Tuesday, April 28, 2015

This Place Needs a Dusting

I left my blog's lights on the last time I was here, and forgot to disconnect the water, so I really wasn't sure what to expect upon re-entry. The darkness wasn't shocking, but I lucked out with no leaks or burst pipes. Some cretin lifted the copper elements, spiders took up residence in the corners, and rodent leavings were paired with sporadic gnaw marks throughout. It could have been worse. I accept it as the dues of neglect. I'm not about to go planting a garden out back as a show of premature optimism for future habits, but perhaps this time I'll take measures to curb utter abandonment ... Other than that, I'll due a quick sweep through, hop over the spiders, replace the bulbs, and get back to it.

As with most guilty abandonments, justifications are on the tip of my tongue; they bear more specificity than the all-purpose life-has-a-way-of-taking-over + generalized laziness... But ultimately they fail to serve as anything which *prevented* me from writing, but rather point to a more full, distracting existence. In any case, a handy CluffsNotes* briefing follows to bring the idly curious up to speed:

2014 was a sparkly, shiny year, involving three key game changers:
  • Shacking up with Javier, after living by myself for almost a decade. There is no better way to highlight how crotchety you have become than to combine households. He has the audacity to want to change things! In my our house! It was shocking.
  • Discovering I'm pretty fertile at this stage of the game, despite A.) societal messages to the contrary and B.) the words of one dramatic doctor (starting a decade ago), which warned my ability to have children veered closer to winning the lottery than to having a car crash. OK, those weren't her words, but trust me, she put the ALARM in alarmist. Actual quote at tail end of her rant last year: "...And don't get me started on the incidence of malformed eggs of women in the 40s, you would not BELIEVE what happens, it's simply the body beginning to shut down ~~." From the moment I suspected I was pregnant, babies were EVERYWHERE; as was food I wasn't supposed to eat. And pregnancy warning labels, good lord. The only thing shamefully lacking a label? F*cking Grey's Anatomy: that damn, silly show featured imperiled pregnancies/tragic deliveries/preemies hanging on for dear life almost weekly. After awhile I cursed the lot of us.
  • A fairy tale proposal, to the sound of waves crashing in the dark, sparkly lights in either direction down the shoreline, after many lovely days in the weird and fantastic Floridaland (mishmash of strip malls, ominous Panther crossing signs, and lucky us, warm family and the beach, the beach, the beach).
*A shoddy off-brand CliffsNotes -- less current than SparkNotes, and may not get you an A, but something beats nothing, right? And real teachers can tell when you didn't bother with the original text, anyway.

The pregnancy was rife with blog post fodder; but the need to write hit hardest in the first trimester, an unwise time to publicly share. Too, in many instances, it would have devolved into *literal* navel gazing. I'd say it's next to impossible to do otherwise, when almost every aspect of your body is changing, in ways that are either disconcerting, highly irritating, abruptly weepy/enraging/euphoric, and/or sporadically impressive. Aaaaah, to be experiencing hormone washes more tidal than a teenager's, as a 40-something! 

Could go either way: sleep or meltdown?
...These days, the kind of day one has seems to hinge on whether the baby is pleased (and likely sleeping) or displeased (prolonged,elevated screaming-crying; our go-to descriptors: "pterodactyl," "demonic blender"). It is amazing and astounding and fantastic and trying and exhausting and everything else of which you parents (or friends of parents) are already fully aware. Javier and I are zombie-ish, but less brain-craving undead than a month ago (she's a month and a half old!); she gives us (cruel?) hope by often sleeping 5 hour stretches at night.

Not screaming, good; accusatory, bad.
I am taking tentative steps back toward the Cakeasaurus picture book project -- finally listed some woodblock print pages I completed last year -- and hung up finished sketches behind the dining room table to refocus myself. I am determined to still be creative, but we shall see to what degree and what forms it will take in the coming months (/years).

Obviously much depends on baby girl. Outside of that, I have been thinking that my key will be to approach life with more intentionality. I can no longer drift into sketching, or writing, or those past luxurious mornings of slooooowly rising, daydreaming in a chair for awhile until moved to action; No. Thing A needs to happen. When? 15 minutes of it, Tuesday morning? Go. That is my current thinking. Make it so. Such a huge shift, such an education in living...