One more year to say I’m still in my 30’s. Surprisingly, it’s not as important to me as when I was 31 or 32. By the way, when did this blog basically become my birthday updates peppered with a few morbid thoughts? Bleh. Perhaps Wisconsin winters will do that to you. You pensively write when it’s ice and death outside but when it’s nice out there, you certainly don’t sit around inside writing about it. I don’t know, maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s not.
It’s been an interesting year. We added a dog and 2 cats to the family since we moved into our new place this January. I guess 5 people and a cat under the bed was too much like an empty home? Farley the dog is great. He’s a designer dog named after the great Chris Farley. 2 cats; Louie and Keyser, neither of which have had a solid poo since they came home from the shelter. I guess you could say they can’t seem to get their crap together?
Like the last few years, this one has been filled with redefining. Redefining how I see the world, redefining how I fit into it all. I wish I could say that this has been a freeing or peaceful process, but for me it’s been laborious and pretty constant. This year I witnessed overwhelmingly beautiful moments and unspeakable tragedy. It made for a heart-wrenching balance that tenderized and grounded me.
I guess the 2nd most important thing that I’m taking into this next year is to slow down and find the joy that abides in every moment, even it’s crowded with screaming and obstinate kids. I really want to realize that their voices won’t be this little for long. Before I know it they’ll be yelling with low man-type voices.
The most important thing I’m taking into this last hurrah of thirty-something-ness is how huge it is that I’m understood and loved the way that I am. Alissa has been an amazing friend to me since a little bit before my 26th birthday. The last few years have been tougher to connect with that friendship, what with all the little beings that urgently call upon her special mother-y skills, but the last few months we’ve had a lot more of those moments where real connection happens. I know I’m lucky and lately when I look at her I see a woman who has met all the challenges that the kids and I have thrown her way and she weathers them all and loves us even more on the other side. With that kind of resilience, life doesn’t beat a woman down, it refines her beauty. She shines even brighter, stands taller, walks stronger and smiles in a way that if I slow down just a bit, knocks me to my knees.
Moral of the story: Sometimes it’s the lessons that you learn that make you grow and other times it’s who you learn them with.