Today was really hard. I'm not sure why. It snowed and I love snow and I love seeing how much my kids love snow, but this didn't prevent the day from growing oddly gloomy in nature. While my husband took the kids out on the sled, I organized our coat closet. At first, this felt really good, like I was molding chaos into order, but as time went by, I felt anxious and resentful. By the time I finished putting all the hats and scarves and mittens into their proper little bins, I was not a happy camper. My husband kept asking me what was wrong and I didn't really have an answer. "I'm not sure," I said. "I just feel a bit off."
It didn't help that we had a birthday party to attend in Jersey and it was unclear whether we could make the trip given the weather. We spent much of the day debating whether to go, checking weather and road conditions. Ultimately, after hearing the roads were a total mess, we stayed put. And I felt guilty even though this seemed wise. I felt like I let my friend down. Guilt. I feel it often and I'm not a fan.
In the afternoon, my friend's husband and their daughter came over to play and hang. This is the friend who is away, and getting some help. It was really good to talk to him, to hear updates on her, to see firsthand that their little girl is happy and thriving despite her current reality. Their visit lifted my mood. Slightly.
At a few points during the day, when I could muster some humor, I joked to husband, "All I need is a Bloody Mary and a bagel." This no drinking plus no eating lots of things (we are a week into our cleanse) is hard. Really hard.
When our nanny arrived in the evening, we headed out to the movies. Again, we were not eating or drinking so our pre-movie stop was at Starbucks. We both indulged (ha!) in some orange blossom green tea. It didn't taste that amazing, but it was warm and soothing and our conversation was real. We sat there and talked about important things; how this little project of mine will be hard at times, but also really great. There was something new and clear and brilliant about a Saturday night conversation without a bread basket between us, or booze. It was stripped down, pure, basic, real.
The movie was about 9/11. And I was worried about seeing it to be honest because that day affected me and deeply. I was concerned that my not-so-stellar mood would only deteriorate upon watching the film. I was wrong. We didn't love the movie, but we watched it together, hand-in-hand, a bottle of mineral water between us. We cried at a few points in the movie, along with the other New Yorkers stuffed in that little theater. But the tears, for me, were okay. Welcome even.
It feels good to feel.
After the movie, we walked home together. Along the streets we know so well. And we talked, about the movie and about life. What amazed me was how crisp the world was in those moments as we made our way up Columbus, how the traffic lights were extra bright and beautiful, how the laughter of strangers was more melodic, how the winter air was thick with meaning, and possibility.
We stopped to buy a few silly gossip magazines. I do not plan to give up all of my vices this year, and I was craving a dose of shallow. At home, we settled in, read some ridiculous stories about ridiculous people, laughed, snuggled, kissed, and said goodnight.
A rough day turned into an okay night. Better than okay.