Well in advance, I knew New Years Eve would be a day largely without my hardworking husband.
There wouldn't be new recipes for hors d'oeuvres that we all could thank Pinterest for or craft beers in champagne glasses (because we don't really like champagne, anyway.)
It was going to be a day with my gorgeous son, like almost any other, except for the knowledge that we would be on the edge of a relatively imaginary cliff, with a new 50%-off calendar on the other side.
Okay, I'll play ball.
If today is to set a precedent for the new year--if it's supposed to set an example--what should it look like?
This year's need for "example" has even more importance, since I and we are now responsible for another human being. Yes, he was here last year. But, he was days old, and I was still afraid of my newly postpartum body.
A few major categories began to emerge: reading something spectacular, nature, art, cooking, undivided attention, exercise, yoga/meditation.
The day was going to begin with a trip to a museum, there was going to be a walk through the park, but then life started to happen.
The new baby human places more emphasis on tradition; so, there is shopping to be done for the New Years Day meal. We need dog food. My husband hates our deodorant. We're almost out of toothpaste. I need to go to the post office.
Add in time for meals and tiny human naps, and there was no time for Andy Warhol at all.
There was a need to keep the spirit of the intended day in the day that was.
It became clear that the precedent to be set had nothing to do with categories and everything to do with what the categories represented: mindfulness.
The post office didn't open until 15 minutes after we arrived. (For those who don't know, 15 minutes of "nothing" is an eternity for a 1-year-old…and his mom.) We didn't meet this news with frustration, but saw an opportunity to walk together.
We didn't go into the pet store on autopilot, purchasing the same brand of food as last time. We read; we didn't rush, and we found a variety formulated to protect the joints of our pup who endured two knee surgeries last year.
There was scarcely a parking spot at the grocery store. Before entering, I talked to my son about anticipating the nuttiness of what we were about to walk into, and "we" took a slow deep breath. Inside, we moved at the pace of the crowd without foot-tapping or white knuckles, and we took the time to ooh and ahh at the orchids that stood as impulse buys between the produce and the deli.
We made a meal of fresh vegetables and a-few-day-old noodles that I was determined not to waste.
We played, and read poetry.
I exercised. I meditated.
The meal was purchased. Dog food, deodorant and toothpaste were bought. We mailed our packages.
Tomorrow will include time outside with no buildings in sight and wiping handfuls of paint across canvas.
We didn't live the day we set out to; we lived the day that came to us to the best of our ability, which is probably the only example that matters.
photo credit: riptheskull via photopin cc