Monday, December 29, 2014

New Years

Every year I promise I won't make any resolutions, but every year I do anyway. A hopeless romantic for new beginnings, fresh starts, doorways to freedom from the past. The idea of being able to walk swiftly away from the mistakes and pain and ugliness of the passing year, simply with the hand-tick on a clock that will soon say midnight is too rich and intoxicating to avoid. 
I'm no stranger to mistakes. To lessons learned the hard way and things lost from my grasp as quickly as water, sand, someone else's finished grasp. As unrealistic as it may be I cling to the hope of more tomorrow's. More chances to try harder, and even if I continue to fail, to hopefully fail better. 
I'd like to laugh more. 
I'd like to let things go more easily without losing the part of myself that loves even (especially) small things so deeply. 
I'd like to need less and be content more. 
I'd like to feel less like a giant pile of feelings and emotions, without losing the part of myself that is passionate and enthusiastic and perceptive. 
I'd like to eat better....but this one is more of a "nice to have" because cheeseburgers. 
I'd like to be more present and engaged and less worried and distracted. 
To love more and kiss more and hold my babies more. 
I'd like another year to continue striving toward a rich and full and content life. Something all at once simple and adventurous, peaceful and magnificent, complete and curious. 
I'd like another year to continue working on all the tangled knots and sticky webs that tie me to my past. Another year to try not to be a broken victim of my shitty circumstances, but a survivor who feels no need to relive those dark moments. Who remembers what they came from but cares more about where they're going. 

I'd like another year for more. And even if I fail, I'll fail better than I did before. 

Happy new year. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

If you go to San Diego

Stay at the Horton in the gas lamp district. Walk down 5th avenue to find dinner and look at all the cool buildings. Relish the cool air and the smell of the ocean that seems to follow you everywhere. After dinner head to the Tipsy Crow and go down to the basement. That's where the best dancing is. It's dark and loud and the music is good and the drinks are strong. Dance like nobodies watching because they probably aren't. Dance until you're sweaty and happy and drunk and out of breath. Hold onto the person you came with. Make fools of yourselves and don't care because you'll never see these people again. You're young and alive and in love and nothing else matters. 
When it gets suddenly gets crowded, stumble out and find your way home. Weave through the crowded streets, arm in arm, laughing about the people you saw and the way you danced and kiss and giggle and shout because you're happy. Because this is everything and you'll remember it forever. When you finally find your hotel again fall into bed and let the music still ringing in your ears to lull you to sleep. 
In the morning head down Island avenue for breakfast. Go to Richard Walkers Pancake House but if the line is too long, do Cafe 22 instead. Get the Croaker and the Apple juice because it's the best apple juice ever. Sit in the little table at the top of the patio that feels like it was made for cuddles and kisses and plans for the future over brunch and strong coffee. Take selfies with your girl, people watch, kiss openly. San Diego belongs to you and soon you'll be back home in the thick of work and kids and bills and chores and never enough time for brunches and kisses and great Apple juice. 
After breakfast go to Seaport Village and do some Christmas shopping. Walk along the marina and pick out your dream boats. Make plans. Make wild and improbable plans. Hold hands. See everything. 
Head to Coronado over the tall sweeping bridge and feel very wild and free and romantic. Go to the Hotel del Coronado and think about all the history. Make a note to watch Some Like It Hot when you get home. Sit on the beach wall and watch the water Crashing over the rocks and the kids looking for sea shells and the birds looking for lunch and the ocean returning over and over to kiss the shore, no matter how many times its sent away again. Think about love and the ocean and the future and the past and each other. Leave when the tide starts coming in and threatening your dry feet. 
Wander around until you find the tiny gelato shop you went to two years ago, on that little hidden side street by El Cordova auto shop. Get the chocolate hazelnut or the salted caramel, and when you leave make a right. Follow the residential street down to the marina and pick out your favorite houses. Think about what home is and how it changes and how undefinable family is. Wonder if the two of you will ever share an address and a blanket and keep both your things on the same windowsill. 
And then go back to the airport and come home. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

If you go to Winslow

If you go to Winslow, stay at the La Posada. Think about the subjectivity of "art" and wonder if you're just not cultured enough. Listen to the lonesome sound of the train the tracks and the wind in the courtyard and think about how it all feels sort of romantic in an unrequited way. Once this might have been a place to have a love affair, torrid and brief and wholly unforgettable. Think about love. Think about us. 
Head over to PT's bar and have a drink. Take in all the locals and think about what their lives must be like here, in a town so small. Were they born here? Have they ever left? Do they want to leave? Are they running from something or hiding from someone and is everything that seems true about small towns really true? Think about where you come from, and how houses are just buildings but homes shape you. Wonder what the difference is while you wait for another drink and make fun of the DJ in your head. 
Go back to the hotel. Take a shot of tequila and a long shower. Fall into the biggest bed you've ever seen and close your eyes. Drift off. Think about me. 
In the morning have breakfast in the hotel restaurant. Get the breakfast nachos, and some toffee nut syrup in your very strong coffee. Watch the train come in through the fog, it's guiding light preceding it's eery rumble like a midnight premonition. Think about far away places, mysterious adventures, places you might go someday. Think about whether or not you'll take me with you. 
Pack up and check out. 
Head to Two Guns and wander through the ruins. The crumbling animal cages of the old zoo, the half walls and old stone. Think about our history, your history, the way things were and the way things are and wonder what all the rooms were used for. 
Skip the petrified forest. 
On the way home stop for a cheeseburger and a coke and listen to The Eagles. Think about me. Then come home. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas time and seizing the day

It's Christmas time again, and I'm trying really hard not to talk about how fast this year went by, mainly because I get bored with myself when I say things everyone already knows. I love Christmas though. I love the way the house feels with a brightly lit tree stuffed into it. I love wrapping paper and Christmas movies and twinkle lights and cold air and the way everything feels very possible. Christmas is a time for magic and for miracles and for holding hands and saying I love you. It's for fuzzy socks and shared blankets and wood fires and small gestures. 
It's also a time for stuffing and ham and wearing big hoodies over your weight gain. 
Still, the way time passes now at light speed does make me sad and scared. There are too many articles and blog posts and "inspirational quotes" floating around everywhere you look right now about seizing the day! Choosing joy! Putting down your phone and enjoying your kids who are almost grown up and therefor won't love you anymore! And it makes my heart worried and tired and heavy. Am I seizing the day? Am I spending enough time with the kids? Do I hug them enough? Do I look at my phone too much? Is it already too late, are they ALREADY GROWN AND EMOTIONALLY DOSTANT FROM ME OMG. Yesterday I made a very rare trip to Walmart with my dad so he could buy something, and while I was there I found almost matching, little red flannel pajamas for the kids, and they just looked so innocent and sweet and filled with Hallmark-movie Christmas spirit, so I bought them and put them on the kids as soon as I got home - at 3 pm. And the kids looked like little dressed up teddy bears. We wrapped garland in twinkle lights and finished decorating, and then they watched a football game with my dad. It might not have been seizing the day or making the very most out of every moment, but it was warm and it was sweet, and that was good enough.