Our family spent the weekend cloaked in white. As the first major snowfall touched down sometime between midnight and 7 a.m. on Saturday, I braced for the unpredictable — workouts would be missed, dinner would be centered on warmth and convenience, and cabin fever would set in. Fortunately, New England wasn’t clobbered with snow the way the mid-Atlantic was, but still: snow had fallen and everything in my routine had to be put on hold.
I must’ve become more laid back, in the past year. Over the course of my 20s and 30s, I’ve become a slave to routines and schedules. If I don’t work out 5 times a week, I get panicky about weight gain. If I have my kids all day, indoors, I get anxiety: How will I keep them entertained? What if we can’t go outside? What if they don’t give me a break? Somehow, this weekend I was able to let go of such concerns (for the most part).
Snow storms are beautiful for so many reasons. Like sickness, they stop the scheduling and planning, but you don’t have to be sick to enjoy their arresting beauty. They represent the best parts of winter, offering loads of opportunities for fun if you can just bear with the cold.
Last year’s constant barrage of snowstorms left me feeling spent and overwhelmed. While I appreciated how lovely they looked outside, I hated my spouse’s irritability over snow plowing and shoveling chores. I also hated driving in slippery conditions, and a lack of parking. And finally, I hated that some of my editors couldn’t lessen my work load just because it was snowing (I’ve since had to let go of certain editorial opportunities). Thankfully, I was able to teach most of my guitar lessons in a timely fashion, and write articles between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. when the house was quiet.
Today, I’m excited because I’m getting ready to take my 3.5-year-old out for his first time on a sleigh. Some of the hills I’ve been eyeing for our excursion are a bit worn down. I’m nervous as heck that I’ll do something wrong. But I’m going to give it my best shot anyway.
Like most people, I’m a sucker for goal-setting around this time of year. “I’ll do this” or “I’ll do that” frequently crosses my lips each January 1st. But like an estimated 92% of Americans, I usually fall short of said resolution/goal. So while I’ve set a few modest goals (setting the bar low is the way to go, I’ve learned in my 30+ years on this planet), I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the things I accomplished in 2015:
- Stayed in shape. This one speaks for itself. I’m a mom of two toddlers. And while I have the benefit of working mostly in my own home, eating healthy meals and working out four times a week (when sometimes a ‘workout’ is limited to a 15-minute sprint around the block) isn’t easy. I did it!
- Played 2 shows in Brooklyn: Having been out of the band scene for quite a long time, playing a show was one of my BIG goals of ’15 — and I exceeded it. I had two amazing nights playing shows at Branded Saloon in Brooklyn with my friends Rew, Sharissa, Michele, Gail, Morgan, and Nora (half of whom are in my band Marisa Mini and the Underage Hotties).
- Finished my First novel, and started writing my second one. Yes!!! The novel I began writing in late 2009, The Year My Hair Was Red, is complete! Of course, there are major plot-revision/editing issues, so instead of putting my nose to the grind, I decided to start writing a new book. This book just popped into my head, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Before I knew it, I was writing and writing and …
- Won NANOWRIMO. I started and finished my first #Nanowrimo!
- Encouraged Nathan to try new foods. My older son is the pickiest eater on the planet. His diet consists of yogurt, hummus, and the occasional chicken nugget, piece of cucumber, or skinny fry. But three of those foods are now regulars. I also got him to eat shredded beets (by calling them red carrots). Next up: Pizza and grilled chicken.
- Spent most every Tuesday with both dudes. Two-dude Tuesday, the new lifestyle choice that kicked off in mid-2014, went full swing in 2015. January and February brought tons of snow and ice, which made #Twodudetuesday super challenging (we really got to know Elsa last winter!), but then spring and summer brought so many fun play dates and little adventures. Fall was even more exciting, with regular play dates with new friends.
- Got to the beach-beach 3 times. OK, technically I live at the beach, in a nice town just minutes away from slightly rough (but genuine) sand and the Long Island Sound. It looks like a beach, and almost feels like a beach. Still, going to the real beach that borders the Atlantic Ocean was a HUGE triumph for me (not to mention one of the trips was a real, actual family vacation with just the four of us). I love Montauk and I love Ocean City, different as they are.
- Celebrated 5 years with Zack. I’ll put it bluntly: Marriage is no f*ckin’ picnic. This year was harder than most, as the hubs and I tried to balance work and family time, while keeping the kids healthy and happy. There were lots of meltdowns. But I can’t imagine being a co-parent and wife to anyone else. I’m grateful for the marriage and family I ended up with, as well as the new Gibson SG my husband got me for our five-year mark!
- Ran 3 races. This represented another accomplishment in 2015! While I’ve done two Turkey trots since birthing two dudes, this year I completed my first overnight, 200-mile Ragnar Relay in Cape Cod with my buddies Heidi, Kat, Sean, Ke’Mani, Ryan & James. Then, I ran a very nostalgic Brooklyn Rock N’ Roll marathon with Kat.
I hope I do lots of great things, and accomplish great feats in 2016. But the goals I’m setting are modest. I’d like to see one live show, play 2 live shows (including one with Grandma’s Mini), give $10 a month to charity, and start using my new coffee tumbler when I go to Starbucks (to help the environment). I’d also like to run one half-marathon OR full marathon. Most important, I want to continue to work on being a better mother and wife.