I’m 35 years old today and feeling like some good old timey blogging. Not the shareable with viral potentional kind of blogging. Just the old fashioned here’s what’s going on in my brain type blogging.
I’m writing this from my own hotel room: the best birthday gift imaginable for a homeschooling mom of four living in a tiny house and working from home six months in to a global pandemic.
My husband Daniel surprised me with a room key yesterday afternoon, apparently he’s been planning it for ages. And now this is what I want every year: several hours of silence, novels, British murder mysteries, a clean bathroom, and just staring off into space and letting my messy casserole of of a brain rearrange thoughts into something that makes sense. 2020 mom life, thy name is Overstimulation. And this…this is like paradise.
So while I have my thoughts untangled a little bit, I thought I’d share some stream of consciousness-ish things from the past year.
Things I learned:
-My family is enough. I don’t like the isolation. I miss big gatherings of friends. But they are all I need.
-My kids are loud. Four kids in a small house during a miserable Texas summer with no pool access is LOUD and overwhelming and I don’t ever want to do it again.
-I can write fiction. This is 100% news to me. I’ve always been a non-fiction girl. But an idea came to me in a dream and I started writing in our very unfinished attic next to old kayaking paddles and off season clothes and trashbags of random dressups I confiscated from the girls’ room in fits of “why can’t you clean things up?!” rage. I have an illustrator who is incredible but the book doesn’t have a home yet. I love it, though, and I’ve started on a second much longer project, a fantasy novel set in post-Arthurian magical Britain.
-24/7 family togetherness may have pushed me to the limits of sanity, but I also see good fruit and family bonding. Some of the traditions we’ve begun that have held us together are things that I think are now permanent fixtures of our family culture: Friday movie and pizza night, daily reading hour, tea time with sourdough toast and jam, family hikes.
-My husband is so good. The best. He gets a new pandemic grey hair every week due to the stress of being our 2020 rock. Single ladies, marry someone thoughtful and dependable and kind. Marry someone you’d want to be at your side during a global pandemic. I am profoundly grateful and this man should get an award for getting me through this insane year. He deserves to go hike the Appalachian Trail or something when all this is over.
-Speaking the truth doesn’t come with regrets. I regularly regret saying things in anger. I never regret speaking up for what I believe is right. That comes from a place of peace that is unperturbed by the hate mail or mean comments that follow. There is a virtuous mean between flying off the handle in rage and being too afraid of backlash or negative consequences to career to speak up.
-Stress and fear don’t show people at their best. But sometimes you learn a lot about people, a lot is unmasked. I have gained so much respect for some in 2020 and lost much for others.
-House plants are great. House plants make you happy.
-I have zero patience with people who decide they’re against things simply because the “other side” is for them. That’s when political ideology has become an idol. It’s been a good practice to see where the idols are in my life.
-Reading from the Gospels every single day can remind us who Jesus really is, not who we try to make him into to keep us comfortable. “You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”-Anne Lamott
-I am ready for absolutely WILD over-the-top fashion trends. Post-apocalyptic fairytale is the vibe I want. Can I afford new clothes? No BUT I am perfectly willing to sell out for velvet cloaks, Versailles-worthy ball gowns, and elaborate hats. This is now a Coronatide Fashion Account. (Just kidding…..unless?)
Things I like:
-Reading Harry Potter aloud to the kids while they snuggle with our enormous puppy, Samwise the Goldendoodle.
-Following Instagram accounts of cool photos of the British Isles. Pretending that I’m moving to the Outer Hebrides. Daniel humors me.
-That one nook in the bookshop that you can snag if you get there right when they open (before the greedy people).
-Gringos Burritos from my favorite TexMex place that also has drive-thru margaritas. The most Basic White Girl order imaginable. Embrace it.
Things I don’t like:
-Not hugging friends
-Gaining 10 lbs from Hildie weaning and Coronatide Stress (aka Gringos Burritos).
-Caring that I gained 10 lbs.
Things I’m looking forward to:
-The end of this pandemic.
-Traveling as a family again.
-Getting some health issues sorted out.
-Doing speaking events again!
In the meantime I have a few virtual speaking events on the books including this one:
A few of my favorite folks are also presenting. My talk will be about Marian spirituality of Caryll Houselander’s The Reed of God. It’s the book that has had the most impact on my spiritual life in the past five years. And just before Advent is the perfect time to dive into Houselander’s wisdom about Mary and what it means to truly emulate her and bear Christ in the world as Christians. Sound interesting? You can watch for FREE in November so sign up today!