Hanging with Friends is not enough, I’m coming home

Two days in isolation (except for Facebook and Hanging with Friends) in Whistler can do strange things to a girl. I feel like I’ve taken a vow of silence, leaving my thoughts to have a battle of wits in my head.

In between the fits and bursts of producing 5000 words these last 36 hours, I:

– ate cauliflower steak on the couch in front of the TV
– caught up on this season’s The Bachelor (get rid of Courtney Ben, she’s bad news!)
– drank so much coffee I couldn’t fall asleep for hours
– chain-snacked on gummy bears
– checked Facebook constantly
– got so bored that I cleaned the toilets

Reminding me that the best part of a business trip is coming home.

Love Lucie

Home Alone

It’s 10AM and the house is quiet, very quiet. A truck rumbles by a few streets over. The kettle is furiously boiling water for my morning tea. The dishwasher has been emptied and reloaded with the breakfast dishes, and the shrapnel created this morning by making the kids a nutritious, yummy, and green lunch has been put away. Each ping from my computer startles me, telling me I have new mail or a Facebook update, and is investigated within seconds of receiving it.

My youngest son, who’s 5 and in afternoon preschool, has a playdate with this best buddy this morning. What’s even better is that his best buddy’s Dad is going to take him directly to preschool too! I dropped him off when I dropped his older brothers off at school at 9AM, giving me a delicious 5 hours and 45 minutes to myself! I’m currently taking an online memoir-writing course called The Momoir Project and today is online classroom day, so having the peace and quiet to concentrate on my writing without having to entertain my precocious 5 year old is blissful.

But it’s too quiet.

Every ping, chirp and hungry lawnmower outside is distracting me from writing. They say that writing is like this, lonely. But I’m a very social person – maybe this is the wrong gig for me? I’m used to writing between interruptions. Ever since I left my corporate job to raise our kids, I’ve been multi-tasking – turn on Go, Diego, Go, draft a blog post, play indoor soccer, check up on Twitter, make a bed, jump on the bed, make macaroni and cheese for lunch, review post, pack snacks for school, edit the post, head to preschool (usually late), post a blog, go to the gym, check blog stats. The accomplishment of actually posting something in my cut-up day is herculean and feels awesome. Today, I’ve had no interruptions and no one to entertain and I’ve accomplished less – I’ve cleared the dishes, wiped the counters, put in a load of laundry, drafted a blog post, checked Facebook and Twitter, sent email and paid a bill. Somehow, I’ve frittered 5 hours away and pick up is in 45 minutes!

Come September I had hopes of tackling those inane Martha Stewart-esque items on my To Do List, like using up all those frozen strawberries to make jam, finally copying all my Duran Duran CDs to my iPod, and matching all those socks in the lonely sock bin. But surely even I will stop making up things to do after a while. I’m reminded of that transformative scene in the War of the Roses when the busy, uber-efficient Mrs. Rose realizes the house is finally perfect and has nothing to do, and it frightens me.

This September my youngest will go to school full-time. Barring sickness, after the morning rush to get out the door is complete, I will have 6 hours of to myself. Every day. What the heck am I going to do? I’ve dreamed of this moment for more than ten years, and now that it’s finally here (almost), I know I will really miss them.

No longer will I be able to say, “oh, I didn’t have time!” Time will be all this empty nester will have! Time to go to the gym, to garden, to sew on all those missing buttons, to clear out the crawlspace, and possibly, to write my great Canadian novel. Bills will be paid on time! Field trip permission forms and library books will no longer be lost! Perhaps, I could even tackle the clutter on my desk?

Or it could be time to get a puppy 🙂

Love Lucie

I love Tina Fey

I feel that if Tina Fey lived my neighbourhood we’d be great friends – swapping play dates, great shoes, sexy pose ideas(!) and witty sarcasm like nobody’s business.

