I'd be feeling even better if I could manage to slow down and get more sleep, but we have been incredibly busy since we returned from our trip. (I have the next installment about half-written - hold tight.)
We've been to three movies in the past two weeks. This is just crazy. We usually see one movie a year if we're lucky. But there was a "parents night out" babysitting thing at Sam's gym which we took advantage of (we saw Source Code which was ok), then Sam had a friend sleep over (yes, she is at that age already) and we took them to see African Cats (which was also just ok), and that's when we noticed that Atlas Shrugged was still playing here and there, so we got a babysitter and saw that with some friends. (Too bad that one didn't even rise to the level of ok.)
On Friday, we bought our new car, the Honda Odyssey! It is so full of technology and good design that I feel privileged to drive it. We got the remote engine starter and a tent that attaches to the back and other accessories to make it even cooler. There are two things I don't like about it, though. First, it's hard for me to get in and out of it. This might be partially my big belly, but I think it's more about being short. I was so used to my RAV4, which is the perfect SUV for short people, and I was spoiled. Also, the Odyssey is really hard to park. I'm sure I'll get better at it, but nothing will change the fact that it is so wide it takes up almost an entire parking spot. Sure, it has sliding doors for the kids, but I still have to get in, and it is a rare thing when I can open the driver's door past the first notch. This makes getting in and out even more difficult.
Oh, one other thing I don't like about my new car - apparently, it is invisible. Twice in the first few days, people came really close to crashing into me. Once someone turned left in front of me, causing me to have to slam on my brakes almost to the point of squealing tires. Then, a taxi came into my lane on the freeway and I had to slow way down to avoid a crash. I honked at him and he followed me until I turned off on a side road. Strange. I'm a very defensive driver and these things don't happen to me often. But worst yet, yesterday, on my way to the dealership to get the accessories installed, someone actually did hit me. I had pulled over to put the dealership address into my GPS (I was being safe, goddamn it!) and I stopped in a parking lot in the lane so that I was blocking some parked cars. But the lot was very quiet and I figured if someone needed to get out they'd honk. I could have parked in a spot, but, well, you know, parking that car is really hard! Bad call. I put my car in park and put on my hazard lights. Ten seconds later, a woman backed out of her spot and rammed right into the side of my car. I cried for ten minutes. I cried the entire time we were exchanging information, and then pulled into a parking spot and cried some more. The damage isn't too bad, but my side and front bumpers will need to be replaced. My perfect, shiny, new toy will never be quite the same. Luckily, the woman was honest and her insurance company has already accepted full liability. Now I just have to go through the hassle of getting it repaired. Sigh.
More importantly, buying this expensive vehicle that would be totally useless if we weren't about to have three children has not made me more paranoid about losing the twins. Maybe the 20 week ultrasound was the real turning point for me.
Besides all of that, we're also getting our new deck stained (we had to wait through the winter for the wood to dry out), and we planned a quick trip to see the grandparents in early June, and we got rid of a ton of stuff from our basement including a refrigerator, and we attended Jean Moroney's Thinking Tactics Workshop (which was excellent - I wish I had more time to write about it, but if you have the chance, you MUST go), and Sam started up swim lessons again, and I made a little progress on my homeschooling plans, and I contacted some people about some ideas I have about a new Big Project I'm working on (Montessori-related), and I got my hair done, and had two moles removed, and had my final meeting of the year with Sam's teacher, and, somewhere in there, I finished unpacking and got caught up on the laundry. Oh, and Adam got a motorcycle!
I am so tired, but now is the only time I have to do all of these things. And they're all really good things that I want to do. So blogging is taking a backseat, yet again. In fact, I was considering taking an official break from blogging, until someone posted a quote on Facebook that reminded me of how valuable it is to me. The quote was about travel, which made me tune in:
"The difference between travel and tourism is simple. A tourist experiences disconnected sights and sounds and enjoys them without drawing meaning. A traveler roams the earth, digests what he sees and hears, and collects them in a framework of understanding, which he both brings to his travels and deepens with travels. The former is a pleasant interlude in your life. The latter is about life itself." --George Friedman of STRATFOR (HT: Jason Crawford)
Of course, this reminded me of what I'm trying to do by journaling our Italy trip. But it also reminded me of the purpose of my blog. My blog is my way of integrating my experiences. It's my way of making everything in my life meaningful, by tying all the Little Things to my greater values. I didn't even know that this was what I was doing, until Lisa VanDamme helped me to understand it. In her Making Poetry Part of Your Life course from OCON 2010, she taught us how to first understand the words of the poem, then to isolate what is important about it, then to abstract away from the concretes to understand the universal meaning (which, in poetry is often just a particular emotion or type of experience), and finally, to find a moment from our own lives that has the same meaning. She taught us that once we had internalized a poem this way, it would always be there as a concrete reminder of that meaning, so that in the future, when these moments occurred, we could recognize them and bring all the depth and beauty of the poem into the experience. She called it living life "through the artist's lens." She taught us that this is how we could find meaning in everyday experiences. And after class, she came to me and told me that that was how she saw my blog.
It was the greatest compliment I've ever received about my writing, even though, in some ways, I don't feel that I live up to it. But she was right - this is what I am trying to do. And so I won't quit blogging. And, finally, ten months later, I'm ready to reveal The Little Things' new design and tagline to reflect what I learned in that class. Tune in tomorrow.