December is hell. I know it’s supposed to be all Hallmark movies and bows on presents and egg nog, baking cookies and ringing in the New Year. It’s not. It’s hell.
There’s a lot of pressure in December. Pressure to be jolly. Pressure to overextend yourself financially, socially, emotionally. Pressure to not get fat.
Good times. Good times.
And I had the added pressure of a December wedding anniversary, two December birthdays, and holiday houseguests.
Also, as always, there was the pressure to write. But I couldn’t write. I had ideas, but no time. When I had the time I couldn’t seem to make the ideas run more than a paragraph or two. And, before you know it, I forgot how to write.
Forgetting how to write turned into questioning my ability to write turned into complete writer’s block paralysis turned into this blog post. I don’t know if it’s going to be any good, but for my own sanity I have to clear the proverbial logjam, so bear with me.
Here’s almost everything that happened during the holidays that kept me from writing and created this existential quagmire I’ve put us all in:
- I got a fire pit for my anniversary. In that gift I discovered the joy of roasting marshmallows on sticks in 30°F weather and the importance of sitting idly and making room for deep conversations.
- My youngest turned 13 and I don’t know how that happened because just yesterday he was a squishy baby that refused to take naps.
- I got a new favorite coffee mug for Christmas and it has replaced my old favorite coffee mug. My husband hates it and that makes me love it all the more. Those are the petty things that happen to people when they’ve been married for 25 years.
- I read an article about the last two Shakers left in the world. Shakers are communal, peace loving folks. Shakers are also celibate. I guess that explains why there are only two of them left in the world.
- I became a sorta vegan. I feel sorta obligated to tell you about that. It’s only been a few days, but I already know I’m sorta better than people who aren’t sorta vegans.
- The dog ate the Christmas tree. Not the whole Christmas tree, just parts of it. I should probably note it’s a fake Christmas tree. That’s weird, right? I can understand the appeal of rabbit poop for a dog, but fake Christmas tree? Doesn’t seem like that would be too tasty.
- It’s raining today, just like it has every single day for the past forever. I can’t remember a day when it wasn’t raining. When I take the dog out in the backyard my feet sink into the mud and make this horrible slurp sound when I pull them out. If my house sinks into the earth just know I love you.
- The cat is still alive. She’s old and slow, but she’s alive. She recently turned 17. I think that’s 800 in cat years. I wish I could do one of those DNA tests on her to determine if she’s immortal because I bet she is.
- I submitted two pieces for publication on other sites. I’ve already received news that one was rejected. Even though it’s not my first rejection letter and it certainly won’t be my last, it hurt. Not like a knife wound to the chest, but more like you got a few paper cuts in between your fingers and then soaked them in lemon juice and then your boyfriend broke up with you and started dating your best friend.
- I learned that, while my daughter has a state job, she gets paid by the federal government. The part of the federal government that isn’t funded during the shutdown. I also learned that I could hate Donald Trump even more than I already had.
- I had an encounter on Twitter that proves trivia bots have no sense of humor.
- I’ve just reread this entire blog post and I’m considering deleting the whole thing, ditching writing altogether, and becoming an artisanal cheesemaker.
- I did roughly 18,000 loads of laundry while I wasn’t writing. And somehow there are still clothes that need to be washed.
- I became one of those people who talks on the phone when I’m walking around and shopping. I don’t know how it happened. I think it’s the veganism. It’s made me haughty.
- There was a bird murder in my yard. I found feathers and a beak. A beak. A beak. I’m still scarred from the incident. This marks the second unsolved bird murder in my yard in less than a year. I suspect coyotes are to blame, but the dog is a little dodgy so I’m not ruling him out as a suspect.
- I was cleaning out a drawer of mine and found all my pairs of Spanx that I used to wear to prevent swelling in my leg after my tumor was removed. I had a moment. There may have been a few tears. I realized I’ve been holding on to ‘what if’ for too many years. So I got rid of them and I’m trying to figure out how to live in a ‘what now’ state of mind.
- In related news, I’ve made the executive decision that 2019 will be my year of the elastic waistband.
- I just reread this blog post again and thought maybe I want to stick to writing and leave the artisanal cheesemaking to those who can eat dairy.