Last week, we went to the pet store to get some fish. Due to an unfortunate tank-cleaning mishap, we lost a couple of fish, and once the appropriate mourning period had passed, we decided to get some catfish.

The pet store lady was busy trying to talk a guy out of buying goldfish for his small tank, so we had some time to watch the fish. There was another woman there with her little boy, who could not have been more than two. He was very into any fish that had any red markings. He dug red fish. And he was not shy about telling me or Z about the cool red fish.

The clerk finally convinced the guy he wanted something smaller for his tank, and while he considered his options, she came over to ask us what we were looking for. We showed her the fish we were interested in, and she went off to get a net.

Z and Scott and I began discussing the vagaries of catfish, the need for algae pellets … and I noticed that there was a small hand resting next to my knee. The hand on the leg thing was a familiar sensation, so it took me a minute to realize that it’s actually been about six or seven years since I’ve had a child of the size that would allow for that.

I glanced down to see our little red-fish friend. I assumed that he just didn’t realize the lady he was touching wasn’t his mom, and I didn’t want to scare the little guy, so I smiled and said, “Hey, buddy …”

And he looked up, grabbed my hand, and pulled me back over to the farthest fish tank on the wall, to show me the super cool all-red fish contained within.

His mom was very apologetic. “He’s very friendly,” she said.

I told her it was fine. It was fine. He was a cute kid, and it’s been a long time since a tiny boy has pulled me over to show me something super cool!

***

So I’m letting my hair grow out to its natural color. Which is … I dunno, dark blonde or brown? It’s been forever since I saw it. BUT. It is also a whole lot of gray.

I got my first gray hair at 19. I always swore that when all of it went, I’d quit dying it. Just go natural. This year, I felt that it was finally gray enough to at least let it come in and see how I liked it. So far, so good; we’ll see how it progresses.

And I read this article in Time this week about the body positivity movement, and how it apparently has a gap–GenX women aren’t really represented in it. Although the author mentions that it sort of ramps back up when women are 70 or so? And I’m pretty sure that means there’s a portion of Boomer women being left out, too? One way or the other, though, my cohort is more or less being forgotten on the “love and accept yourself for who you are” train (we’re GenX; we’re used to it), apparently.

I have back and forth feelings on this. Like, does being 45 mean that I can’t look at a younger woman in a body positivity IG post and feel inspired? That seems stupid. On the other hand, aging and the body changes it brings is wack. But in other ways aging is kind of amazing, and I’d love to see a changing conversation around that. I know a lot of women who are afraid to get old. Turning 30, then 40, then 50 are times of mourning. I do it, too–staring down 45 was uncomfortable as hell; part of that was OH MY GOD I AM OLD. I HAVE EXACTLY NOTHING TOGETHER. (Part of it was I have not accomplished enough! I am a failure! But that is a different, if related, topic.).

But but but. I don’t think I want to be 25 again, or even 35. I’ve worked hard to get what little bit of together I am. The ways in which I like myself have quite a lot to do with how old I am–I’ve got a certain amount of perspective, and that comes from experience and, you know, therapy. :)

Anyway. I posted a photo of my graying hair on Facebook. I just said the gray was coming in–it didn’t actually occur to me to say I’m growing it out purposely. And people commented that I looked great even with gray hair, or that it was silver, not gray.

Look, I feel very lucky to be surrounded by women who reinforce how gorgeous I am, because we all need that. But I couldn’t help but consider how different the comments were when I posted, say, a selfie with a new dye job. I’m sure this was due in part to my not specifying that the gray hair is deliberate, but still: the assumption was that it’s not. That’s not a call-out, just an observation; I’m not entirely sure if this is a problem– maybe it’s a solution in progress. We’re at this point of women supporting and complimenting each other despite the aging or our not-perfect bodies; maybe now we’ll move to a new phase of … celebration of them? Good-natured and fond exasperation with them? I dunno.

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2 week blog run: day 4

Today we ran some errands, hit two libraries, and went to a park to play on the playground and hunt Pokemon.

My best friend since fifth grade is a huge fan of urban decay as an aesthetic; we joke that he’s Urban Goth and I’m Nature Goth, as I have this tendency to take photos of dead trees and rocks and such.  I haven’t actually done that in ages, but today Nature Goth Girl made her triumphant return, iPhone in hand:

A rock.
A rock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This tree may actually be too alive for my whole look.
This tree may actually be too alive for my whole look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Had I moved maybe three inches to the left, the sky would have been bright blue and sunny.
Had I moved maybe three inches to the left, the sky would have been bright blue and sunny.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading?  Hopefully a little later today.

Yoga?  Ugh, no.  So also a little later today, I hope.  Also more walking, as I have an egg to hatch!

2 week blog run: day 3

See, the hard part is thinking up something to write about.

The husband is watching Wayward Pines, which really sounds like it ought to be more like Gravity Falls or Eureka, but, sadly, is not.

Spoilers, kind of, coming up for Wayward Pines (which I keep wanting to call Waverly Pines, which would make a great title for my mash-up, which follows) and possibly Gravity Falls

Continue reading “2 week blog run: day 3”

2 week blog run: day 2

Whelp, things are not getting done the way I planned, and while I don’t like it, I understand why.  So, be kind to yourself, Laura; tomorrow is another day.  And then, with any luck, there’s a day after that.

And for the record, I do take full and gleeful responsibility for enabling Jason’s most recent story.  I actually remember telling him to try out the funky structure, and I remember reading it via cross-reference because that’s how I roll.

I love Heady.  I’m sure I’m not alone in that.

