Tuesday, December 22, 2015

return of light, again and again and again.

Today marks the official Return of Light, the Winter Solstice. Me? I've been keeping extra busy this week, a questionably healthy (but super effective) method of avoiding thinking about my mom around Christmastime. Then again, how luxurious, to have even the potential for an idle mind. So - here's how I've been keeping busy, and, at the end, here's how I (and you and you and you) can return the light around the world.

:: I've been awake all hours of the night, thanks to pacifier weaning. I very nearly emailed my pediatrician to ask whether it was okay to renege on the whole process, especially after Rowan's four a.m. hysterical meltdown a few nights ago...but we're persevering. I think. Falling asleep at nap time seems to be fine (crossing my fingers), and falling asleep at bedtime is getting easier (after a bunch of rocky nights that involved me going up there roughly eleven trillion times for "one more" snuggle and kiss) - but she's back to waking up two or three times a night, à la infancy, and can't put herself back to sleep. Seeing that she demands my help instead of J.J.'s help almost one hundred percent of the time, I'm suuuuper tired.

:: Also tired because I keep staying up til almost midnight working on whatever random project of the day sparks my interest. The last few days, it's been watercolors. No, I don't know what's gotten into me, either, but I'm loving these. I tried a couple portraits, and those are my favorite so far! Hoping to do a whole slew of holiday-themed paintings tonight.

{Interested in a watercolor of your little cutie? Or of you?
Or a snarky phrase or quote? Well, I'm interested in painting one!
Leave a comment and let me know ~
or email me at gorgac1980 AT gmail DOT com!}

:: Want to know the difference between being in your twenties and being in your thirties? When I woke up one morning at age twenty-seven with severe shoulder pain, I tried to function with it for a couple days before booking an appointment with a specialist. What could possibly be wrong with my shoulder?! Giant tumor, probs. The doctor back then diagnosed it as bursitis, and predicted it would mostly fade (with the help of physical therapy) within a year or so. Nowadays, at the sassy age of thirty-five, chronic mild pain is just sort of part of the deal. My original bad shoulder ended up getting better during my pregnancy (ahem, five years after the pain started), but my other shoulder's heading downhill now. If I have the privilege of lying in bed for too long, I'm rewarded with a back flare-up. No wonder old people spend so much time talking about their aches and pains...they are a Big Deal. Even minor ones like mine.

:: Can we just talk about this Pacific Northwest winter we're having in southeastern Michigan? It's supposed to be sixty-two degrees tomorrow. SIXTY-TWO. Not 26. People are still harvesting Swiss chard and kale from their gardens. The grass is still green. The houses in my neighborhood are extra-decorated, probably because it's more pleasant to string lights from your gutters when your nose hairs don't freeze off the second you step outside. As much as I love a white Christmas, I'm always down for temps above sixty!

:: And hey! It may be springtime in Michigan, but Christmas, in case you weren't aware, is in two more days. I'm pretty sure I'm just about ready? I think? It's weird to not be stressed about presents and stuff, so I'm not sure if I'm actually on top of everything, or if I'm just forgetting, like, a whole side of the family or something. Don't get me wrong, I haven't wrapped a thing, I have dozens of chocolate ginger cookies to bake, and Santa still needs some stocking stuffers for J.J., but most of my tasks are checked off. Special thanks to Santa's Little Helper, AKA Amazon Prime, for making Christmas soooo much more manageable this year.

:: Someone needs to make a haircut appointment for me, please. I keep trying, but my schedule is only so flexible, and for some reason (SOME REASON) the cheap-o place I go is always booked. Okay, so I call in the morning to see if they have an appointment for that afternoon, and then they don't, and instead of planning ahead like a normal person, I just say I'll call back another day. Meanwhile, I need about seven inches of limp, lifeless hair chopped off. That's a lot of inches, all courtesy of laziness. And a severe aversion to hair stylist small talk (shhh, Stylist, haircuts are for quiet time, mmkay?).

:: In the last three days, I've eaten almost an entire pan of homemade mac and cheese with tofu-cheese sauce and cauliflower. I regret nothing.

:: It's slowly dawning on me that from now until next Monday, we have different morning and afternoon plans that require driving at least twenty minutes away. Every day. I pledge to do my best to be flexible with Rowan's schedule, but that's easier said than done when her nighttime sleep (or, more accurately, my nighttime sleep) is so messed up. May the force be with me, and also with you.

:: In case you're feeling uninspired, gloomy, lonely, and disconnected: How about connecting with a charitable organization that's making immediate, real-life impacts? Ask yourself these questions, courtesy of The Compassion Collective:

          "Should starving women be fed?
          Should homeless babies be sheltered?
          Should freezing men be warmed?
          Should drowning children be saved?"

Seriously, take four minutes and check out The Compassion Collective, an organization dedicated to sending tangible, specific support to aid refugees. The maximum donation you can make to them is $25, and those dollars literally mean the difference between life and death for your fellow humans. Those dollars buy socks, baby slings, sleeping bags, and coats. And the folks behind The Compassion Collective? Oh, only some of my personal heroes. Elizabeth Gilbert. Brené Brown. Cheryl Strayed. NBD.

This quote from their website is perfect for today, the Winter Solstice, the Return of Light:

"Compassion is humanity's North Star. It will always guide us out of the dark, back toward peace, hope and each other."

Happy Tuesday, happy Solstice, happy Return of Light.

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  1. "Giant tumor, probs" = my immediate assumption 98% of the time.

    I love so much about this post.

    1. I was totally that kid in the Kindergarten Cop classroom who would tell the teacher that his headache was probably a tumor. We're so cheery, aren't we? :)



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