As reported on People.com (it’s like CNN, only more interesting), the mother/wife/actress/producer/comedienne/writer/multi-tasker Fey admits, “(As a mother) you need a lot of help, and you need not to be afraid to ask for help.” She credits a great nanny and husband Jeff Richmond, musician and 30 Rock co-producer, who is also “a full participant” at home. I too have a great nanny and fully-involved husband (see Tina, so many similarities!)

“But even still,” she says, “every 12 weeks or so, you just kind of lose it. Then you gather it back up.

I love that line. This perky mom who also happens to be the King of the Castle in Hollywood, just normalized the ups and downs of being human for us regular folks. She’s saying that not everything in real life can have a happy Hollywood ending like the Season Finale on this year’s Bachelor. A life that good simply cannot be sustained, it would be exhausting to try. And even if we worked so that 100% pure happiness was possible all the time, it would automatically feel less good by virtue of it being the new normal. Life usually fluctuates somewhere in between “oh my god, I just made the New York Times Bestseller list!” and “You’re the worst mother that ever lived, I hate you!” Instead of chasing those highs with singular focus and/or rushing to your therapist (and forsaking all others) when you’re losing it, it sounds like my girlfriend Tina just takes the good stuff as it comes, acknowledging the inevitability of “losing it” and then “gathering it back up again” happy in knowing that she’ll be on lather, rinse, repeat cycle for some time to come.

I’m on Facebook Tina, poke me!

Love Lucie

Facebook & Me

I am addicted to Facebook. I check it every morning, in between flipping pancakes and shouting “Hurry up kids! Breakfast is getting cold!” I leave my husband to pour the orange juice and mutter that I just need to check the morning news. In actuality, I’m checking the morning, midday, just before I have to cook supper, and the evening news (hour-long edition).

I have played Bejeweled Blitz and Lexulous for HOURS (and like an addict, I have figured out how to turn off the notifications so that my husband doesn’t know that I am).

I like to collect friends like those trading pins at the Olympics and have been trying to crack the 200 mark for months. I like friending old boyfriends, so that they can peruse my photos (carefully edited, of course) and think that “they coulda had all THIS!” I like seeing what happened to the cool kids from high school and cannot believe who got fat and bald.

But I knew my little habit had become a full-fledged problem when I knew that “Sabrina has left the building”, “Jenny had too much lunch today!” and “Peter is going to SNAP!” before I had heard about Haiti’s earthquake.

Here’s to less snooping through the past and more living in the present! Here’s to Haitians everywhere, our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Love Lucie

Dress to Impress (Yourself)

In the floating years of high school, I regularly raided my mother’s closet to expand my meagre wardrobe, trying to impress the cool girls with something other than everygirl’s Mariposa. The result however, was that I dressed like a 40 year old virgin – color block dresses, sensible pumps and thick shoulder pads sewn into those blousy, angora-blend sweaters.  At university not much later, I explored biker-chic with abandon, and could be found toting a studded black leather jacket and spiral-permed hair at all times. Upon entering the working world in the early 90’s, short tight skirts a la Ally McBeal ruled my day.  Once I changed firms and got promoted, “take me seriously” black pantsuits made sure I got the job done.  

Looking back, I have to admit that these clothes served as my suits of armor.  They costumed and protected me from my developing sense of self.  Emulating others, whether they be Melanie Griffiths in Working Girl or Tila Tequila, a different kind of working girl, gave me modus operandi, even if it was not my own.   

Three kids later, my new best friend is Lululemon.  My body has metamorphosed and I no longer fit my armor.  And I no longer have anyone to impress except my kids and my Facebook friends.  So, I have finally accepted the fact that I only need to impress myself.  Even though skinny jeans are impossible because of them, I love my giant thighs and butt when I’m training for a half-marathon. I love how bouncy my hair gets after sleeping on it wet.  I love my biceps (Thunder and Lightening, named after Michelle Obama’s) more every day.  Thighs, butt, hair, biceps, and not a stitch of armor anywhere.  That’s impressive.

Love Lucie