If Plan “A” fails –
remember you have 25 letter left
– Chris Guillebeau
We recently had a friend from NYC come visit us in our new island home. I can’t think of more polar opposites than New York City and Peaks Island, Maine. I love both places so much. Adam and I both love the City but obviously, we have chosen Maine as our home. NYC will always be there to visit!
One evening as we walked back to the house after dinner and a few drinks, our house-guest was walking with his eyes straight up to the sky. Stars. Millions of them covered the night sky. They don’t have stars like THAT in NYC. No tall buildings obstructing your view, no light masking the brilliance of those luminous plasma clumps.
Then there were those great philosophers Calvin and Hobbes… When do we stop to really look at stars? I can’t think of many times that Facebook, television or my iPhone have filled my head and heart with wonder as a few minutes staring into a twinkling night sky. A little star gazing can do wonders for your woes. Your problems and drama somehow seem a whole lot smaller.
Man, that kid and stuffed tiger were smart.
Life has been a little crazy lately. We are working very hard to make sure we are doing what we think is right for the long haul. Sometimes setting that foundation means you have to be uncomfortable in the ‘right now’.
Adam realized a few years ago that he was not going to be happy with office/desk life and that he wanted to pursue a career in medicine. So I think we are about 4 years into a 10ish year journey to make that dream happen.
I remember pretty clearly the conversation when he figured out this was what he wanted to do with his life. He was afraid that he was too old to start this new journey or that I would not be a willing participant to see him through. There is definitely a difference between being the wife of a businessman for the next 10 years vs. being the wife of a student for the next 10 years. I chose to be the wife of a man who worked his ass off to chase his dreams.
We are both all-in and making this happen.
What about other dreams? It is hard to make plans for other dreams when the one right in your face is larger than an elephant. What about them? What about having children, exciting vacations, building our empire, chasing my own career aspirations? Do I put those on hold and start a To-Do list for 2019?
The smart decision would probably be to do that. Wait until we are settled. Wait until we have the money. Wait until the timing is right.
I never promised you smart decisions.
So blame the baby. Blame the death of my beloved dog. Blame the tragic funerals I have had to attend lately. Blame the pride I have when I see my husband working so hard to chase down his dreams. Blame the cancer diagnoses of friends and family – strong people being put through way more than they deserve. Blame the weather, for all I care but…
I decided waiting for 2019 is too long.
So I am making a few changes. Some big and some tiny.
Tiny changes – Silly things like instead of being pissed iced coffee is so weak, just order a freaking iced Americano. Small behavioral things like complaining less. Bitch fests can be fun but are they helpful? Eat more kale. No, that is a lie. This whole kale phenom needs to slow its roll. So I refuse to buy-in to kale but I am acknowledging there are lots of little things that I can make better about my day to day.
BIG changes – I am going to travel more and not just staycations.
This Fall I am going to Ireland with my mom. We have both always wanted to go but it has never been the right time and we have never had the ‘extra’ money. I don’t think there will ever be the right time or ‘extra’ money. So we are making now the right time.
What about the baby?! The baby is coming too. I have already met people who grumble about traveling with a baby but you know what? I have talked to even more people who are pumped about the idea. So me and my momma and my baby are going to Ireland.
And after Ireland, I plan on going someplace else too. Just not sure where yet.
BIGGER changes – We are moving to the island!
We bought a house (well another house – we have to still sell our current house). We have already started moving. Baby E will be growing up on an island. I was nervous – I am too busy, it is too inconvenient; we can’t host lavish parties that our friends will come to etc.
What I DO have is a network of family and friends to help me raise this amazing little boy – it takes a village right? I can’t think of a better place in the world to raise a child. A boy that can play outside, go to the beach every day and ride his bike to the store when he can still tell you how old he is with one hand. I am going to like that.
And the busy body worries? Convenience of a ferry? Lavish parties? I think more than those things, I need to enjoy my days more and maybe doing less will make me appreciate them more. Oh and I still can throw a lavish party, people will just have to bring sleeping bags.
BIGGEST (and smallest) changes – I am going to appreciate this one life I have.
When I look back at the last decade or so, I know I could do better. I could have been kinder, I could have done more, I could have been happier. As cliché as it is, I think about a poster that I have seen at Saddleback for the past few years. I can’t remember it exactly and if I try Googling it, it seems to be attributed to too many different folks. The message of it is that life isn’t made of minutes or days but of moments.
I want to look back on my life, especially this stretch, and see for myself that I crushed it – baby and all, med school and all, career and all.
You only have this one life. Why are we saving it to live later?
For my ‘adult life’ (I use the term loosely), I comically have been known to take advice from strangers. Weather reports from baristas, romantic advice from patrons at the bar I worked at, dog raising tips from random people I meet at dog parks and health tips from concert goers. I just trust strangers. I’m not sure if it is from being brought up in a small community of just my general gullible nature.
The day of the Boston Marathon bombing… the hour of the Boston Marathon bombing, Adam and I were driving back from New York City with the baby. When we got word of what had happened from a concerned friend that called us, we very soon after pulled off the highway – part for a dirty diaper change and part just to stop driving so we could process what the heck was going on.
We got off the highway in Massachusetts and stopped at a Dunkin Donuts. The only people there were a handful of old guys playing cribbage in the corner. After we got our coffee, a man who was playing cribbage motioned for me to come over to the table. He pointed at the pacifier in my hand.
Old Guy: ‘You know what they are saying now don’tcha?’
My head: Here we go with the pacifiers are bad for babies lecture.
Old Guy: ‘Well how do ya clean that thing?’
Me: ‘We have these special wipes for them or I swap it out if it is really icky.’
My head: I know, I know… I am supposed to BOIL it every time it comes into contact with a molecule yadda yadda.
Old Guy: You don’t need those. They say now that moms should just wash them off with their own mouths. It’ll help the baby from getting sick and developing allergies’.
Me: Oh interesting. Thanks. Have a great afternoon.
My head: Why is my husband so damn slow all the time. I’m going to wait outside.
New Study on Cleaning Pacifiers
This week on the news, multiple sources are talking about a new study out of Sweden that says moms should clean their baby’s pacifiers with their mouths.
“By the time babies were 18 months old, those whose parents sucked their pacifiers were less likely to have asthma and eczema, and the researchers concluded that this was because parents exposed their babies to bacteria in their saliva, stimulating babies’ immune systems. There was also a trend toward a reduction in allergy signs.”
So who was that old guy at the Dunkin Donuts a month ago who told me the same thing? Was he a doctor? Was he from the future? Was he Dr. Samuel Beckett?
I may never know but he didn’t do much for my weakness of taking advice from strangers. He may have made my condition worse.