HAPPY NEW YEAR! Just 39 days late.

February 8th— the world’s most random day to reflect on 2018, and to cast visions and plans and thoughts for 2019. I usually do this on NYE, so I am only 39 days behind on life.

I’ve had so many past years-in-review and thoughtful letters to myself for the upcoming year, and years of selecting the perfect words to focus on before I even knew picking a word was a thing, but this January I’ve really been trying hard to do things like shower regularly and keep my toddler alive and stand up off the couch and live my life.

I saw this meme today:

IMG_6288.JPG

That’s me.

In the last quarter of 2018 we found out we were having twins (8 days after renewing a lease on a 2br apartment—which we’d stretch to fit 4 of us since the first 3 ultrasounds showed only 1 baby, but definitely not 5 of us when that other baby popped into the picture at around 10 weeks. WHOOPS, DOCTOR WHO MISSED THIS THREE TIMES).

In the midst of figuring out the feasibility of raising 3 kids in the city in terms of square footage and childcare costs (spoiler alert: not feasible for us) and panicking about what we would do next, I couldn’t stop puking. So for the first 15 weeks, basically through the end of October, my sole focus was breathing, eating, sleeping and on occasion, fluids and meds from the ER.

The babies felt like foreign objects I couldn’t quite connect with yet because of the puking, the prospect of quick financial ruin was scary, and where would everybody sleep?! Wait, WOULD ANYBODY EVEN SLEEP? DO TWINS SLEEP?

So we reached out to friends and colleagues in our hometowns with the goal of moving closer to family, even at the cost of uprooting my very new growing practice that had really just begun to thrive, and Jeff’s near-ideal appointment at Northwestern, and within a matter of weeks, a door had opened and the ball was rolling on a move to Madison. From there, it was lightening speed. I think Jeff got the offer from UW sometime in the first week of December, and movers came on Dec 27th.

We moved back into Jeff’s old bachelor pad in Madison (which, ironically, is also a 2br house), and after a ridiculous and probably poorly judged Midwest holiday tour, we had picked up back-to-back viruses we kept passing between us. I had to be back in Chicago 4 days after the move for a week-long training, and I have continued to drive back-and-forth on the weekends to close out my caseload and hand off my practice in prep for maternity leave—half of those weekends negotiating one of SIX winter storms that hit between Madison and Chicago.

Our formerly potty-trained kid was back in pull-ups, and she cried for her old house and her old school for weeks. She has only slept through the night maybe 4 times in these last 39 days since the move, and never in her own room alone.

I said to Jeff the other day that I feel like this winter has been inside my body.
Like, inside my soul.

I think in winter everything feels scarce: sunlight, warmth, daytime hours, the color green, hope that it’s ever going to end.  And I found myself in a parallel experience of scarcity mentality as I trudged through the end of 2018 and peeked into 2019.

I was scared there wouldn’t be enough—
Enough space
Enough sleep
Enough love
Enough help
Enough income
Enough gestation
Enough breast milk
Enough attention
Enough closet space
Enough paternity leave

At one point when my friends were all talking about what their 2019 words would be, I asked myself what I wished I could dive into and swim around in during 2019 if it could be anything on the planet.

My choice? Abundance.

I asked myself, What if the answer to all those questions could be YES. Yes, there will be enough. (I mean, except for the closet space, which is a hard NO.) What if what we have right now is our portion, and that, actually, what’s coming to us in March is a double portion, or, you know, an abundance?

I think I had to wait to write this until February, because, finally (FINALLY) the abundance mentality is moving in. I feel like I am finally turning the corner into spring inside. (Which always reminds me of NN’s seasons song) I could play it on repeat forever.

So, yes, 2018, you were a little but tough at the end, and 2019, you are scary. But I’m carrying around a double portion, and I think there will be enough. Enough skin to grow them, enough square feet to house all of us, enough hours to care for everyone, enough love for two new humans, enough attention for Havi and Jeff, enough money to get us through, enough energy to survive, enough help to feel supported.

We’ll have what we have when we need it, and it might even be abundant.
(The bows will be abundant.)

I love this artist Sleeping at Last, and he has a song called North about moving into a new home. I love the entire song, and I’ll post the lyrics below (and the link above if you click on the song name), but one section just keeps playing out in my mind as the prayer for all these quick, giant changes in our family, and for this pretty significant move to Madison:

“Let the years we’re here be kind, be kind.
let our hearts, like doors, open wide, open wide.
settle our bones like wood over time, over time.
give us bread, give us salt, give us wine.”

Bread, salt and wine— all we need, right?
Bread so our house never knows hunger, salt so life always has flavor, and wine to keep mom sane for joy and prosperity.

(Yes, I know, I know. It’s a Wonderful Life.)

North
We will call this place our home
the dirt in which our roots may grow.
though the storms will push and pull
we will call this place our home.

We’ll tell our stories on these walls.
every year, measure how tall.
and just like a work of art
we’ll tell our stories on these walls.

Let the years we’re here be kind, be kind.
let our hearts, like doors, open wide, open wide.
settle our bones like wood over time, over time.
give us bread, give us salt, give us wine.

A little broken, a little new.
we are the impact and the glue.
capable more than we know
to call this fixer upper home.

With each year, our color fades.
slowly, our paint chips away.
but we will find the strength
and the nerve it takes
to repaint and repaint and repaint every day.

Let the years we’re here be kind, be kind.
let our hearts, like doors, open wide, open wide.
settle our bones like wood over time, over time.
give us bread, give us salt, give us wine.

Smaller than dust on this map
lies the greatest thing we have:
the dirt in which our roots may grow
and the right to call it home.

2 thoughts on “HAPPY NEW YEAR! Just 39 days late.”

  1. All the feels and all the love. You wouldn’t know this because I rarely write these days (maybe I should get back to it), but it’s strange how similarly our hearts process life. Praying all the abundance you need this crazy year. An abundance of help when you need it is the chief of my prayers for you. 💗💗💗

    Like

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