Monday, January 21, 2013

If I'm not a night owl, and I'm no longer a morning person, what does that make me?

I'm not sure what to make of this, but, despite its auspicious beginnings, January has been a complete non-starter.

The snow was fun while it lasted. I feasted on it, gorged myself, threw myself at it like a shameless hussy and, as you might expect, I woke up one morning and it was gone. No note, nothing. I should have been more aloof.

Now January is more than two thirds gone and I can't remember a single thing that's happened.

What I do remember is more nights than not of feeling an irresistible urge to go to bed before nine o'clock simply as a result of waking fatigue. This isn't so strange, since I've never been a night person. But, what's strange is the way I,  normally a morning person,  have been waking each morning with the very real sense that my body has grown roots and those roots have delved deep into the center of the mattress and found purchase there.

The start of each and every day begins with a long and deliberate period of extrication before I can join the ranks of those who exist upright.  Even after the roots have been severed, I sit up then lie back down at least three times before it sticks. Sometimes it only sticks long enough to use the toilet, then, before I realize what I'm doing, I'm pawing my way  back under the blankets, making my way back to the makeshift womb where life is always warm, comfortable and muted. This is where my kids most often find me, curious as to why I'm not downstairs making their breakfast.

I'm not sure what this perceived exhaustion is all about. In January, it seems, simply being awake for 15 hours per day is more than enough upright, coherent time for me, a Hurculean feat worthy of a reward in the form of copious simple carbohydrates-- breads, cookies, Snyder Bavarian style hard pretzels and cheddar cheese, wine every night and, of course, chocolate. Last night on the way to ice hockey practice, I left K-Mart with six boxes of sneeze shield Kleenex and a cinema-sized box of chewy Sweet Tarts.

Hello. I'm 47.

Seeing as how it's well after nine right now and I've already dozed off twice while trying to compose this blog post, I can see that any meaningful fleshing out of this topic is not going to occur tonight. All I can say is, it's a good thing I didn't make any New Year's resolutions.

But if I were to make a resolution retroactively, one that would guarantee me a certain sense of having achieved success, I would resolve to hibernate, un-apologetically.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Bringing in the New Year with beet soup and play money

This was hands down my favorite transition into a New Year, ever.

Maybe it's because I've finally matured, I am a fresh 47 now,  or maybe it's because Esther has been so sick with the flu the thought of going out anywhere further than the edge of the yard was completely out of the question, but I had none of the usual hype-fueled angst regarding our New Year's plans or lack thereof.


And the day unfurled perfectly and that ribbon of perfection just kept rolling into the evening and I got a ski in just as it was getting dark and while I was schussing through the twilight, breathing the crisp air deep into my lungs, I smugly considered how impressed Ian would be by the beef borscht he would find in the crock pot when he got home from work.

Then I remembered we had one stray bottle of champagne and two stray bottles of Guinness in the fridge and those two things together would add up to enough Black Velvet for Ian and I to enjoy with our soup.

And that's what we did. We ate borscht and bread and drank Black velvets, and grape juice. Then adjourned to the living room, which is just feet away from the dinner table and christened Esther's new Monopoly board game by playing a rousing round in which Isla was clearly the big money player but didn't believe it because she still doesn't quite get how one $500 bill is worth more than four twenties and two fifties and one $100 bill.

Then we put the girls to bed at nine, after Isla insisted on reading several pages of Frog and Toad are Friends out loud to me, and we met each other back downstairs and shared the big chair-- just wide enough to accommodate one pair of snake hips and one pair of woman hips--and stared catatonically into the fire until we dozed off.

 Of course I'm skipping a few parts, like the bit where I got up and did the dishes, cleaned the whole kitchen, while Ian went upstairs to read. Then, having gotten a second wind from all that domestic activity, I briefly fantasized about hopping on my skis and flying down the hill to the neighbors' house where we had been invited to a New Year's Eve party and where I knew there would be plenty of people, most at least 10 years my junior and childless, still getting their party on. But the thought of having to climb back up the hill alone in the cold dark newborn hours of 2013 after having too much to drink, and possibly even a cigarette, made me think better of it, I really am maturing, and I crawled into bed next to my warm, sensible husband and eventually dozed off to the distant sound of popping fireworks.