This is where I’m writing these days. We hauled a desk up from the basement and plonked it right in front of our living room window in a way that kind of makes me itch when I look at the wall of chairs along that side of the room, but I needed a proper place to write that wasn’t in bed or perched uncomfortably on the couch.
I sit here every single day, and my goal is to write 1000 words for my book. and maybe a blog post too, if I have time.
But lately all I do is sit here and stare out the window and think about renovating that house we saw. In my head I tear down walls and remove wallpaper and paint everything white.
Adam and I install this flooring ourselves without murdering each other (Yes, I have researched flooring), and I imagine how it would feel to pad around that house in barefeet with a coffee in hand, looking out the windows to see the ocean, instead of these looming mountains and murky skies.
I think about what my mom said, about not expecting everything to change just because my address does, and I wonder if that’s what I’m doing.
Because in that new house – or any new house – regardless of the wall colours or the floors, my feet will still be chronically, eternally covered in dog hair. I’ll still be having internal debates about whether caffeine affects Olive, I’ll still have laundry and dirty diapers and a baby that sometimes naps 3 hours straight and sometimes not at all.
I will still have moments, sitting in our new bedroom, where I look at my sleeping husband and think that I must have done something pretty damn amazing in a former life, to deserve his patience, his unconditional love, and the way he wraps his arms around me and calls me punk – short for punkin.
Wherever I go I will still feel angry, frustrated, happy, content.
It’s easy to forget that though, isn’t it? We always make this mistake, give in to that insidious, fallacious “If only..”
if only I had a new car, I’d be happy. If only my husband did x, I’d be happy. If only I lost a little weight or put on a little muscle or had better hair or a more obedient dog or could run ten kilometres without feeling that burn in my chest. I’d be happy.
I think about the irony of the fact that I’ve never really made more than a few close friends here, and that’s why I never had a problem thinking about leaving. But in the past few weeks and months since Olive was born I’ve tapped into this amazing network of moms, eager to go for coffee and baby playdates, happy to share stories and baby gear, and they’re kind of awesome and suddenly, suddenly I can think about things in this town that I’ll miss.
And then I run smack dab into that other pitfall of our existence – not appreciating things until they’re gone. At some point I will look back on days like this where I sat at this tiny desk in front of our big bay window, and I’ll think, “If only I appreciated the wilderness at my front door. If only I took advantage of the freedom of not being tied down. If only I snuggled that baby more and wondered less about what the books said, the advice of those faceless, nameless “they”s.
Oh, I’m not good at this. It doesn’t come naturally to me, this appreciating of where I am, instead of looking forward or longing back.
I’m trying to get better though, I’m trying to raise my head and look around and leave a small pause for gratitude to sit and pool. I’m trying to see this healthy, chubby baby – the one I’ve dreamt about for years – I’m trying to register this dog with the grey chin, and this marriage, standing strong and solid.
But more often than not, my mind still wanders.
“When I finish this book…”
“When we move…”
“When Olive can walk…”
But I’m happy.