An hour or so ago, I was sitting on the couch. I was sick of sitting on the couch, sick of being in my own skin. I knew what I had to do: I had to take a damn walk.
I haven't taken a walk in forever. I've let the cold scare me away from walks. I know those of you who live in places where you have nice weather all the time feel like you've discovered The Secret, but I promise I'm not whistling through graveyards when I say that feels like some next level Sartrean hell to me. Cold, real cold, hot, real hot, rain, snow, dry, wind... all of these are friends of mine that I enjoy until they linger (I'm looking at you, winter). The only weather I am not friends with is the tornado. The tornado is too scary. Tornadoes are scary, crazy bitches. They can stay the hell away.
The cold is not an excuse for me to avoid taking a walk.
So I took a walk.
I do not have the ennui.
Laney is hitting very real milestones that make it crystal clear that this time is coming to an end. Her little girl time is coming so swiftly to an end. I admit that I am a person who feels hard the passing of time (you guys know that - I have whined about this very thing in this very space many times before). But as I set one foot in front of the other and kept walking in the cold, it occurred to me that ever since I walked out of the orphanage with Laney in my arms, being her mother has been the Main Thing I Am. Soon soon soon she'll be out of my house, on her own and while I'll always be her mother, I'm going to have to find another Main Thing to Be.
Probably won't be rockstar. That's OK, though. That seems like an exhausting life.
But what will I be? Who will I be when my main job is not being Laney's mother?
I love change. I hate change.
CONTENT NOTE or FAIR WARNING: FOLLOWING IS A HACKNEYED METAPHOR BUT HAND TO GOD IT REALLY HAPPENED THIS WAY.
I was staring at my feet, navigating puddles, crying a little, when a flash of color appeared in the corner of my eye and I saw a woman in a red coat taking a picture.
I told myself: calm down, calm down. You must take it more lightly, you obsessive weirdo. You are not mainly Laney's mother. You are mainly You.
I told myself: keep your eyes open, keep looking for things that are beautiful, enjoy moments, stop talking yourself out of taking walks.
I didn't so much solve the problem as decide it wasn't really a problem. I still feel kind of sad, but that's OK. I feel better. It was awfully pretty out there.
(That last one is a good picture, right?)