Wednesday, March 13, 2019

And time won't give me time, won't give me time (time, time, time)

It may come as no surprise that I take the time change extremely personally.

(And I bet you knew this post was going to be about the damn time change.)

I do. I take it personally, in the same way I take cold weather personally. It's been visited upon me and it is terrible.

Normally I stagger around all week asking, “REALtime or NEWtime?” Until Nick has enough and bellows, “IT’S ALL REALTIME!!!”

But this year before I could even really get going, my daughter took up the helm on this one.

And now I am in the position of having to explain that newtime is actually just the time, and we have to accept it.

When really I'm sitting there trying to do math in my head and thinking about the unfairness of jerking us back and forth with the clocks twice a year.

We are all exhausted and crabby and discombobulated. At 3:00 pm I'm drinking coffee and fretting that it will mess up my sleep but I'm so tired I can barely function.

It's only an hour, but it's a terrible hour. It feels like I lose an hour every single morning this week.

The other night, almost too tired to function, my daughter sobbed, "WHY? Why does it have to say 7:58 and be bedtime when really it's 6:58? It's not fair!!!"

And I nodded sympathetically, although secretly dying for her to fall asleep so that I could do the same.

I said, "I know. I hate it and it''s really frustrating, but we don't get to choose. It's all because of THE  GOVERNMENT."

I figure fomenting some healthy distrust can't start too early.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Happy birthday, Nick

Dear Nick,

Last year, at the age of 50, you took up rowing.

I don't have a photo of you rowing. But I do have this cute video of you showing our son how to use a diving bell.

You'd rowed for a year in England, when you were 30. I think for you that year was magical, and you look back on it the same way I look back on high school. Your memories are steeped in warm sunshine, laughter, glasses of beer raised in cheers, and pixie dust.

(OK, maybe just mine. But this is how I picture yours.)

I'm an introvert, and a solo worker-outer. It's by far my preference. But you grew up playing sports on competitive teams. You love the camaraderie, the competition, and being relied on as part of a team.

Unless you're a professional athlete, this is hard to find once you leave school.

And then a friend suggested you join this boat club.

It was perfect for you. You love rowing. You love water.

In fact, you're one of these people who gravitates to water. You can't bear to be near it and not get in it.

It's not something I feel myself, but I've had a number of close friends who are the same. If there is water, they need to touch it.

I told our kids you can't stand to be near it and not get in it, and Jordan, who has been reading the Percy Jackson books, nodded approvingly.

He said, "Like a true son of Poseidon."

Our kids love the water the way you do.

Recently, on vacation, India and I came home and you and Jordan were in the pool with a big cooking pot. You were doing "diving bell experiments"--to Jordan's utter delight.

You're a fun, terrific dad. And I love that you do things like this, things that would never occur to me.

So for the past year, you've been hauling yourself to a boat house, no matter the weather, even when it's pitch dark, even when it's 23 degrees, for a year.

Your hands are constantly calloused, cracked, and bleeding. I just learned the other day that you don't wear shoes in the boat--you put your stockinged feet into shoes attached to the boat. In 23 degree weather!

I...couldn't even really think about that.

And with all this, you're the fittest I've ever seen you. You're lighter, kinder, and happier.

I think when people think of adding years, they think of weakening, of decline. The word "aging' doesn't automatically conjure up images of growth, of taking on new challenges.

And yet, this has been a year of huge growth for you. I've seen you get stronger, faster, and learn to think in different ways.

I'm so proud of you.

Plus, the kids and I think you look adorable in your rowing leotards.

Happiest of happy birthdays.


Friday, March 08, 2019

Perimenopause and the jaunty bra-scarf

Can we just talk about perimenopause for a minute?

Because I don't feel like enough people are talking about it. My ducking auto-correct doesn't even know what it is.

The other night I told Nick that I bet a lot of couples get divorced while a woman is in perimenopause.

And Nick said, "I bet you're right."

To which I responded, through clenched teeth, "But if they just stuck it out for a decade, it would surely get better."

He hastily agreed.

Anyway, one of the things that happens to me now is that when I get hot, I get unbearably hot. Not in the summer, when I'm scantily clad and just hot because heat.

I am cold most of the time, and would always rather be hot than cold.

But now this weird thing happens when I'm working out, or when it's cold and my body heats up.I get to a heat point and I cannot bear it.

Like, when I'm bundled in 54 layers because oh my hell this winter. And I walk really fast (really fast). In fact, sometimes I start out my walking commute by running because I hate being cold so much.

But at a certain point in my walk, my body heats up. Sometimes this is fine. And sometimes suddenly it is eleventy billion degrees inside my jacket.

Oh, and I am a sheep, because I own the Amazon jacket that apparently all moms everywhere now own. And I love it.

It is warm and has six pockets and a giant hood that blocks the wind. I have no peripheral vision and I've been told that I look like a South Park character. I don't care.

If you know me, you know I will do anything to avoid the cold.

But when I hit some particular internal temperature, I'm all, I MUST REMOVE ALL MY CLOTHES AND PLUNGE INTO ICE WATER OR I AM GOING TO DIE.

(I don't know what this temperature is, but I'm considering carrying a thermometer to pop into my armpit the next time this happens.)

Anyway, this happened to me on the way to work the other day. Partway to work I took off my scarf. Then my hat (which I wear under my hood). Then my jacket.

I was wearing a thick wool turtleneck sweater. Underneath that was a stretchy undershirt. It's flesh colored and kind of like a very thin sports bra that's a whole tank top. It's great for warmth and blocking the wind.

So I'd removed as much as I could before I got to the office. I have a high shame limit, but even so, I wasn't going to mince down K Street in a flesh-colored bra-tank.

Still, it wasn't enough.

I got to my office, and because I didn't have a moment to waste before I tragically perished of overheatedness, I mostly closed my door, because you can't really hide behind the door entirely because there's a full-length window next to it.

I pulled my arms into my turtleneck sleeves, and then took each of them out of the undershirt. I figured this was the fastest and most discreet way.

I also pulled my sweater up as much as I dared and fanned myself.

Then I scooted the tank up my body and pulled it out through the turtleneck hole.

What I hadn't counted on was this very tiny, delicate lucky necklace that my friend Jane gave me. It's a wee gold wishbone on a thin chain that's just barely larger than my neck.

Basically, I managed to pull the tank straight through the necklace just enough to get it stuck halfway.

I put my arms back through the sweater armholes and pulled, gently. It wouldn't go up. And it wouldn't go down.

And I panicked. I was so hot I couldn't think rationally. I had a fight or flight reaction, but wasn't sure where to go.

I had a large flesh-colored protrusion perched on the top of the neck of my turtleneck, right next to my ear.

I fumbled for the clasp. I kept not quite getting it. I didn't want to break my new necklace. I didn't want to have to cut my sweater off.

Like I said, I wasn't thinking clearly.

Just as I was like, oh, god, I'm going to have to stroll casually through the office with this obviously-an-undergarment protrusion sticking out near the side of my head, I finally managed it. The clasp opened.

Sweating profusely, I crammed my tank top into my backpack and headed to the kitchen for a glass of water.

I think maybe I need more wicking?