And me being distracted with trying to establish my side business.
I turned 44 earlier this month. That seems pretty serious too. Think fast because that's not early 40s anymore; there's stuff to figure out.
Having a winter break from my day job has resulted in three days of running errands and cleaning, including a mortifying experience with my fridge. I knew it was time to throw out that turkey carcass I was just about to make into a soup three weeks ago, but I had no idea I was stocking October meats and cheeses.
When I saw my kids turn to their devices this morning in front of the sunlight streaming through the windows, I announced we were going to the beach. Before stopping by the computer repair shop, making an exchange at the mall, and getting the car washed -- we were taking the dogs to the beach to find sand and shells to pour into the clear glass ornaments we bought for $1 a box at Goodwill last week. And by the way, we haven't done our charitable act yet this year, so add that to the list. The kids groaned and complained about another day of Things To Do, while I worked for a few more hours, allowing the stress to build up nicely.
By the time we got to the beach, I was totally annoyed with my freaking kids. To their credit, they did help me with chores yesterday, but they've been such complainers. I've been trying to open their minds to the fact that despite our personal troubles, which everyone has, we have food, shelter and people who help us, with love, which everyone doesn't have. But I understand they have feelings they don't know how to articulate, also known as complaining to mama about everything except what's really bothering them.
As soon as our feet touched sand, the kids went happy. It took me a little longer. The kids cheered me up by enthusiastically gathering bits of broken shell and scooping sand. We soon realized the sand was damp from days of rain and we would practically need tweezers to collect shells small enough to fit through the openings of the glass ornaments.
New plan. The kids would pick up trash on the beach for their approximate act of charity - let's call it a good deed - with the agreement that we are making a food donation by Christmas. Forget most of our errands today.
We were all a little overwhelmed after our last mall experience.
This was a better place to lighten our spirits.
And by the way, the thing I probably like least about having a kid in middle school is hearing YOLO! a billion times a day. I tried to tell Daisy it was tired, but she was adamant: "You're wrong, Mom! OK? YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT!"
Violet, still safely in elementary school, vows never to say YOLO. Instead, she prefers JELLO. We decided it's code in our family for "Mellow ~ you're acting like a jerk."
It wasn't until later that I realized it's actually Festivus today. It really did feel good to air our grievances and avoid the mall.
Clearing the emotional air seemed more festive than decorating, which is why my tree looks like this now.
Still, there is peace under this roof tonight. If you have a loose definition of what peace sounds like.