I'll tell you a secret - I keep a bag of tupperware that I'm sure will come to life hidden under my sink. I work up my courage and wash it about every three weeks, which is useless, because this final jump into the terror of moldy tupperware usually coincides with rotating in a new bag of similarly terrifying tupperware. These bags of mason jars and pyrex containers come from my car, which would give the most terrifying bachelor pad you've ever seen a run for its money. No, I am not resolving to actually clean the tupperware as soon as I bring it in - what else would keep my bravery sharp, if not the excursion, once or twice a month, into the land of mold monsters?
In case you think I get everything done - I don't. We don't. Not a single one of us is perfect - but that doesn't mean there needs to be much disappointment. not when it comes to small things - like the constancy of dirty tupperware. My own little secret to living joyfully is believing, with all my heart, the beautiful stories that I tell myself. I day dream with the fervor of my nine-year-old self and thank you, I will not stop believing in fairies. What other reason is there for joy besides the stories we tell ourselves in secret that explain love and hardship in a language only we ourselves are privy to? I am hooked on my own stories. I have spun my life into a wonderful tapestry of joy, mystery, and whimsical reasons that explain why I need to do the things that need to get done (and get me to do them). I believe in my stories, and act accordingly because I want to know where my stories lead. I want to know what fruit grows over the paths. I want to know where my stories spin in circles and meet someone else's story and make love and find new paths and new dreams.
A story you don't know the end to is that of my lettuce. It's frozen dead, I'm afraid. Faced with the choice of enduring the draft from the window or killing the seeds, I chose murder. I pulled the curtain closed over the window box each night for the past two weeks, forcing the damp and cold soil to suffer the draft for me. I knew what I was doing; I cannot plead innocence. I'll have to give something else a chance at life when I get to it.
While I'm confessing, I'll admit that the mice have been dancing on the floor of the shed and on its dark and dusty work table every night since the cold set in. The cat and I sit and listen when there's nothing good on the radio and the dishes are done and there's time to just sit. She stares hard and tries to find the magic brick that will slide open the door to the wonderland of food and toys behind the living room wall. I just sit and listen. In the little scratching noises and peeping I am deeply and truly grateful that the mice are not in my kitchen. For this I thank the cat. She and I are allies. I feed her, keep her house warm, and sit on the low bench writing at the coffee table while she keeps the mice in the shed and lays outstretched on the cushion of the chair by the stove - the chair with arm rests perfectly designed for sipping tea warming on the stove and which uses the low bench I'm sitting on as a footstool. The cat, I'm sure, does not appreciate any of this. She lays on the cushion, superior, knowing that without her my bread would be moldy and my store of winter squash devoured long before March came with her warm breezes. I let her keep the chair.
To continue this line of confessions, I frequently push a pile of clothing into the closet when guests are visiting.
I did not get to the borscht, dinner will be late tomorrow, and I'm snacking on chips and sour cream (the perfect combination of beloved childhood flavors. Almost beats Nutella and SCM (sweetened condensed milk, of course!) Did I mention that I keep Google open when I'm updating this blog to spell check every third word?
You see, I'm not making resolutions this year because none of these confessions give me much more than a slight twang of "I wish my parents didn't know." Truth is, I'm happy and doing well. I live within my means (mostly) and my default expression is a smile. Let's be honest, the perfect ideal of the clean house - that one in magazines and our mothers' dreams for our futures - is one that includes hired help. And since you and I (who work for a living and pray in secret) don't have hired help, what is the point of even bothering to attempt to wash the floors more than once every other month? Especially when the floors are old and hopeless anyway and tomorrow's chore of carrying wood will fill the floor with its mud and grit and make the wood look old and worked again?
In conclusion, please accept this excuse for not making any resolutions:
I like sour cream too much to go on a diet
I exercise by dragging 50 pounds of wood a week, and
I do not have hired help and am under no delusions of perfection in the home.
Therefore, if I must resolve to do anything at all in this new year, I resolve only to day dream more, read more children's books, go sledding, learn more of the secrets of joy and love, and fortify my belief in fairies. The rest, as they say, will follow.