northampton new year gratitude

i am grateful for:

1) our cozy house. even though it’s cold, and i want to kvetch about having moved to the north pole instead of northampton. but in the rooms where the heat is on, it’s cozy-warm. and when i’m not freezing, it’s just cozy-cozy. to have a home for our boy and us and our familiar things and colors.

2) painting! we painted the sad green out of the goffice (guest room/my office). it’s now white with a “lily lavender” accent wall in front of my desk. i have a room of my own in which to write, do projects, nap, and dream.

3) peanut butter puffins.

4) the growing boy. omg, we can play games now! like hide the red stick toy thingy! he drops it into the couch cushions and i fetch it for him, over and over and over and over. to his ever-delight. and it’s fun! i’m not having an internal dialogue wondering when this might be over and when i can escape for a snack or sneak a peek on facebook. it’s actual fun. which surprises me and ever-delights me too.

5) sleep. getting more of it. though baby boy is sick (uh-gain!) and last night he was up at 11, then 5, then for good at 6. but other nights lately it’s been like 7-7. heaven.

6) 2014. it was a good year. i learned how to be a mom, sort of. i made peppercorn shrimp for the first time. i published about 10 articles, not including stuff for my day job. i moved. to the artsy arctic. i loved living with my man—we hit some bumps, had one wicked fight, but really nothing major. (it’s truly a bonus to live with and love someone who loves serenity and non-drama as much as i do—the unnecessary crap is mostly dispensed with. we just need to make sure we’re fed and rested before any large conversations. which, one time we weren’t. but even that was just one crappy evening.) in 2014 i wasn’t a great friend. i’ve been out of touch and i regret that. but/and—tending baby, self, husband, and home = hard. trying not to over-beat myself up. i edited a TON of articles about babies and moms. i donated more money than i ever have. not because i had more, but because i decided to tithe. which has been put on hold for the moment. i want to feel better about it than i do, oddly. i think i’m supposed to give time, not money. or time and money. maybe that will give me a philanthropy rush? in 2014 i also got a cortisone shot (it helped, i think). i did lots of PT for my shoulder. i didn’t do much yoga at all due to said shoulder, sacrum, and baby. i consumed an enormous amount of world news, local news, listicles about gut health, sleep, marriage, happiness, etc. also consumed a lot of chocolate, a moderate amount of coffee, and a decent amount of green juice and kale. i went to martha’s vineyard, florida, rhinebeck, and woodstock. i changed a ton of diapers, fed a person from my body for most of the year, and got more puke, pee, poop, and food on me that i ever have.

7) people welcoming us to northampton. friends, friends of friends, and more. people keep telling me they like my winter hat, which no one ever mentioned in BK. i’m thinking a) it’s more of a noho hat than a brooklyn hat and b) in ny compliments are only given to extract information—as in, “i like that hat so much i’m willing to break the fourth wall and speak to you to ask you where you got it.” and it’s just not that level of hat. at least not there.

8) driving down main street and getting caught in “traffic,” i.e., a few cars, and seeing a fire engine and thinking, “oh, it’s like a normal city here, they have fires and traffic. not so different from brooklyn after all. then the fire truck pulls over and i think “ohhh, a fire at the academy of music?” and then: santa pops out. waving. greeting a mass of carolers i hadn’t noticed. that was the entire source of said traffic and presence of fire fighters. so, yeah, different here.

9) easy access to target. what? i can’t help it. target within a 10-minute drive? a good target? i’m there. go and trader joe’s. how did i ever live without trader joe’s? in nyc they have them, but it’s really not possible to shop there if you’re employed or have kids. you basically need to be 22 or 75. and still the lines are crazy-crazy.

10) 2015. i’m excited to write some things, interview some people, care for a baby bear, get back to yoga and meditation, make some collages, sleep, cook, eat, and get WARM, somehow, some way.

happiest new year, friends. i hope it’s unfathomably lovely for you. xo

Valerie Reissnorthampton new year gratitude