Can you believe it is 2012? I can’t. I was positive that the world would have annihilated itself into a mushroom cloud of oblivion by now (I am, as you will see in future posts, a slight pessimist). But nope, here we are in the year 2012; 12 full years into the new millennium. And by the way, didn’t you think we’d have flying cars by now? Teleportation? Or at a minimum, jet-packs? I sure did. I’m a pessimist, but a pessimist who likes gadgets.
As is customary at the beginning of each new year, resolutions are in order. 2012 will mark the beginning of my 7th(!) year as a stay at home mom. It is sad to say but it’s the longest job I’ve ever had. Which reminds me, I am in desperate need of a pay increase…or at a minimum, a cost of living adjustment (I’m talking to you, Chris Reichert). And while it’s easy to just remain in my little bubble and focus on the day-to-day chaos that is my life, I am certainly not perfect, as future posts to this blog will attest. Here are my goals for 2012:
1. Channel the Dalai Lama.
What do you think of when you think of His Holiness? I think of the swish of saffron robes, the heady scent of incense, the click-clack of wooden beads, and his beneficent smile. And most of all, I think of calm. I don’t think the Dalai Lama starts yelling obscenities when the car in front of him takes a millisecond too long to move at a green light. He probably doesn’t silently seethe at the Target check-out line while the customer in front of him pulls out their checkbook at glacial speeds to pay their bill….hey lady, haven’t you heard? It’s 2012– get a $#&@ CREDIT CARD! And he certainly doesn’t scream at his children like a crazed-banshee while trying to put together a nutritious yet family-pleasing meal. And yes, I realize he doesn’t have children but hopefully, you are getting my point. So this year, I hope that whenever I feel the urge to yell, scream, swear, gnash my teeth, or run over the person in front of me, I will think of His Holiness, breathe deep, and embrace the calm.
2. Stop Getting My News From People Magazine.
I confess this with a shameful heart: this week, I asked my husband, “Is there a presidential election this year?” I really thought we were still in the “chatting” stages about who could be our next leader. It only dawned on me recently that, my goodness, we will have to pick a new guy or gal this year. And this is because, as of yet, People Magazine has not covered the Iowa Caucus, or the other upcoming primaries of states that you don’t really hear about until it’s election time…New Hampshire, anyone? Anyone? I can tell you what Natalie Portman named her baby boy (Aleph), or why J. Lo and Marc Anthony broke up (irreconcilable differences, of course), but I can’t tell you who our Supreme Court Justices are (although People did cover the retirement of Sandra Day O’Connor.). I can’t tell you who our Chief of Staff is, but isn’t it nice that Michelle Obama planted that sweet vegetable garden at the White House? And my goodness, I think it may even be organic!
The litany of my ignorance can go on and on. Prior to children, I prided myself on reading various newspapers online, keeping abreast with current events, and being able to converse in a way that did not reveal myself to be a total ignoramus. Now, if it’s not on Facebook or in People, in my world, it didn’t happen. So here’s to 2012- the year I get smart!
3. Be a Nice Wife.
Looking back on our life before our two daughters came along, it seems as though everything is perfectly airbrushed, aglow with an incandescent light, and violins are humming in the background as a running soundtrack. Birds are chirping in the trees and if I whistled, one of them would hop gently onto my outstretched index finger. I am perfectly coiffed, my pores are tiny, and I smell of roses, vanilla, and chocolate chip cookies. I am running through dewy meadows. My husband is chasing me, showering me with flowers petals. We are laughing, throwing our heads back, happy and blissful. Our teeth are perfectly straight and white.
Ok, so our life wasn’t anything like that. Not even remotely. But it’s so easy to romanticize that period of your life, before, well, before your own children mistook you for a servant. And it was also easy to be nice to my spouse. What was there to fight about? I admit, there was nothing spectacularly exciting about our early years of marriage. We didn’t go sky diving every weekend. We didn’t attend swingers’ parties. And we weren’t secretly growing marijuana in the basement. Rather, we lived the average life of two DINKs (Dual Income, No Kids). We travelled. We slept in during the weekends. We consumed an obscene amount of sushi. We showered EVERY DAY. And most of all, we definitely did not drive a mini-van.
Now, our life together can feel like we are more roommates than soulmates. We are busy juggling four calendars, attending to the needs of our children, as well as needs of our own, and are knee-deep in to-do lists. And with all this work comes a balance sheet: who did what last time? Who got a night out? Who had to stay in? Who cooked this meal? Who took out the garbage last? Lots of pluses and minuses on both sides. And after a while, I start to get bitter. I resent all the things I do around the house and I wonder with a martyred sigh, “Must I do EVERYTHING?” And THAT’S when things get ugly. When in reality, I know he works hard, does much around the house to maintain order and sanity, and is appreciative of all that I do. So, in 2012, I will attempt to bite my shrewish, sarcastic tongue, and be a kinder, gentler wife. Perhaps, I will even bake him cookies.