Author’s Note: I had intended to post the following blog just before Christmas. This was before I, along with my husband, sister, mom, dad, aunt, cousin, and probably hundreds of innocent patrons of Cracker Barrels along I-81 contracted the dread vomits mentioned in my previous post. Rather than updating it to reflect the fact that it is being posted in 2015, I am choosing to write this explanation.
The end of the year, I’ve been told, is a good time to review what’s going well and what could be improved in one’s life situation. To set goals for the next year (goals being much more en vogue than resolutions these days). If you’re serious about this, and have a lot of spare time on your hands, then I highly recommend Chris Guillebeau’s post on annual reviews and goal setting here.
As I was looking at his excellent suggestions myself, really really wanting to make a detailed spreadsheet of 3-5 goals in 10 or so different categories of life as I have done in years way back before I had a husband or children, I decided that I should probably focus on, say, 1 goal in each of the 10 categories. I may then have a chance of being successful in accomplishing at least 2-3 things over the course of the next year other than what I’m doing today which is whatever I possibly can to avoid having more vomit spilled on the various surfaces of my person, my older child’s person, and, in particular, any non-launderable fabrics or upholstery in my home. (If you’re following the blog closely you’ll note the vomit has transferred from child 2 to child 1).
So I thought for a while about what would really signify a good year to me. What could happen in 2015 that would make me feel like I had really accomplished something? And, bingo, I got it.
You may have heard of a little film called Frozen. In my home, this is not so much a film as a way of life. It is starting to abate, slightly, from the frenzy of last winter, but is still a frequent theme of most days (luckily, I understand, there is to be a sequel). I actually like the movie, thank goodness, because I have either seen or heard it at least 100 times, and that is not an exaggeration because it takes 5 back-to-back viewings to drive from DC to Birmingham and then you have to drive back again.
Here’s the thing about Frozen. In my house there is a very predictable and stable casting: Maggie is Anna (always, never Elsa). She is also the permanent casting director. Daddy is Kristoff (always). Sam is Olaf (usually) and Deedee is Sven. So who am I? The one who grew you, nursed you, is cleaning your puke off my sweater? I’m Hans. I’m always Hans. I just don’t get it. Partly, I think it’s because she doesn’t actually understand the story. (Spoiler alert: if you haven’t seen the movie, you should have already stopped reading but i’m going to give stuff away below so you may want to run out (right now!) and watch Frozen and then finish reading this immediately afterwards. Nah. Just stop now and get off the internet and go outside or take a nap. What comes next isn’t going to change your life.)
I THINK she thinks that Hans is the romantic lead. But she doesn’t exactly get that dreamy look in her eyes and giggle about Hans the same way she does about Kristoff so… Ok, so I think she’s kind of confused about Hans and what he’s all about. So what does that say about what she thinks about me? I just want to be Olaf or Sven. Or I could be Elsa? But NO WAY she’d ever let me be Elsa. Anytime I even imagine in my mind that I’m belting out “Let It Go” in the kitchen I get a polite and immediate shut-down. Mommy, please don’t sing. Unless it is the Anna and Hans duet – then I am invited, nay compelled, to sing and dance all of the moves including the two sets of hands making the heart.
Hold the press. Newsflash to myself (hmmm… turns out blogging is a pretty good way to work through some of the deepest issues in one’s life). First, some additional background: We decided to branch out and try a new princess movie and I, very mistakenly, thought The Little Mermaid could be a good alternative. Horrible decision. Good music, terrible plot, way too much talk about kissing and way, way too much flesh. And ever since then she wants me to be Ursula. What the hell?? And after she heard the story of Cinderella she always wanted me to be the stepsisters, never the fairy godmother.
I remember reading books and talking to friends before I had kids and getting all kinds of advice and prognostications and warnings. No one ever told me I was destined to be cast as the bad guys. Is this a thing? Or am I doing something wrong? Is she trying to send me a message?
So I’m realizing right now that this probably isn’t a good goal for 2015: figure out a way to be cast as a good guy. I was hoping for Olaf, the comic-relief, feel good, warm-hearted friend you can’t help but love. But I’d be fine with Flounder – that annoying side kick who doesn’t help much but at least has your best interests at heart. But I’m guessing there is something about working out what ‘bad’ is in a safe space and seeing your mom behaving like a naughty character is probably far more satisfying than seeing her just be nice and supportive like she wishes she could be much more of the tiime.
So I guess it’s back to the goal drawing board. I’m thinking: 1) something about eating more vegetables, 2) something about getting more sleep and more of it in the earlier part of the night, 3) something about spending more time with friends. Those sound more like resolutions to me, so clearly I have work to do before January 1.