As rumors of yet another nor’easter arrives in the news, I can’t help but wonder, when the heck will this winter ever end?!
I didn’t intend to write about the weather. This was supposed to be an update about my memoir. But somehow I’m sidetracked by all the snow still on the ground and the cold chill in the air. Part of me wants to hurry the season along. Enough already. But then I stop myself because I can’t believe how fast this year has gone.
Wasn’t I just worrying anxiously about my son’s entry into kindergarten? Wondering how he would possibly adjust? Well, he did. Not without some bumps, but for the most part, the kid has soared. I am still in awe every day he actually gets on the bus, or jumps out of the car and waves goodbye. I wasn’t sure he would, and some days, I’m still unsure. But most of the time, his resilience surprises me.
Then there’s my daughter, gliding toward the end of fourth grade, a month away from turning TEN. I just reread an old journal from when she was a baby. I couldn’t believe she was already six months old.
How. Did. This. Happen.
Oh yeah. Time.
Do not mess with time. If you keep yelling at it to speed up, it will laugh in your face, spin you around in circles, and the next thing you know, you’ll be sitting alone in your spotless (well, maybe not mine) and silent empty nest of a house wondering what the hell just happened.
My children are growing up. I’m growing older. The stray silver eyebrow hair I plucked out a couple years ago (which inspired an essay on the HerStories Project relaunch) has spawned many sisters, including some brand new face framing highlights. Again, because I’m a novice at aging, my initial thought was, oh my hair is getting lighter, and then I realized my mistake.
Not blonde, gray.
I alternate between feeling completely cool with my gray hairs and rising digits, to spiraling into a black hole of despair over time’s relentless pace.
Some nights after an exhausting day parenting, writing, adulting, I turn off the light and pass the hell out. Other nights I fall into a downward spiral of existential angst, frantically cataloguing my accomplishments, or more often, my lack thereof.
I wonder if I’ll ever publish a book. I wonder about all the time I “wasted” in my 20s. I wonder what my kids will think of me when they’re grown up. I wonder if I’ll be around longer than my mother was for me to enjoy their adulthood. This is around the time I wish I had a sleeping pill.
Recently I got teary on the treadmill thinking about my mom. Certain songs trigger my grief, just like certain songs make me run faster. For a fleeting moment I wondered if there was something wrong with me. If I was obsessed over my mother’s death. If my grief was “normal,” and then I remembered that it was. My normal is this.
Working on a memoir does stir up the past, and I wonder if I’ll think about my mother less when it’s finally done. But I kind of doubt it. Grief is cyclical, and like I wrote in my decade old journal, I will miss my mother for every stage of my life that she is missing, for every piece I can’t share with her.
Writing this book is a labor of love, but it’s a labor nonetheless, and sometimes I just wish it was done already. Part of me wants to speed up the process like I want to speed up winter, but then I remember that I can’t, and perhaps I shouldn’t.
Every moment of illumination, self-reflection, and discovery is another gift from my mother to me, and in turn, to my children who will one day read this book, published or not, so I will remind myself to be grateful for this journey, however long it takes.
(But between you and me, I’m still ready for this winter to end!)
I definitely feel the night time existential angst part- and the passing of time way too quickly. That’s just really hard. With regards to the book you’re working on, keep going!
I knew you’d understand those elements, it’s very hard to remain present and feel grateful when it feels like the world is hurtling forward at warp speed. Good luck on your book too!
So, So much. I struggle with winter but the transition is New England really gets me. It makes me all kinds of anxious in ways winter itself doesn’t. I expect a lot and then don’t really get it until June! (*sundresses*)
It’s all part of getting close to June/July. That’s my real transition period. My father died in July and I still struggle, of course, but it’s been worse lately. And Des is in kindergarten and almost done and time is being cruel! He is starting to read! Although he’s a good year younger than most of his classmates so I have to always wonder if I should have sent him or not.
I say yes.
Scarlet will be nine!!
I missed your words.
Ha, it’s not fair to have to wait until June for sundresses! June/July sounds tough though. Sometimes I find it cruel how grief doesn’t work in a linear way, but also, I’m glad it doesn’t. Sounds like Des is just right for kindergarten, but I can’t believe it’s almost over. That is nutso. Thank you so much for reading and for your kind words! xo
You’re not wrong about how writing a memoir stirs up the past! Best of luck with finishing yours. I’m soooo over this endless winter too x
I know you know firsthand! Thanks so much for reading. xo
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Love this: “Do not mess with time. If you keep yelling at it to speed up, it will laugh in your face, spin you around in circles, and the next thing you know, you’ll be sitting alone in your spotless (well, maybe not mine) and silent empty nest of a house wondering what the hell just happened.” ❤
Thank you so much Amy!
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