Wk11 520 Moments (101-110)

  1. We are officially artificial this Christmas.
  2. The dog barks incessantly for no reason.  He is back to normal.
  3. My intention for this holiday season:  seek quiet.
    1. I struggle to break free from the news cycle–the endless 280 characters coming at me like the body parts of the 1980s centipede.
  4. We have new neighbors.  It’s strange and strangely comforting to see lights on in a house that has sat in darkness for the five years that we’ve been living here.
  5. On the monitor, I hear Levi gasp for air.  My heart and all my senses are on high alert.  Was it a bad dream?  Is he congested?  Does he need me?
  6. Planning during writing time = my constant achilles heel.
  7. Dawn (accidentally) threw away my aeropress filter again.  Against my tongue, my coffee feels thicker and grittier from my back-up Bialetti.
  8. We are both in the mood to clear space, get rid of things, feel lighter as we head into 2018 (but not the aeropress filter!).
  9. The full moon peeks at me between the naked tree branches.  I sway side-to-side, and it moves with me, of course.
    1. Full moon + mercury in retrograde, they say.  I never know exactly what this means but I wait for all forms of sh*t to hit the proverbial fan.
    2. This sounds like my life regardless of the location of moon, stars, and planets.
  10. I feel like I need to keep secret my thrill over frozen ground, my heart leaping over signs of snow in the forecast.  I delight in mother nature telling us to eat carbs and hibernate.  Move slowly, she says.  Save energy, she says.  I try my best to oblige.

Wk10 520 Moments (91-100)

100/520 Moments!

  1. After a week away from writing, I am rusty.  Writing is like any other skill.  After a week away from running, my muscles feel resistant, tight, confused.  They say no at the same time as they say this feels like liberation.
  2. This morning I brainstorm ways of multitasking and then try to stop myself.
  3. Fight the fear machine.
  4. I’m always thankful when we build in a day between travel and the week starting.  Yesterday was market day and Christmas lights.  Today is daycare and work.
  5. Hello stranger….  A full night’s sleep is pure delight.
  6. I was just lost in thought for I don’t know how long.
  7. The dog twirls in circles on the bed, back to all his old antics.
  8. I observe the same things each day it seems:  darkness, coffee, dog, kid, light, the sounds of the day just beginning.
  9. It seems as though everyone is in full holiday swing earlier than usual this year.  Not that I mind.  I wait for snow–the ultimate holiday decoration.
  10. Today will be an especially difficult Monday.  Daycare drop off after five full days together.  Work instead of play, decorating, and celebration.


Wk9 520 Moments (81-90)

  1. Gritty, sandy eyes.
  2. I am the kind of tired that comes from lack of quality sleep, not quantity.  The kind of sleep underlaid with worry and anxiety that are inescapable even in slumber.
  3. First only fairy lights, darkness, and me, moving my eyes around and between the dancing trees, no streetlight glow even.
  4. The wind is fierce, and I love the contrast against the rare quiet of my house.
  5. My dog pees blood now.  This morning I knelt in a puddle to see it.  I cringe and rejoice with each stream.
  6. Had an embarrassing moment yesterday when it appeared that I could not tell time on an analog clock.  Checked my apple watch for confirmation.  I’d had the time right but still turned red-cheeked.
    1. I’ve been told this is a thing now:  children are not learning to tell time on analog clocks anymore.
    2. Not sure if this is true, but pointed out that we don’t tell time on sundials anymore, and no one seems particularly alarmed by that.
  7. Zoned out until the words on the bindings of my books become blurred, and all I can see are different colored rectangles stacked side-by-side.
  8. Train yourself to be a keen observer, I tell my students.  Fight familiarization if you want to be become a better writer.
  9. My eye keeps jumping to the submission deadline marked in hot pink caps on my calendar.
  10. I feel asleep with Neko Case stuck in my head and awoke with her still there–the soundtrack to my nighttime worries.

Wk8 520 Moments (71-80)

  1. Each new day I assume will be the one when I get to put my life back in order.
    1. Instead, the same toys stay scattered across the rugs and coffee table.  The same stray crumbs stick to the bottoms of wooly socks.
  2. Endless vet appointments, doling out medicine, new food, missed days at work, unanswered texts and emails, living in a bubble of just-getting-by each day and falling into bed exhausted but anxious.
  3. I need a haircut.
  4. I fall apart hardest without writing and exercise.  Why, then, are those the first things to go?
  5. Yesterday marked one full week of the constant chaos, life without routine, and no end in sight.  I try to settle in, our “new normal” and all that.
  6. I follow my dog around, in the daylight saving dark, with a flashlight, squatting next to him as he pees, shining the light between his legs.
    1. My son has had two accidents in as many days after being fully potty trained for months.
    2. Urine.  My life revolves around urine these days.
  7. Shifting perspective:  We have a house with heat, each other, friends with birthdays to celebrate, and a new Play-Doh kit.
  8. Though my son no longer sleeps with a white noise machine, the monitor generates its own faint buzzing, staticky sound; it’s own kind of comfort against my vigilant listening.
  9. The sound of birds confuses me momentarily.  Is spring here?  And then I remember winter is peeking around the corner.
  10. I need Thanksgiving. I need a reminder to be thankful.  I need time to focus on just food and family.  I need an old fashioned parade and glasses that fog over after coming in from the November chill.

