1 January 2012
I’m not really one for superstition, or tradition just for tradition’s sake. I like to use birthdays as an excuse to make a cake, but not the same cake. (So many fine cake recipes in this world, so little time, you know?) There’s not anything that I must always consistently do or eat on Christmas, or birthdays, or whatever.
But last year — as in, one year ago — was the first year that I made two New-Year’s-specific food items, in the form of pizza sfincione on December 31st and black-eyed pea dip on January 1st. I can’t conclusively state that they caused good luck in 2011, but last year was also the year of job success! for Pete and pregnancy success! for me and moving 1800 miles success! for the collective Jejune household, and those are three sufficiently significant points of anecdata for me to keep making the same pizza and the same dip every new year. More importantly, they’re both quite tasty.
The last third of 2011 was a pretty quiet one for us; I have to wonder if one of the reasons why people have children is because it gives you such a convenient way to lend your passing years deep significance. (Not that I’m griping about that, mind you. But I’m guessing that the arrival of my firstborn sometime within the next month will handily overpower my memories of 2012, without me really needing to do much about it.) And then much of 2012 will be dominated by me just trying to find my equilibrium amongst all of the newborn haze, and trying to discover the meaning of my (new) life once its daily rhythms are being dictated by the wants and needs of a tiny, crabby force who remains stubbornly independent from my own control and who has no respect for my desire for a certain weekly ration of knitting and reading time.
(That’s the yet-to-appear baby, by the way. But Garth and Sebastian, man — they can be needy little independent forces, if not exactly tiny.)
So my goal for 2012 seems pretty clear: not to just tread water, or to do okay, but to keep stretching my comfort zone. Even when it means endlessly transferring a small child in and out of the infant car seat, or losing even more sleep while at the apparently sisyphean task of doing some dissertating while taking care of a small child, or grappling with all of the additional apparatus and mental baggage that traveling with a baby entails, or sending out innumerable job applications for positions that I’ll probably never get, or finding my new landmarks. (Or at least interesting places that are within a day’s drive from Dallas.) To keep trying to go places, in other words, even when there’s a greatly increased risk of failure or in-public diaper blowouts along the way.
Not to mention learning to enjoy motherhood, with all of the loudness and unwieldy bodily functions that such a thing entails.