Anyway.  I managed to catch the Psyduck that keeps showing up on my Pokemon Go radar and then disappearing!  Hurrah for my lunch break and ultra balls.  I read an article about Pokemon Go and other “slow games” being the new type of smoke break, and now I want to look at some other slow games, maybe add them to my phone.  I’m not sure raising virtual succulents is exactly my thing, though.  Possibly virtual kittens?

The kid is almost done with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, so maybe maybe maybe I’ll be able to read it before the end of the month.  Avoiding spoilers is killing me, man.

Currently reading:  still Thud!, though to be honest last night it was some fan fic and then crashing–it’s been a stressful week, and I’ve been sleeping poorly.  I dreamed about Lin-Manuel Miranda and I sitting on a huge white couch in a big, airy apartment, watching the Olympics on TV; he kept rubbing my shoulder and petting my hair and telling me to relax, enjoy the women’s gymnastics, take it easy.  I kind of think this might be the perfect Lin-Manuel Miranda dream.

Exercise?  I did do yoga last night!  I endeavor to do so again this evening.

2 week blog run: day 1

So I’m going to try an experiment in sustained micro-blogging (and doesn’t that sound impressive as all hell), and attempt to post something every day for two weeks.  It may not be profound, it definitely won’t be long, but consistency!  We like that, right?

This, of course, means random random random.

If you read my Tumblr, you probably know that the lovely husband and I have been walking a lot as we search for Pokemon and attempt to hatch eggs.  I’m not sure if this is as good a workout as the biking I was doing, but it’s kind of a nice change and it lets us see things like rabbits and owls in the trees screeching and putting the fear of god into said rabbits. Of course, half the time I forget to wear my glasses and what I see is a big, brown, screechy blur on top of a green blur, because I am Old and my vision is deteriorating like whoa.

 

Currently reading: Thud! by Terry Pratchett (because Sam Vimes seems like someone I need to read books about).

Exercise?:  I’m hoping to remember to do yoga tonight. Stay tuned to find out if I remember or not!

 

 

Beware, there is an incredibly elliptical blog post to follow …

First off, I kind of hate January.

Like, we get back to school with the kid, but we’re completely out of the homework routine.  Before we can get back into a groove, we head to Ohio to visit the lovely in-laws.  When we return, we have half-days at school, makeup work, a project due, a giant field trip the following week, and one last project due.  Did I mention that between the field trip and the last project, I got a nasty stomach bug that I’m still not quite over?

Yeah, I kind of hate January.

Now, we’re getting things back on track.  Schedules have been plotted.  Moratoriums have been enacted.  NAPS WILL BE HAD!


So I’m in the midst of a fairly new thing for me, and that’s working on two projects at once.

Continue reading “Beware, there is an incredibly elliptical blog post to follow …”

I am reduced to a thing that wants Virginia.  I composed a beautiful letter to you in the sleepless nightmare hours of the night, and it has all gone: I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way.  

–Vita Sackville-West, to Virginia Woolf,  January 21, 1926

 

This quote was going around Tumblr a week or so ago.  I read it to my husband, and we agreed that the first line is a beautiful, perfect sentence.

Tuesday, I got in my car and drove to work, and that sentence echoed in my head, over and over–it pushed out the choruses of Hamilton songs; it drowned out the various worries and stresses and to-do list planning that usually make up my drive to work. 

I am reduced to a thing that wants Virginia.  

Scott is in Ohio visiting his parents, and has been since last Friday.[1]  

And, you know, I’m fine.  My parents are tag-team helping me with the kid (whether or not I need them to), and the boy is missing his dad much more than he’ll admit to his dad.  So I have them, and him, and homework, and dinner, and the Jon Cryer memoir to read, and the Hamilton soundtrack to listen to, and Doctor Who to watch at some point.

But.

We’ve been together since I was 18, Scott and I.  Back when we began, we were apart for holidays and summers.  We spent nine months away from each other while I was at school in England for a semester and then home for the summer.  It sucked.  We agreed to never do that again, then spent another summer and semester apart before finishing college.  After that, we’ve only ever been away from each other for a few days here or there–he was out of town for a week sometime before the kiddo was born; I’ve gone to a couple of out of state weddings without him.  In the past three or four years, the longest stretch we’ve been away from each other is a weekend.

So we spend most of our days together, and we never really have cause to notice the spaces we take up in those days.  I imagine it’s easier for him, because he has things to do there and family he hasn’t seen in a while, and it’s not the same as my coming home every night and seeing the negative space where he isn’t.  I feel untethered and a little outside of myself, not least because I’m navigating Scott’s spaces–making dinner, harassing the boy–and suddenly some of my spaces aren’t there for me to fill (because my father is an excellent houseguest in that he cleans the kitchen every damn day).[2]  

And we so rarely have to miss each other, I’m out of practice with it: that longing feeling that you just live with as, simultaneously, you pull away from it because it aches.

I’m lucky. He’ll be home Saturday.  It’s only nine days, total; I’m not falling into missing him and sobbing into my pillow at night (though it’s kind of amusing how excited I am at his texts right now–I’m 42 and monogamous; I’ve never done the ‘waiting for his texts’ thing before).  And I have things to do, and watch, and listen to; a boy to harass and things to write.  

But.

I am reduced to a thing that wants Virginia.

 


 

1 [back]If you read his blog, you’ve read why.  There’s  a swirling cloud of love and worry about my father-in-law that I can’t write about right now.  Writing about Scott is easy.  Kind of.

2 [back]Some of this untethered feeling, too, is the worrying; some of it is that I worked a different set of hours on Monday and everyone at work is sick, so, like, Tuesday seems more like Monday; the fact that I’m not sleeping well for a variety of reasons is probably also adding to this.  But those things aren’t part of the narrative, right?  You pare the details away that don’t make your point, elide and combine and–poof!–cohesive thoughts.  Or something.