I have a knack for making things more difficult than they need to be. I imagine conversations that will probably never take place. When I drive I am thinking about what I will say when I arrive if I am late (even though I will be toting along the finest excuse for running late there ever was, a 20 pound machine that ejects bodily fluids at random intervals.) When I nurse my baby in public I prepare clever responses to judgey looks, even though I am one of few women that has actually never been on the receiving end of one.
Lately, as I keep putting one foot in front of the other aimlessly, I am mentally preparing some kind of justification. Lucy is 13 months old. Emily would rather be with her pals than with me after school. But what I am doing here, at home, is important. It is maybe even more special to me to be home with the girls now as they get older than it was in the early days. And I like being available to volunteer at school. I have the time to shop sales for the things we need. And we save a lot of money on groceries with me being home, cooking every day. And and and … I could go on. But no one ever asks me “So, when are you going back to work? Why are you still home?’
Probably more important than the nameless, faceless strangers that I imagine asking me that question is that my husband, the one person who has an opinion that counts, he isn’t pushing me. I shot him a line the other day “Don’t forget I have that committee meeting tonight.” It was his second day at his brand new job. And I was nagging him about when he would be home. His reply was short and sweet. But it has eclipsed all of the imaginary nay-sayers in my mind. “No problem. I am glad you’re doing these things.”
I don’t know what I am going to do in the next few years. I am still running in place. Two miles today. And a 1600 yard swim. I’m not even all that anxious about the fact that I don’t know where I am going. Because when I get to the finish line MQD will be there.
I can’t see the path but the finish line is crystal clear. With tears in my eyes I’ll say “I did it!” and with his signature smirk, that one that drives me nuts in every sense of the word he’ll say “Of course, you did.”
Today’s challenge – Invent a new way to peel a potato. I am a red bliss potato, leave the skins on kind of girl. But when I have to peel them I have a gadget, of course. I am a lover of the kitchen gadget. This obsession is fed by my mother-in-law, another lover of the kitchen gadget. A peeler that slips over your finger. And like all great deals in the kitchen store, you can’t just have one, you need two. One of them is serrated, for my serrated peeling needs.
Last night I peeled potatoes. (And then I spent quite some time trying to take a picture of mashed potatoes that looked appetizing.) I didn’t invent a new way. But I didn’t use my kitchen gadget, either. I just grabbed a paring knife and peeled those bad boys. You know, it was really simple. Making things more complicated than necessary might be one of those things I used to do when I was young if I keep this up. I could get used to it.
So, day 91 – I am not going to reinvent potato peeling, motherhood or marriage. I am just going to keep doing what I am doing. Because it’s working.