Monday, November 28, 2011

That attitude of gratitude

I enjoyed John Tierney's article on the importance of gratitude. I've long thought gratitude akin to flossing, but good for my mental, not dental, health. Still, despite my best intentions to focus on the full half of the glass, I often end up wondering if organized religion would help. It isn't that I don't feel gratitude on a frequent, regular, and heart-felt-basis, but rather that I one-eighty out of it so fast there isn't even any danger of whiplash, it's quantum. I'll be awash in warm-fuzzies when, like an “I Dream of Jeannie” special-effect, I'm facing the exact opposite way in the space of one frame, wondering why it was, exactly, that I thought having kids was a good idea, or bemoaning no closets, or pining for a dishwasher.

The fact of the matter is I have oodles to be grateful for this holiday season. Two shining examples are the drainpipe on our washing machine and our propane refrigerator. Prior to the drainpipe installation, each load of laundry meant carrying three carboys full of water from the utility room across the house to the kitchen sink for dumping. I didn't feel sorry for myself, but did spend a fair amount of time thinking, “this is ridiculous.” In October, Aaron hooked up a drainpipe and hot water to the washing machine (which involved running pipe from the utility room, under the house, across the house, to the kitchen sink drain). Now, it is a joy to put in a load and forget about it as I corral, cajole, and care-take the kidlets, hanging the laundry up to dry after they have gone to bed. And switching from an electric to a propane fridge has meant we run our generator about 75% less than we did and can go away for the weekend without getting rid of all of the food in the fridge and freezer. (Talk about an ultra-ridiculous situation.)  Enjoy your refrigeration, it is energy intensive, but think how differently you'd be eating without it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I just had my one-year anniversary of moving out of Brooklyn. In the weeks before we left, Aaron kept asking me if I thought I was going to be happy living in the country. “I don't know,” was all I could answer, “would I be happy living on the moon?” To me, Maine, the country, not-New York, all felt as alien as a cold ball of rock and metal far, far away. (With much better potential, of course.) But the thing about moving to the moon—apart from the isolation—would be the crazy learning curve of adjusting to life on a space station, with all the maintenance, the repairs, the new weather conditions, the limited laundry, the connectivity issues (although internet access may well be faster up there, than it is here in our cabin), and learning to relax into all the other new-normals that are not yet the least bit normal. To go from the call-the-landlord-maintenance you get when renting an apartment to living on a non-town maintained road, in an ailing off-the-grid cabin has, in retrospect, meant a bit more chewing than we were ready for. The up side: we certainly have learned a lot. The down side: we have oh, so very much more to learn.
I wish I'd had the time and the wherewithal to keep this blog up over the past year, but my time (my life) has been swallowed up by these starlets:

I look forward to having more time for writing, someday...