Sunday, December 30, 2012

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve

So, a month has passed! Of the thirty days I hoped I'd write, I wrote 28, which is an annoying near-miss but not as annoying as it would have been if I had written 29 blogs. I came up with a name for these short blips from my life; Quinnstagrams. I'm disproportionately pleased with having thought this up.

But now it's not just the end of a writing experiment, but the end of the year. Wasn't an uneventful year; in fact, I'd say it was downright lively. We had the trip, and the other trip, Daughter streaked further away from any math I understand and Consort was clever about things which I can't actually explain. And then there was the book, and the Atlantic exerpt, the Wall Street Journal story, the Huffington Post, the TIME magazine story...

(In case you ever wondered who the hardest-working marketing person in publishing is, it's Melissa Broder.)

Good things happened.

Of course, there were also people who hated me, and hate my book, and think I wake up a half hour early every day just to bask in what a terrible parent I am. That happened, too.

And, in the end, another book is born and is off leading whatever sort of life it's going to lead, Daughter continues to blaze away learning more and more baffling things, and Melissa Broder goes on excelling at book-marketing. Consort will continue to improve businesses and occasionally fix the dryer (whoever wrote in suggesting the dryer would fail again, HOW DID YOU KNOW?). And me? Well, I'm back to where I started; figuring out what I do next, what I write next. Turns out that having written doesn't seem to lubricate the process for me; I'm cellularly certain I won't think of a book to write, and knowing I've transcended this feeling twice before makes not a whit of difference. I'm not intrinsically wired for any kind of faith and have all the courage of a guinea pig at a German Shepherd family reunion; my default path is "Don't screw things up." But I've tried that road too often in my life, and I know  "Don't screw things up" quickly becomes "Don't do anything at all."

I had a pretty good idea of what 2012 would look like and while it was far better than I could have hoped, it was still the 2012 I had penciled in. Next year? No idea. If I want another adventure, I'm going to have to think it up and play it out; no one else can do this for me. This is galvanizing and terrifying and, candidly, I'd probably skip it were it not for one person; the kid. Every day that I wander around this house I'm showing her what it means to be an adult of the female persuasion. I need to show her that being an adult doesn't mean not risking, or learning something new. I don't want her to be the kind of person who measures out her curiosity with an eye-dropper and decides there's some age where she's locked in to her life and the rest of her life will be calcification and contraction. I want her to be cheerful, resilient, and adaptable; it behooves me to try for those characteristics as well.

Whatever your holiday was, I hope it was glorious (If you're Eastern or Greek Orthodox, I hope it will be glorious).  And for everyone, may the the upcoming year be sprinkled with familiar and unfamiliar delights and that we all find some moxie and grit just when we need it.


Blogger Debbie St.Amand said...

Hear, hear! Well said!

5:56 AM  
Blogger Mark Moran said...

Hey, thanks for just being you, and achieving such a wonderful sense of you-ness, and sharing it with all of us. And whatever 2013 brings, let's try to live our lives in such a way that the Westboro Baptist Church will want to picket our funerals.

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are looking for a new book- I would love to see your take on coping with a CSA share. (As we call it- Frankenkale or 101 good things to do with kohlrabi). Honestly my daughter is going to write a CSA share cookbook for college students because so many of them are overwhelmed with thought of cooking, let alone cooking vegetables.


11:58 AM  
Blogger anne said...

I love these words - "I don't want her to be the kind of person who measures out her curiosity with an eye-dropper and decides there's some age where she's locked in to her life and the rest of her life will be calcification and contraction."

That's a dose of prescriptive medicine I could use myself. My own life is changing in big ways, and I would do well to heed what you say here!

Thank you, and happy new year.

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope your holidays were lovely as well. Mine, of course, went too fast, being that time decides to supernaturally quadruple in speed whenever I am around the people I love and don't get to see often, mainly, my college-aged children, who are now happily playing video games together as if they are still in grade school and not 19 and 21 years old. Their mom is over here at the computer, basking in all their loveliness until it ends again next week.

I am behind on all your blogs. I find this a very happy accident and intend to soak up and enjoy every word.

Thanks for making me smile in 2012. May life give that back to you in 2013.

4:15 PM  
Blogger StevenIre said...

Sorry about your dryer. I hope it is fixed. I heard on radio that we are entering the twenty teens. Come on, we all remember our teen twenties (where the teen years stretch into the twenties.) Or better yet, the twenties are acted as if they are still teen years. As a matter of fact the late teens/early twenties—in immaturity—thirties became mid-twenties-still-looking-for-something-to-do biological forties. How do you get the hang of a nonantediluvian life span.

11:39 PM  

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