calendar girl

the writing on the wall.......out with the old.......

what is it about mid january that makes you want to crawl under your covers and hide from the world?

i'm listening to the boring sounds of a neighbor shoveling snow. the sunlight is bright today -- you should be feeling more sunny with weather like this, you tell yourself. but you don't comply. the holidays are over, the kids are gone, the house is empty. you face your work, the empty page, the unfinished letter. the unanswered call. 

just a few months ago, certainly a few years ago in my active mothering phase, the phone rang a lot more than it does now. truth was, a lot of the time i didn't answer. i adore my kids, don't get me wrong - but sometimes if they had friends over, or they needed to go somewhere, i wasn't always in the mood to be happycaretakingmom. sometimes i just wanted to slink away to my bedroom and read. or slouch in the bathtub, suds all around, candles aglow, earphones slapped on my head, listening to old joni mitchell songs. or daydreaming about gliding along the aegean. sails white, large, ballooning. truth is, i don't even like sailing that much. it was more of a 'calgon, take me away' kind of feeling. 

so now here i am. free.... relatively. with the kids not in the house, the phone doesn't ring as much anymore....... do i miss it? during 23 years of childrearing you find yourself often wishing for a break in the action, a chance to remember who you were before you had kids, and then, suddenly, when that phase of life is over you look around and ask yourself: what happened?

we are funny creatures, we humans. always looking over the fence to the other side. always wanting what we don't have. that persistent urge to be free, whatever that means. that ever present need tobewhoyouwerebackwhen. and always sad after it is no longer. we rewrite history and wish ourselves back to that fictitious happier time. what is with us? why is it so hard for us to realize that these are the good old days, as carly simon sings? no, we are more likely to look back. always back. we prefer instead to quote joni, "don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got till it's gone..."

for five years i ran a business, and just like that, it was no longer. for 19 years i saw a friend religiously, once a week, for dinner. then, just like that, it was no longer. sometimes people and events of your life slip away like so much unnoticed grayness, other times change happens like a tectonic plate snapping and reverberating, sending shock waves and then the earth resettles into a new landscape, a new formation. to sit quietly, for untold eons until the next faint shudder in the ground is felt. 

life is like that. 

my horoscope for this year told me i don't need fear. to quote, "in truth, it has never served you; it's neither protected nor nourished you. fear gives bad information and so does guilt."

amen, sister. amen. 

my life is run on a calendar. i have scads of them, from years past, rolled up with rubber bands leftover from the mailman, taking up space behind the dining room door. why do i keep them, you might ask? i'm a cancerian packrat, that's why. cancers keep everything. maybe now, with all this freedom, i want to look back at my busy life. daughter's play rehearsal. sat tutor. senior prom. son's fencing tournament in godknowswhere. community service. arabic tutor. college night for junior parents.....

(wait - i do not miss that. not one bit. good god.)

i've just put up my new calendar. here it is, before i slapped it on the kitchen wall, with a lot of white space on it. that represents a form of freedom, i guess. 

.......and in with the new
give it time. it will fill up, like it always does...

i'm listening for sounds outside.

for now, the shoveling has stopped.

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