, I’m anxious and nervous. I grab a coffee (my first of the day) on the way into the office and after one sip, I feel calmer.

For the entire day, I am lost in my work. I am entirely focused on what I am doing. I’m learning new things, getting confused and unconfused, asking questions, stumbling through. I snuck in an afternoon coffee to fuel the second half of the day. It was a busy day full of questions and chatting and working and at the end of the day, I produced something. It’s a satisfying feeling to spend a day in the company of other people, working collaboratively and having something to show for it at the end of the day.

Not knowing what to expect with the day’s work, my husband was picking up our kids. I couldn’t bear a second trip the JCC in one day. I hustled out the door around 5pm and drove 50 minutes home, listening to podcasts and trying to calm the thoughts running through my head.

Finally home, I walked in to the house to the smell of lamb. My husband was standing in the kitchen unpacking backpacks, the girls were watching a show in the other room, and we had a minute to talk to each other. I made couscous, the girls came into the kitchen and we ate dinner together. Unlike several other dinner episodes, they actually ate some of their dinner (the lamb is only a big hit with the adults but they at least try a few bites and don’t complain). After dinner, big sister opened her Valentine’s Day cards from school–she was out sick last Friday and just picked them up in school today.

The kids dilly dally before bedtime and eventually get into bed, falling right asleep. I ran one last errand to get milk, wandering the aisles of the grocery in the sweatpants I slept in the night before, grabbing a few forgotten items and enjoying the quiet. Back home, I settled on the couch to clear out my inbox(es) and catch up on anything and everything.

I might be tired but I feel really good about this day. I just can’t believe how different the beginning of the day felt. I don’t know if I turned the day around or the day turned itself around. Either way, I am happy to go to bed exhausted and calm.

And tomorrow, we start all over again.

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A long, awesome, exhausting week of firsts (and lasts)

A few months ago I wrote about the intersection of first days and last days and the odd, comforting, uncertainty of being in-between. When the academic year began, I did not know what to expect. Beginning my fifth year of teaching, I was juggling three different courses and embarking on a job search. I was writing about the pitfalls of looking for a non-academic job and I was working on my blog. I hardly knew how fall semester would end.

And it ended amazingly. Even though I felt like I was managing a series of fire drills, I was lucky to land an interview for a position I really wanted, and later in the semester that organization offered me a job. Halfway into the year and my “last days” story was coming together.

Except that I have one more semester.

Our family trip to Disney World during the second week of January could not have come at a better time. I needed the distraction from impending chaos. After we settled in from a week of Disney magic, I faced a new round of first days: first day of my last semester teaching (at least for a little while) AND first day at my new job (where I’ll work part time hours until May).

My first days were exciting and anticlimactic. The professor me kicked off two classes and met fifty new students. And the next day, the policy analyst me trekked to my new job where I met new colleagues. On my second day of teaching, I settled in to my new routine and tied up as many loose ends as I could. On my second day of the new job, I arranged meeting after meeting with new colleagues, bathing my organs in coffee, scratching notes in a little black notebook, frantically trying to keep up with email messages.

The week ended and all I wanted to do was sleep.

When the adrenaline from a week of meal planning, household maintenance, navigating a new commute, and endless evening in-boxing finally faded, I passed out on the living room couch watching Mad Men on Netflix, sleeping for three hours before even considering a move from my couch to my bed.

I can face fifteen more weeks like this one, feeling wound so tightly with little space to breathe. It was a week of feeling so capable and sure of myself one day and inundated the next. Mostly, though, I felt on my own. The kids bookended my working hours with sweet cuddles in the early morning hours and complete frenzy over dinner. I barely had a full conversation with my husband about anything. Any words we did exchange were about the kids behavior or our impending new car purchase (also happening this week). These feelings of isolation will pass as I adjust to a new schedule, new routes, new information.

I cannot fathom facing fifteen weeks of feeling mediocre at everything I do, though. A seasoned colleague once told me that balancing parenthood (motherhood specifically) and academia would make me “pretty terrible at everything.” I rejected the notion out of hand but now I feel the weight of this idea–that I’ll be pulled in many directions at least for a few months and something has to give. Or worse, that I can’t hide the frayed edges.

Yet in a week of chaotic days, we had so many bright spots. Our perennial late sleepers miraculously awoke thirty minutes earlier each day, allowing for extra quality time in the morning and avoiding our usual mornings of prodding/begging/rushing out of the door. We ate real food for dinner every night because of my meticulous meal planning. I even squeezed in thirty minutes of exercise while I waited during ballet carpool at the JCC.

Sure the house is covered in dust and the laundry hampers are overflowing. Sure, my kids are stir-crazy and seem to have forgotten their manners. Every day. All the time. Sure, I didn’t know we were out of hoisin sauce for my plan on Wednesday, and had to make not one but two stops to find a jar on the way home. Sure, I mistimed my commute home on Friday and called in another mom to cover my youngest at preschool. It was not a perfect week, but what week is, really?

