20 for 2020

I Don’t Know About You, But I’m Feeling 42

J/k. Today’s my birthday, but it’s not that birthday. Kind of kicking myself because that would have been a great title for a post…had I been blogging when I turned 42.

But I wasn’t blogging then. I was, however, listening to a lot of Taylor Swift, which I still do because my four-year-old son is obsessed with her. Full disclosure: He’s likely obsessed with her because she became the unofficial soundtrack to the final stretch of fertility treatments that ultimately yielded said son. My clinic was an hour’s drive away, and if you have ever undergone fertility treatment or know someone who has, you will understand just how many hours I spent on the highway.

I actually wrote a post about the summer I developed a deep and abiding appreciation for the music of Taylor Swift, but that post now resides on a different blog, one that is related to this stuff I used to do a lot but now not so much. This blog?

This one is for me.

I don’t call myself a writer very often, but I am one and have been pretty much since I learned how to compose a sentence. Seriously, I got put in an elementary school creative writing class with a handful of other kids and that was that.

My current job requires me to do a fair bit of writing, rewriting, and editing, but it’s all in service of my employer and our mission. With the exception of personal correspondence and a couple of sprawling Facebook confessionals, I am not putting the things in my head out into the world, and I miss it.

My intention word for 2020 is release, and writing for me has historically been cathartic. So when I was drafting my 20 for 2020 list, I decided to challenge myself to write 50 blog posts this calendar year. P.S. I did both of these things—pick intention words and make lists of X things I wanted to do by X age/date/whatever—long before Gretchen Rubin started to encourage her disciples to do this through her Happiness Podcast, which admittedly I used to listen to but no longer do.

(Side note: If you want a really good podcast about happiness, I 100% recommend The Happiness Lab. It’s from Dr. Laurie Santos, a professor at Yale who teaches a class on the science of happiness that’s insanely popular. She also has amazing hair, which I didn’t know until just now, when I was linking to her site.)

Writing blog posts is really hard when your super-adorable, super-active son wakes up in the middle of it and sings the Happy Birthday song to you no fewer than five times. I managed to record the fourth one, which I am going to share with you now because it’s just that adorable.

If you look closely at the thumbnail for this video, you’ll see that it encapsulates a lot of the the things that make me truly happy. There’s the Burrito (what I called Jackson when I was pregnant with him and didn’t want to reveal his name publicly); my now-blind schnoodle, Scout, who lost his eyes two years ago after rapid-onset glaucoma required them to be removed; my husband, represented here by fleece penguin PJ pants; and crafting, represented by the stocked Cricut cart in the background. You can even see the teal dining room chairs I bought after a multi-year search for a chair exactly like this and the shelf where I store all of our games.

The only things missing from this tableau are my extended family, in which I include my BFF Wendy, and the other treasured friends I’ve been lucky enough to collect over my 40-something years on this planet.

Speaking of: I’m running late for an afternoon BFF Birthday Date to see Little Women and make some Valentine Gnomes that are very popular right now in Dollar Tree crafting groups on Facebook. I say running late because before that I have a Birthday Breakfast Date with my  boys, and before that I need to touch up my roots because my once-chestnut hair is now streaked by silver and I’m afraid if I don’t color them people will think that I am Jackson’s grandmother and not his mother because this is what happens when you aren’t able to have a kid until you are almost 40.