Last post for 2012

Oh, friends. Hello! Merry Christmas! I haven’t posted  nearly as much as I wanted to this year, which falls right in line with the theme of 2012 for me – I mean,  just check out my side bar! I didn’t read nearly as much as usual – I only watched two movies – didn’t step foot in a proper theater where plays are performed – I ignored virtually all the new albums that came out this year. As S. claimed a couple of months ago, the word for 2012 and our family? Triage.

The year began with ongoing illnesses for all three of us, courtesy of E’s first year in daycare and the fact that S. and I both work in hospitals. This time last year, in fact, we were cancelling our travel plans for the holidays and conserving all of our energy to take turns caring for E – for Christmas dinner, after putting E to bed, S. and I tried sharing a bowl of chicken noodle soup which ended up, I am not kidding, being “too rich” for our stomachs. Rotoviruses (which, oh my goodness, I’d never had one before and they deserve their own special ring in hell) followed by sinus infections with a dash of bronchitis here and there kept us in a constant state of sick until spring arrived which is just about the time our 100 year-old Victorian home started DEMANDING we pay more attention to her with all sorts of tactics, from exploding pipes to ceilings collapsing to full-on appliance failure. I am not even going to discuss the car repair work we needed to have done but if I were to really sit down and examine our finances for the last year I have little doubt that I would see we probably had to spend more than we earned for the first time in our lives.

From sprained ankles to hand, foot and mouth disease – from broken sinks to small flare ups of minor autoimmune issues – it felt like we never caught much of a break in 2012.  Through it all, though, S. and I were able for the most part to keep our focus on each other and our daughter and say a prayer of thanks, every day, that no matter what else happened we were lucky enough to bear witness to her toddler hood. This meant that more often than not, books went unread, movies went unwatched and yoga went unpracticed and we spent our time, instead, practicing the ABC’s and creating food out of play dough in Evangeline’s play kitchen and having spontaneous, post-dinner dance parties in the living room.

I also made a career move that I am not quite confident of yet and find myself questioning regularly.  As S. and I move away from 2012 and look forward to 2013, we know we will be tackling big, life-altering issues, like whether to remain in Pittsburgh or move closer to our aging parents once and for all, whether or not to have a second child (all of these articles on the problems of procreation after 35! And I’m only 35 for 4 more months!), and what make sense in terms of our careers. These are issues we are lucky to have, of course – this year we’ve seen tremendous tragedy and I am grateful every day that my worries are of such mundane, every-day life variety.

In terms of this blog, and my writing life in general, however, I’ve gone back and forth dozens of times. Do I keep blogging? Maybe I should quit this blog – maybe I should start blogging every day.  Maybe I should finally realize I’m never going to be a true writer’s writer and quit it entirely – NO! I SHOULD WRITE A PLAY – A SERIES OF PLAYS!  It is difficult, as time passes, to maintain the same level of creativity and artistic expression one enjoyed as a child, when faced with the responsibility of a job that is more like a career and a child that likes to leap off into space with no regard for danger whatsoever.

Of course, while all of this has been happening much, much larger tragedies have been happening across the globe – hurricanes and mass shootings and war and poverty and global warming and honestly, sometimes I think the worst thing I do to myself is read the New York Times each morning.  I tend to dwell on bad news and internalize entirely too much of it -I’m like my father that way.  What I’ve realized recently, though, is part of the reason all of this news – and all of this life stuff – makes me feel so bad is because I no longer have any sort of creative outlet to take all this negativity and make sense of it. I stopped writing mid-way through my pregnancy when the extra-early mornings felt unbearable and never fully returned. I miss it, but I actually miss acting as well – the physicality of that art form seems more appealing, in many ways, than sitting at my desk lately. I feel on any given day there are dozens of stories inside me to tell and I lack any sort of outlet for that expression.

