Life has been busier than usual here – I suspect you can relate? – and I’ve been finding time and opportunities to write harder to come by. I’ve also been lacking the inspiration to turn my thoughts into type. Sure, my mind is racing as quickly as ever, chasing ideas into well worn pockets in my brain and finding there memories I haven’t touched in years. And the places I’ve nestled into have been quieter and more private, less resonant, I imagine.
So it was with some interest that I visited Reverb 10, a creative project picking up where Gwen Bell’s Best of 2009 Blog Challenge left off. Each day the team at Reverb 10 offers a new prompt provided by a different author, meant to encourage us to “reflect on this year and manifest what’s next.” I figured this project would give me some good fodder for potential blog posts – because as much as I enjoy spinning stories and dreams in my head, I am always grateful for the community I have here and the chance to throw my thoughts out into the world of the Interweb.
Today’s prompt was provided by Shauna Reid, author of The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl:
What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.
My initial response when I found the prompt waiting for me in my inbox this morning?
Yeah, right. (Perhaps accompanied by a sneering upper lip.)
I am a pregnant mother of a 19-month old and a three year old. I live in a rural town in the Midwest. The only sock rocking I do takes place with Tiny Baby, as we bop along to the Beatles. My only “shenanigans” involve racing around the house in highly intense games of “Rocket Ship Astronaut Adventure” with Big Boy.
Don’t get me wrong: I love our life. We have wonderful friends, whom we get to see often. And almost all of those friends also have young families so we get to share with them the mayhem and wonder of this time of our lives. But, as much fun as it is to celebrate a fourth birthday with a lovely little girl, it’s not the same as the “social gatherings” that I imagine when I read Shauna’s prompt.
When I lived in New York City, my roommate and I threw an annual holiday party. We would fill our undersized kitchen refrigerator with bottles of beer and store-bought dips. We’d set up a makeshift bar on a table cloth-covered ironing board and try our hand at making Sangria. We’d put out bowls of chips and plates of cookies (the Pillsbury cut-and-bake variety). And we’d spend an evening laughing and dancing and drinking with our old college friends, our new work friends, and an eclectic blend of their colleagues and partners and neighbors.
I don’t really miss my pre-kid days of parties and make-up and blow dryers and sometimes drinking a little too much. But I do miss a part of what they symbolize. I miss some of the freedom, and some of the chance to connect with other adults about things that have nothing to do with kids. And I think that’s why my first reaction to the writing prompt about parties was a cynical one. For me, it’s often easier to criticize than to contemplate.
No, I don’t want that life back. But I would like to tweeze out of it the pieces that I do crave: time with adults, more opportunities for carefree release. I’d like to do a better job in the year ahead of making time to step out with Husband, to enjoy drinks with friends (yes, people, non-alcoholic ones strictly until after the baby comes), to laugh more often about something other than my kids.
Are you good about making time in your life for sock rocking and shenanigans?