Today is the first day since before Christmas that everyone is back to school and work. The house is quiet again, and I feel like I can get back to my regular life.
Like writing, amongst other things.
A winter cold made it’s way through everyone in the family – just sniffles and wee coughs for the children, and my husband’s symptoms were much the same, but it seems to have hit me the hardest. Sometime between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, I decided to just give in to my fatigue and nagging malaise, and just be still like broccoli for the duration of the holidays.
Thank goodness for Martin – we probably wouldn’t have eaten much had he not been home. Nor would the house have been so clean. I’ve said before how different it is when he’s home. When he’s here, I’m not the only one to have to do/cook/wash/fetch/answer everything for the children, which is an amazing break from reality.
When I try to work when the children are around, they tend to interrupt me a lot (of course) and I just begin to feel crispy around the edges, and I bark at them too much. This year I gave up the struggle, and just didn’t try to fight it. And since it wasn’t an option to leave my four walls (the place I’m sitting in every single day) and it is no vacation for me to be at home, I opted to make things different for myself the only way I really could… change the workload and/or what I usually do each day.
So. I didn’t cook much. I didn’t do laundry until we really needed some clean clothes. I didn’t leave the house for days at a time if I didn’t absolutely have to. I was barely on Facebook or Twitter the entire time. I hardly used my camera at all. My six hundred and forty seven emails in the browser? Meh. There’s always something to do… and I decided not to do any of it.
That makes me sound like a depressed person perhaps… but I swear I wasn’t. I just didn’t do anything if I didn’t have to. There’s so much in our lives that are have to. I riled against it. And I’m happy I did.
Instead, I spent a lot of time on the couch, browsing through ma-ga-zeeenes, and I’d read the newspaper from cover to cover. I read The Help, (which was a wonderful read, and I highly recommend it to everyone) and I watched a bunch of programmes and movies I’d recorded and not had a chance to view. It was glorious, yo.
I talked with my children. I mean, in the ways that are unhurried and unharried, because I’m not doing anything else but talking with them. Not trying to rush them along to the next place, or to finish their dinner, or correcting them, or screaming about something. I just looked into their eyes and answered all their questions, and for a change, not from behind my computer screen. It sometimes amazes me what wonderful little people I live with. Lucky, lucky me.
Martin and I looked around the house and made lists of some home-improvements we’d like to make in order to make better use of our space. We’ve been calculating, marking and measuring, considering colours and textures… we’ve got some ideas we’re excited about.
We’ve been hanging out together, my boyfriend and I, just thinking about our home and our family. Just loving each other. All of us. And often, in our pajamas. (Did I mention how I hardly did any laundry?) I tell you, there are worse things than napping and eating freshly made latkes topped with sour cream, smoked salmon, and caviar.
It’s good to be quiet sometimes. The dawn of a new year should be reflective and thoughtful. I’m still thinking about ME + January, and I’m not sure what I think yet, but now that everyone in my house is back to the grind, and I am finally unfurling into a bright and chilly new month, I am in no hurry to get it all sorted out. At least not today.
Besides, most of the “sorting out” I need to do is of the Christmas-tear-down variety around here this week. Gotta pack it all up before Madame’s birthday next Saturday.
It’s all good. Happy January, people!!