I guess what I am trying to say is – I don’t want to quit blogging, even though this blog has been pretty anemic this year.  Instead, I want to write more, do more of the things I love. I’ve had numerous people tell me to cut myself some slack…that it is okay, after Evangeline goes to bed, to simply watch television and relax. And I truly believe them – it is okay! Necessary some nights, even. But I think I grow all out of whack when I allow myself to do this too often – I need to find a bit more balance for the things I’m truly passionate about, like live theater, tennis, and writing.

Truly, I’m not sure what any of this means for the new year, or how I’ll implement it, but I do know I’m not giving up on this blog yet. I have some time, to think about what comes next, but first I am going to enjoy the rest of the holiday season as work slows to a near-halt, family floods our city and our home, and I take the next ten days to eat cheese and drink wine and just be thankful – thankful for blessings large and small. I look forward to talking with you all again in the new year!

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11 Responses to Last post for 2012

  1. Amanda says:

    Happy holidays, Courtney! Enjoy your cheese and wine- you have more than earned them.

  2. Anne Camille says:

    Happy holidays, Courtney. May 2013 be a wonderful year for you, S & E and may you find whatever creative outlet you need.

  3. Charlotte says:

    Glad to hear you won’t give up blogging – I would miss you terribly! All the best for 2013, making those life decisions and continuing to live happily and well.

  4. Pete says:

    Lots of similarities here – on many fronts. Toddlerhood, writing frustrations, illnesses, life upheavals, car repairs etc. But I can’t believe how quickly our little girls are growing up. And the illnesses they bring home from playgroup / daycare – Leah spent ONE morning at playgroup and came home with Roseola (which she passed on to me). I’m so glad you haven’t given up blogging. I mostly don’t have the energy (or time) for it at the moment but one of my resolutions for 2013 is o blog more. Just turning up and writing can create its own momentum. All the best to you and S and E for Christmas and the New Year. 🙂

  5. smithereens says:

    I’m so glad you still blog after this terrible 2012! (there’s a word for bad luck in French that rhymes with 12, so I hope your bad luck will be over in 2013!) and I look forward to reading you again next year, whenever you can make time for this activity!

  6. Merry Christmas! Good to hear from you. And wow – I heard about some of 2012 in bits and pieces, but seeing it all here … something of an annus horribilis, wasn’t it? On the bright side, no plagues of locusts or zombie attacks, so that’s something. 🙂 Wishing you a happy, healthy, non-appliance-exploding 2013.

  7. litlove says:

    We’ve had a stressful year, too, or at least I have (the boys fared slightly better), so I send much sympathetic solidarity! I also think you are in the toughest part of bringing up a child. The toddler years are utterly exhausting. What I can assure you, though, is that it does get a lot better, and life begins to resemble itself again once your baby has passed 3 and becomes a child. Hang on in there – you do start to get meaningful time for yourself again (and it is so lovely). Thinking of you all and sending warmest wishes for an altogether calmer and easier 2013. So glad you will keep blogging – it doesn’t matter how often you appear here. It’s just nice to see you when you do.

  8. shoreacres says:

    I was so delighted to see an entry from you. I think of you often, and often wished you were here more often, even though my own struggles with consistent writing pale in comparison to what you’re coping with. As has been pointed out so often, stress is stress, and even though we usually think of dis-stress, there’s also the positive stress – eu-stress – that comes with happy events like marriage, children, moving, new jobs, etc.

    So enjoy the holidays, and relax. I’ll raise a glass to you somewhere along the line, and wish you again the best possible 2013!

  9. Do what you need to do for you and your sanity and your creativity. If that means letting the blog slide in favor of other things, we’ll still be here when you return. 🙂 Merry Christmas to you, my friend. And a very happy new year.

  10. Stefanie says:

    Happy belated holidays! I hope 2013 turns out to be a really good year for you with a lot less stress, illness and worries than this year.

  11. Rebecca H. says:

    I’m so glad you are continuing the blog! Even a very occasional post is better than nothing at all. That’s what I’m telling myself as I head into my own life changes that will make blogging very difficult. We’ll see how it goes, but I don’t want to lost touch with blogging entirely. I hope you have a wonderful 2013!

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