I’ve tried to put into the words the excitement I am feeling over this new opportunity. I’ve tried to put into words the jitters I have about my teaching. And no words came. I tried to blog about how I was feeling the night before classes started and then the night before the job started. And I couldn’t.

I just feel proud and nervous. There is no more elaborate way to say those things.

And even though it’s too early to tell, I also feel some relief. This professional move marks a new chapter in my life, and it’s a huge personal transition for my family. Two years ago I was finishing my dissertation, hoping I could find a position that tapped into my research and teaching skills for good work. I might feel nervous but those nerves will dissipate over time. And I might feel proud but I feel pretty proud most of the time.

Really, I just feel supremely lucky for any long, awesome, exhausting week of firsts and lasts. Because if my weeks were short, awful and easy, life would be pretty boring.

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2014 fades into the background and then it’s 2015

New Year’s Eve has come and gone in the way most years end with the world humming along, quietly, then with a great crescendo, bang, it’s over.

The end of the year is all about the holidays, celebrating each other, giving thanks and appreciation. In focusing on other people, we sometimes lose ourselves, a sense of ourselves, forget to take care of ourselves. And this is just what happened to me. The run up to the end of the year was a flurry of school activities, shouting at friends across the parking lot while wrestling the kids into car seats, road tripping with my daughters, and furiously cooking for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

And on the fifth day of the new year, the last day of their winter vacation, something strange happened.

I just got this weird sickness. It started out at night when I felt queasy and by the next day, I was unable to muster any strength at all.

It didn’t help that on the fourth day of the new year, I decided to go to an exercise class after a long hiatus. At first, I was unsure if I felt achy from muscle fatigue or if I was coming down with something. By late morning on that fifth day, I was sure that I was sick.

It became clear that I was going to be no help to anyone that day. Maybe we had all been out for bagels in the morning but my husband could tell I didn’t feel well and needed to sleep. He didn’t bother me.

So I slept for hours. All afternoon. Clad in my comfiest clothes, I tossed and turned in our flannel sheets, in between fits and starts of sleep I wondered the last time I took a real nap. I regretted that this might be the only true nap I’ve taken in months. I slipped in and out of sleep, the bedside lamp bright on my husband’s side of the room.

My girls came in and out of our bedroom, looking for attention, a cuddle, any sign of life.

My husband fed the kids lunch after shoveling the slush off of the driveway. He took the big sister to a playdate. He baked with little sister. He puttered around the house.

Hours passed and eventually it was dinner. My cheeks were warm with a little fever so I left bed to take some Advil. For the first time all day I wasn’t queasy, but I barely wanted to stand up. Husband fixed dinner and I listened to snippets of their dinner chatter from upstairs as I had listened to the lunch conversation. The girls seemed a little more intent on eating but by now, they were concerned. Why hadn’t I joined them for two meals? For a Sunday, this was a little uncharacteristic.

They took a bath and husband reassured them that they could come in and see if I was awake once they had their pajamas on.

The bath drained, one at a time the girls filtered in, asking, “Mommy, do you feel better?”

My kindergartener looked so sweet and nervous. I don’t think they have ever seen me sleep this much during the day. “I feel a little better,” I lied. “Don’t worry, I’ll feel better in the morning.” I hope.

After a day of sleep and no food, I felt empty. I stayed horizontal. As bedtime edged closer, the little one threw a tantrum, screaming for different pajamas. I eventually hobbled in and cuddled her. Little giants eventually fell hard into bed.

When it was quiet, I crept downstairs to make myself a slice of toast. Spread with butter, it tasted divine. I retreated to our bed and snuggled back into the sheets.

This day was a total wash. The last day of winter vacation and the last Sunday before we take a trip next week, I had so much planned. But what I needed to do was sleep. And not because I was tired, but because I was sick.

I’m never quite ready for a new year, the next phase of the year, and I felt frustrated at having forfeited a perfectly fine day in the world in bed. Except it wasn’t just any perfectly fine Sunday, it was the last Sunday before the real work of 2015 began. I didn’t feel ready to hurtle headlong into 2015–this last day of vacation was the remainder of 2014 for me, really.

On this Sunday, I was holding on to the little and big things that happened to us last year. My dad got married. My older daughter turned five and started kindergarten. My little daughter turned three and has blossomed into this incredible person. I started to do some freelance writing. I told a story at a public storytelling event. We took our first family trip to the beach. I found a new professional opportunity. We celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary.

I celebrated those events and accomplishments in the moment but I wanted my year in review, a chance to reflect, to make some resolutions. 2014 didn’t feel fully closed out. And now the new year has materialized and I feel like the account on 2014 is still open.

That last Sunday taught me something though. We don’t get to choose which days we forfeit or which days just never materialize. I may not get the perfect start I want or need, but I have to keep life rolling along.

And it will roll along. 2015 is off and rolling and I don’t want to be left behind.

At least I’m well rested.

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