It always feels like the New Year is really in March. Spring is rolling down the mountain sides or bubbling up from lake-depths and the air is filled with change. And I start to think, if my yard, why not me?
And as I haul and sweep and bang the dust, funk, and clutter out of my house and down to the curbside, I think, if my house, why not me?
Time for a change. A springing ahead.
A renewing. A rebirth. Resolutions, promises, goals.
And the sunshine outside and the wind rushing by makes change seem a lot more possible than it did in January.
Travis usually works late. In fact, I started keeping a calendar to make him feel guilty about how often he misses dinner and bedtime.
But this week has been good. Really good. He's been home, and he hasn't been plowing away on his computer, he's been here.
And we put the boys to bed, and he does the dishes while I sweep the floor and throw in another load of colors. Then 8:05 rolls around and we go, "Now what?"
This has never happened in all our years of marriage, because before kids we'd just head out and after kids, we're stuck inside without a paid, planned-for sitter, but I was usually alone or the boys were SCREAMING or sick or not really sleeping.
So, now what?
I made a list.
Plan and build our garden and planter box.
Spray paint those toddler beds waiting so patiently in the shed.
Learn a song to sing together for Tanei's open mic birthday.
Clean out our car.
Paint more / Travis, teach Becky to paint.
Declutter our house, starting with the bookshelves (but not with the books.)
And Travis started a list, too. But his turned into a list of goals. Like,
Get up early and go running.
Make home movies
Be a photographer
and be otherwise creative.
Eat lunch at least 5 days a week.
Read my scriptures and maybe a book.
And we stretched together last night and I said things like, "I hated gym class, because stretching and exercise make me fart and it's the worst thing ever to fart in front of your peers."
And he said things like, "I still love you."
So that was pretty great.
But I'm trying. We are trying, to be more intentional. I've been trying to feed us vegetarian meals every other night and it's hard. Everything feels like a side; beans just aren't steak; fritatas aren't filling; and black bean burgers are the very worst thing I've ever made and tried to feed to my family and I felt pangs of guilt and terrible-wife-and-motherness all week afterward, even with homemade buns. But tonight we're having homemade baked gnocchi, so how can that go wrong?
My writing group reformed after a four month long "Holiday-hiatus" and we made rules, schedules, and promises. The specific promise that I made (to myself and to the girls) is that I would write.
Just five pages a week. But five pages EVERY week.
And guess how many I've written since I took that pledge three weeks ago?
That's right. ZERO.
To be fair, my laptop keyboard is broken. I've been texting blogposts to myself for three weeks, because the entire bottom two rows are broken. shift through M and all those handy punctuation marks. Somehow my space bar survived, but it's very hard to go without Z X C V B N and M.
"Oh, but you're typing now," you might be noticing.
Well, Travis brought home a computer from work, and when he promised "I will get up at 6am and read my scriptures and go running,"
I jumped right up and yelled, "And I will get up at 6am and make our family fancy breakfasts, and while my oatmeal cake or buttermilk breakfast pie or homemade blueberry muffins are baking away, I will sit on that computer and I WILL WRITE, BROTHER."
But not today, because I'm still getting used to Daylights Saving, obvs.
But I did write two poems, which I'm trying to be brave enough to post on the internet. Poems are much harder for me to post online than admissions of exercise-induced farting, so that should give some idea of how nervous poem-writing makes me.
My friend Sienna, who inspires me every day (she probably does not know how cool and amazing I think she is, and she probably doesn't read this blog, so she may never know that I seriously want to be just like her), has been killing it on her blog lately.
Everything she writes, I'm like "YEAH! I'm going to get rid of all my junk too! Yeah! I'm going to dye my clothes another color! Yeah! I'm going to be a woman of vision! Yeah! I'm going to do handstands and write poetry, and can't I just have chickens in my yard already?!"
And I send Travis links to her blog posts and say, "It's time for us to be more intentional in our lives" and he's like, "Agreed! And my current intention is to move somewhere that I can be a professional surf photographer."
And I'm like, "My current intention is to convince you to get me pregnant this summer, and also, let's just move to Hawaii and live in a shack and surf and eat fruit and snowcones all day! Minimalism!"
So as you can see, as intentional as I intend to be, I just keep being unintentional.
I had all kinds of intentions for this blog post. It was going to inspire you. It was going to be moving and spiritual and not mention bodily functions or my very obvious ADHD.
The best intentions, as they say. (And when they say it, it's an actual saying, not a fragment of a sentence that actually explains nothing.)
I just want you to know, that I fully intend to be better.
After we carried our screaming children, thrashing and thrown over our shoulders, out of the church and into the bright sunshine for the fourth time on Sunday, and Travis announced that he was going to murder Grey and Micah, and I screamed things like, "GET OUT OF THE PROPHET'S GARDEN" as my children stomped down the sprouting bulbs on Temple Square, we starting making goals.
Abstract goals, like
Have more patience and understanding and
Teach my children to be still
and Real goals, like
Don't whip Grey with Travis' belt, even though I'm starting to think that it would actually improve matters and
Maybe we should watch less TV. *Maybe*
And here's another one. This goal is both real and abstract, but I'm trying very, very hard at it:
Be more intentional. Don't buy things I don't need. Don't watch TV that is mindless. Don't sit on my phone and expect my children to entertain themselves while I scroll through Kelle Hampton's IG feed for hours.
Be kinder. Be more deliberate. Feed my children and husband food that is good for them. Read my scriptures and actually pay attention and get something out. Fulfill my family's needs before my own, and do it with thanksgiving. Discipline and teach my kids, even though it makes them scream bloody murder at me, and even though punishing them does not seem to have stopped them from repeatedly pouring milk down the vents.
Write, photograph, draw, paint, and be creative. Stop moping that I'm too poor to buy fabric and paintbrushes and just write, because I love writing. I love it so much that it hurts me when I go without writing. And guess what, self? This blog doesn't count.
As much as I love it and as much as I write here, it just isn't enough. I need to sit down and write a poem every week and not be embarrassed that I still like poetry, even though I'm not in school or a professional writer. I need to work on my book, because I love it and think about it and have been working on it for FOUR YEARS. I need to walk to the cemetery and look at the names on the head stones and laugh, and dwell, and think about them for days and THEN JUST WRITE ALREADY.
And that's my main thing.
Plus, all that other stuff.
I intend to celebrate the New Year in March.
Who's with me?