2013

This year started in Costa Rica, where Corey’s foot was sliced by a stingray and Nolan was forced to trash his favourite velour Spongebob blanket in the Toronto airport layover, teary eyed at the pukefest on the plane (sorry, Westjet passengers in front of us!  Sorry.  Chunks happen.  Oh my god.)

But the dubious was tempered with the unforgettable, a giant swimming pig, next to a rustic restaurant near Tamarindo. Avocado shrimp salad, the freshest we’d ever tasted. Surfing off paradise beaches, sitting next to a moonlit pool, still easy in each other’s company. Halfway through the year, it was Hawaii, and roadside pineapple and a sporadically crotchety baby.  An experiment of sorts: could we make a drastic change?

The answer, it turned out, was no, not yet — but in the meantime we had three weddings to attend.  We are in our thirties and the privilege of witnessing earnest vows and choked-up words has waned in recent years: activities, largely, of a slightly younger crowd.  But in 2013  we were invited to two engagement parties turned surprise weddings — Kobe and Kelsey and Michael and Adrian and their aginst-odds, verclempt moments turned into highlights of our year, too.   And just last month we were overjoyed to watch our good friends Amy and Adam tie the knot in Mexico, hard and earnestly, after so many years together.  An overabundance of beaches and love — it seemed like the year couldn’t get better.

Except.  Change loomed.

It isn’t something that comes easily to me: I resist it and resent it, and for that reason, a large chunk of my brain insisted on believing that I’d be with my employer forever.  I’d been with them for 7 years, after all.  Why mess with the consistent?

But life threw a curveball and it became very crystal clear that consistency is only an illusion and though I was terrified to let go of that comfy, cozy (fraying) rope, my god.  The pool I landed in is so incredible and smart and motivating.  Why didn’t I go looking for it years ago?  This year taught me that I need to go looking for change sometimes, perhaps when I’m at my most comfortable.

2013 was full of sandy hair and early tidal pools, watery-eyed vows and first steps.  It was gritty and slightly rocky, inspiring in the most unexpected places.  It was never, ever boring.  Even when shit seems to be going totally sideways, it’s actually going up, to a better place, and an entirely new perspective.

Bring it on, 2014.

New Normal

When I leave the house at 6:48, the air is black and immobile, still bated with sleep, icy.  I tiptoe across the half-frozen grass in wobby feet unaccustomed to high heels, and will myself not to tip over under the weight of my laptop bag, gym clothes, duffel coat.

I’ve made lunches and loaded laundry the night before,  but I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve forgotten something and after I’ve acquired my Starbucks latte (can’t turn on the nespresso machine at home in the morning, lest the baby wake up), the memory slaps my forehead.

Mom,” I mutter, and hit her number on the car stereo.  She’ll rescue me, she always does.

Mom.  I forgot the money for Nolan’s book fair today. Can you run cash down to him?

She does.  And, I find out later, she brings a bag of chicken breasts too, and some cranberry bran muffins for the boys.  And while I commute downtown, Corey wakes up slowly, packs Nolan’s lunch in his backpack, reminds him for the sixth time to remember his coat.  He picks up discarded cheerios and tosses diaper bags out the window and I arrive at the office at just before 7:30, in icy high heels, sporting a mysterious fruit leather stain on the side of my skirt.

***

I’ve worked full time from home for the last seven years, with just two months off after I had Jude in 2012.  I thought I had balance down pretty decently: I was able to work out every day, keep the house clean, finish my calls and proposals and hang out with my kids and husband on a fairly acceptable level.   There weren’t a lot of extra hours for lolling on the couch, but I’m not much of a loller, anyway.

But the hour and a half round trip commute has definitely thrown my carefully crafted balance into a wildly spinning mayhem.  I can’t really work out at lunch anymore, and I can’t change back into my sweatpants.  I can’t run down the street to Nolan’s school if he’s forgotten his warm gloves, and I’m not able to get up between calls to put the whites in the dryer.  Corey is amazing but his acceptable levels of messiness are not the same as mine and when I get home from work the chaos hurts my skull.

I feel like I have all these little fluttery paper pieces of life floating from my brain, and I’m running around, tossing them back in there, but each time I toss I create a wind and flurry up a bunch more, inciting them to sprinkle out again.

Something has to fail everyday: my fitness, my family, my work, or the state of my house.  Usually, these past two weeks, it’s been the state of my house. ( My car got towed from my work last week and my Mom had to watch the boys till I could make it home because Corey was coaching…and all she could find Nolan to eat was a red pepper and half an English muffin.  So you know.)  And of all those things, I guess house cleanliness/stockedness is the least important, right?  I’m flailing, is what I’m saying. And hoping that eventually it just smoothly comes together.

***

Last two burning items:

1) I really love my new job so far.  The people are brilliant, helpful, and quirkily likeable.  My team is 99% young guys, and I feel like a grizzled newspaper veteran, but they are super good to me and the product itself is truly revolutionary.  I’m stoked to sell it.

2) On traffic.  There’s shitloads of construction in Vancouver right now, and a lot of people waiting patiently in line to get to the lights.  If you spot an asshole driver who cuts the line into the construction lane to try to get out of waiting his turn, do you sigh and let him in or stubbornly pull up your car tight to the one in front of you to not let him in because he should wait his turn too, dammit?

Sundayitis

I took Nolan to see Frozen with his heart cousin earlier this week, the little blonde girl he sees to infrequently now because of an adult breakup that had absolutely nothing to do with the bond they share.  Besides the simple pleasure of watching them radiate with joy at the comforting easiness of just being together,  I felt a peace while I watched the movie.   I was trying to figure it out from behind my 3D glasses.  For a while I though it was probably the heady mixture of popcorn and skittles combined (definitely not Paleo, definitely a stellar combination) and then maybe the sporadic, tiny laughter of the three year old dwarfed in the seat behind me.  And then, about three quarters of the way through the movie I realized that the peace was the knowledge that I was watching a kid’s movie — and that by default, the ending would be happy.  I didn’t have to worry that the floppy-haired guy wouldn’t love the spirited girl in the end, and I knew that the flamboyant snowman wasn’t going to melt in a tragic heat-related accident.  I realized with a start how rare happy endings are in the fictional world I choose to surround myself with.  The only TV show I watch religiously is the Walking Dead.  There are no happy endings anywhere, there.  The series I watched before that was Breaking Bad, and before that, Dexter.  The books I inhale the hardest tend to be dark too — gloomy, with foreboding themes and complicated, messy, and often disconcerting endings.

I’m not sure why, exactly.  Maybe if I ingest dark fiction, it won’t happen in real life?  Because I do believe that you can never quite fear-conjure the bad things that actually happen to you.  Anyway, my point is: I’m going to watch more kids movies.   That relieved feeling was a pretty nice one.

***

Speaking of relief: tomorrow, I start a brand new career. I know long time readers will know — even though I never spoke of the company directly — that I worked for nearly a decade for one of the biggest women’s social media companies in the US.   Every woman blogger will know exactly of whom I speak.  I sold digital advertising, and then Conferences, and I did it through years of uncertainty and single Motherhood and new marriage and sudden baby, and, other than frequent business trips to NYC and LA and San Francisco and Chicago — I did it all from home.

It was a challenging, demanding, consuming career, and one that I loved a lot.  And I was very sad to leave.  But I am beyond excited to have landed a dream position at a company I’ve had my eye on for a very long time  — one that is headquartered in my own city and that has fostered an innovative, dynamic, entrepreneurial culture that I’m thrilled to be joining.   It will be a bit of a change to drive to Hootsuite in rush hour traffic in high heels tomorrow morning, but a fabulous one.