I had some kind of food poisoning and/or bad food reaction the other night, to some rare steak, and what followed was 24 hours of hell. Rather than go into details I will just leave you to imagine. Ha. But this morning is the most normal I’ve felt in several days, and—while I’m your classic overachiever mother of a young kid & wife—I’m still somehow able to let Christmas stress slip away this morning. Yeah I love Christmas. OMG I LOVE CHRISTMAS. But since I don’t have time to make presents these days, I kind of have to buy them, which is a financial stressor; since both our families are in town we have too many fun events to choose from and have to say no to more people than is fun; and since our kid is only two, and life has been kind of a big ol stress train for most of those two years, we haven’t been able to hammer out what we want *our* family Christmas to look like, and our lack of prior discussion made for some high-stress misunderstandings yesterday…….

However. I waxed my armpits. They are the most gorgeous softest armpits you’ve ever seen in your life. That always makes me feel like tons of bucks. Also we said (it was tacit) “the heck with it” this morning and let Mary watch Robin Hood whilst eating her breakfast (it’s still on, which is why I get to blog!), and both Marshall and I got to shower and be slow about stuff. God. It’s amazing. I mean, I’m glad I didn’t let her watch tv for her first year, and limited it a lot till she was about 2, but—Pandora’s box over here. I’m gonna have to figure out how to not get hooked on letting my kid watch Robin Hood all the time. Conflicted on whether I want to solicit advice about this. Sigh.

Also this is the first morning since my illness that I’ve wanted coffee, and I’m having some. Also, the house had gone to absolute shit these past couple of weeks, because I got sick exactly after Mary had a stomach bug (so much vomit guys, and yes, at one point I did hold out my hand for her to throw up in it—she obliged me! Ok maybe I’m a good mom). The bathroom had seen horrors and looked like it. Cracker crumbs were literally everywhere (in the world). Toys, socks, shriveled-up bananas everywhere—etc. And last night—we cleaned up! It feels amazing. Yes, walnut stained wood floors shows crumbs and specks, but it looks so good when it’s clean that I still don’t care.

In other news, I’m realizing more and more that I need to get a regular writing habit going. Yeah I know I always say that, and then don’t, but I feel closer than ever. I’ve been so amped on anxiety these past two years that I haven’t allowed myself to rest, or mentally wander, which someone on the radio reminded me, yesterday, is essential for creative work (have known it’s essential for me in the past, but wondered if I could learn to do without). I haven’t found places of peace, but so much of the chaos is settling that I can imagine making those places. Especially on mornings like this.

I’m starting to think about being an artist and a mother with a little less angst, a little more distance, these days. Since I’m not sitting down to write, the thoughts seem almost fruitless sometimes, since I can’t pin them down to return to later. I just have to observe them, give them a few moments’ fervent attention, hoping they will return to me if I can’t return to them.

And like an idiot I loved Lindbergh’s Gift from the Sea so much that I sent it to my friend in Seattle before I had finished it so I could get it to her in time for Christmas. So I don’t have those thoughts to soak in. But those thoughts have been catalysts for more of my own. I hope to make 2017 “The Year Anna Laura Started Writing Again” and even if nothing comes of it but better mental health for me, then it’ll be worth it. I have all the reasons in the world to dread the incoming administration and the particular kind of leadership it’ll offer its believers, and the opportunities and dignity it will deprive of many others. But I’m hearing that this is just a signal for us to double down on our own health and the health of our friends and families and local communities.

But I’m at a loss when it comes to how responsible I am to larger communities…like, should I be sending money to aid groups for Syria? Should I be contributing to groups that fight sex trafficking? Climate change? Or should I quit reading about all the horrific tragedies on the internet and learn how to love my daughter better? Duh, right? But then—what about Syria and all the people who say “You should be doing something”? Awash with information, crippled by anxiety. This is why the homesteading thing is so big right now. We all need rest. And healthy escape. Damn. Navigating the internet is so hard for me.

And my baby is so cute these days. SO CUTE.