Wk7 520 Moments (61-70)

  1. 4:54am.  Daylight saving time has ended. And despite not gaining (much) sleep, I am thankful that it is ending and not beginning. Falling backward is much more gentle than springing forward.
  2. Time is an illusion. It is also relative. A relative illusion I guess, and yet the digits on that clock feel all too real to my body.
  3. This morning Levi will wake up for the last time in his crib. I don’t think I’m ready for this.
  4. The week ahead looks more calm than any I’ve had in a long time, and I recommit to more kindness, both to self and others.
  5. Dog with a UTI. I feed him antibiotics with a little prayer after each one. Feel better, my little fur creature.
  6. At this time of year I always end up missing Malone. Sometimes it comes as a dull ache, sometimes a sucker punch. Always I can feel the intensity of the cold November air on my face peeking out from under my green fleece hat; I can see the geese trying to gain formation over the Rec Park; I taste greasy spoon breakfasts and hear the lively (if, at times, heated) conversations over coffee and eggs. I experience the dull, quiet that is that sleepy little town where adventures are created from so little.  I feel love and warmth and belonging.  I laugh at insider-North Country jokes and cry over all that has been lost.
  7. On my bulletin board: a picture of a perfectly blooming amaryllis with a lit candle next to it perched in a snowy window. It is a picture that can instantly transport me back: back to that Vermont farm house, back to being young.
    1. Nostalgia is hitting hard today.
  8. I must have had the common daily struggles of living when I was young. Alone, I must have dug my car out of that snow. But I don’t think it ever occurred to me to complain, to get aggravated. I had no one to listen to me, and what would have been the point anyway. To have that attitude again….  Somehow I have become Holly Half-empty 🙂
  9. I recently heard Ellen Langer instruct: Notice five new things about the person you live with. I will try. I have been trying.
    1. If we are not mindful, she says, we are mindless.
  10. 5:49am. Still no hint of light in the sky.

Yoga Pants

I never understood the connection between moms and yoga parents (regardless of whether or not they even did yoga).  That is, of course, until I became a mom.  After living for close to a year in stretchy fabrics without the hassle and confines of buttons and zippers.  After having soft bands of cotton-polyester blends stretch unnoticeably across my growing belly.  No one wants to go back to real waistbands, dresses with shape, and shirts with buttons to fiddle with.  

I remember the day months out from being pregnant that I was in earnest looking on Zappos at some jeans by a brand I’d never heard of called Jag.  They reminded me of the pants that, as a kid, I’d sometimes see advertised in my grandma’s copies of Reader’s Digest or my mom’s Family Circle magazine.  The ads where there are eight identical pairs of legs lined up modeling the colors that the pants are available in.  The photos always stopped at the waist which showed off the elastic band of the pants.  Sometimes you could order multiple pairs for a special offer price.  As I child I would flip past the ad with little interest other than to wonder, who actually orders these?  And here I was, thirty-some years later, staring at a similarly shaped pair of pants on Zappos and actually considering clicking “add to cart.”  

My labor was over 40 hours, and while not overly complicated, my recovery and healing were both of those.  I was told at one point that my “lady parts are a mystery.”  I had a minor tear that never healed properly.  I had painful granulation tissue that refused to fall off even after being cauterized.  And I had a mysterious rash that liked to appear and reappear on my nether regions.  All of this made it difficult to stand and walk for any length of time for almost a year.  I was so uncomfortable that I become obsessed with seeking what little comfort I could through my clothing choices.

I would go to baby and me yoga and then just never change out of my leggings. Even after I shrunk out of my maternity clothes, I attempted to continue to wear them. I recently went to a “nice” restaurant in leggings!  I had long resented the popularity of leggings (and everything else that was styled after the eighties of my childhood), but now I am all about putting together outfits that feel like pajamas but don’t look like them.  I started following the Instagram account @businesspajamas for style inspiration.  If it is not made of jersey cotton, don’t bother buying it.  Stitchfix recently included a pair of jeans with an elasticized waist, and despite holding them up with a wrinkled nose after pulling them out of the box, I have worn them at least once a week since, and I’m grouchy on the days when I find them in the dirty clothes pile.  

Momhood comes with lots of aches and pains.  Long past the aftermath of labor there are daily headaches and weird shoulder and elbow issues from the constant hoisting and wrestling of little squirming bodies.  These bodily bumps and bruises are compounded by lack of sleep and too early mornings.  Moms end up spending a lot time in a state of minor discomfort.  Why make it worse by wearing anything other than yoga pants?  I get it now, ladies.  I get it.   

Wk6 520 Moments (51-60)

  1. It’s Monday again.
  2. One day until Halloween, and we are planning Polar Express rides and January birthday celebrations.
  3. The landscape yesterday was jigsaw puzzle perfection: rolling hills, white fences, red barns, and tractors.
    1. I felt home.
  4. I am so thankful for a full night of uninterrupted sleep.
  5. The amount of work that I am faced with is directly proportional to the intensity with which I do not want to work.
  6. I look around at my piles of books, stacks of notebooks, professional journals lined in chronological order and imagine what it might be like to have uninterrupted hours in this office.
  7. I can no longer spell on paper when writing quickly.  It is laziness or something more sinister?
  8. As I wait for the water to boil in the stainless steel kettle, I survey the house around me: empty box on the couch, the helmet from the box on the dining room table, dry(ing) dishes piled high, dishwasher to unload, and overflowing laundry baskets.  Too much for a school morning.
    1. But first, I write.
    2. And coffee.
  9. Fairy lights and soft pink glow of himalayan salt lamp, and I zone out.
  10. Last night we carved our pumpkin.  I had not felt the goopy guts cling to my hands since childhood.  I reveled in it.
    1. Today, roasted seeds for snack.