Friday, January 31, 2014

Nows and Nexts

It's been a couple months since I've done a gratitude run-down, and while they don't drive nearly as much traffic as, y'know, "hipster porn" or "ropy arms" or whatever other search term usually drags people over to this site, I think it's important to remember gratitude. Especially when we've all spent the last few weeks cooped up inside, not doing much more than complaining about the weather and eating. God, how much eating? All the eating.
  • Friends. I know: I'm always grateful for friends. But this week has been especially awesome. It's been a whirlwind of amazing female friendships, for one thing—the girls who would stand up at my weddings, whose weddings I've totally cried at, and who are going to be part of my life for a very long time. Women who have already been longstanding friends! And we keep finding new friendship nooks to explore. I keep thinking about Maria Bello's Modern Love column, where she laments the cultural norm of only having one partner—she has many partners, she says, not all of them the so-called "primary partner:"
    Does that imply we have secondary and tertiary partners, too? Can my primary partner be my sister or child or best friend, or does it have to be someone I am having sex with? I have two friends who are sisters who have lived together for 15 years and raised a daughter. Are they not partners because they don’t have sex? And many married couples I know haven’t had sex for years. Are they any less partners?
    I love this idea. I count myself incredibly lucky to know and love so many wonderful people, and our connections are deep and strong, regardless of whether or not we've had sex, or we are the same sex. Friendship is a form of partnership—it requires the same communication, negotiation, and faith in the future that your garden-variety romantic enmeshments do—and honouring that is pretty powerful.

  • Writer's group. Last year, a few friends and I banded together to start a little writer's circle/feedback group/constructive criticism experience, and it's been a lot of fun. Well, no, actually, fun isn't quite the right word. It's been challenging, both creatively and (sometimes) interpersonally. Inspiring, too. Stressful, definitely. But it's been good: good to be in the company of other writers, good to feel some friendly pressure to actually produce (there's a big different between saying you're a writer and actually producing good, publishable writing), and good to get outside the me-me-me bubble of writing. So, thanks, guys.

  • The Simpsons. Yesterday, after walking in the cold for all afternoon and dragging myself to lunch despite having slept for a mere two hours the night before (and drinking most of a bottle of hooch called Crazy Uncle [I should have really seen that hangover coming]), I drew a bath, put my laptop on a footstool, and sat in the tub watching The Simpsons for two hours. It was glorious. Perfect, mindless soul balm.

  • This time. Mike and I have been so lovely lately; the last few months of unemployment have been so rich, both creatively and personally; I've had time to write and see friends; I've had time to work out and bake (and then work out some more); I've had time to myself. We're on a path towards making a family, and so I'm become acutely aware that my time to be truly alone is rapidly running out. This is fine—it's a change—but I'm determined to appreciate this time for what it is.

  • The future. God, I have this image of myself, hugely pregnant, waddling down to the water's edge at the family cottage on Lake Huron. Maybe I'm wrapped in a towel, but I'm probably not—I feel like 38-weeks pregnant women are the textbook description of IDGAF, you know?—and I'm clutching a New Yorker and a folding chair, and I just take the whole works out to the first sandbar and sit. I also have this image of myself, sitting with a client in a sun-soaked meeting room, going through their needs and goals and working with them to figure how to get them there. I also have this image of Mike and I on a jetway somewhere, and we're about to embark on some great adventure in a place where we don't speak the language, can barely read the maps, and are so excited we can't even sleep...or is that the jetlag? In any case, I'm grateful for the sense that all these things are hurtling down the pike at about a zillion miles an hour, and it's all going to be wonderful. Even the stuff that's going to suck is going to be great, because it'll happen with the friends, the family, and the love. That's good stuff.