Sometimes when the doctors say: No Exercise, what they mean is: No Exercise Unless the weather gets above 50 degrees in Upstate New York on the first day of January after the snowiest December on record, AND you are attempting to engage in earnest with the fact that you have 50 (OMG!) pounds you would really, really like to lose, AND your toddler has a touch (just a touch) (or perhaps a chronic case) (and you might be catching just a touch of it yourself) (or a chronic case) of cabin fever, AND your neighborhood has an undeniable chronic case of hilliness with no flat places to walk whatsoever, AND there is a reservoir within walking distance of your abode and when you hike the steep, still-snowy stairs with your boy to the top the water is so blue it's indigo in some places and turquoise in others, AND you got 12 hours of cumulative sleep last night (not uninterrupted, no, of course not, but still, 12 hours!). But if all those exemptions apply, then by all means exercise.
At least, I'm pretty sure they mean exactly that.
I'm seldom moved to blog just to record the chronological details of my day, although it was exactly that impetus that inspired my first blog entry (which actually became my second) just over a year ago. And here I am again on a Saturday, the first day of the year which seems like it must be a good omen of some sort, and a similar sort of day (walking the neighborhood with my husband and kiddos) inspiring me to chronicle the details for posterity.
I slept til 11. I think that bears saying twice. I slept til 11.
And though it was New Year's Eve, I went to sleep at around 11 last night, too. Life is good, when such a thing happens.
We had company in the late morning (my sister and brother-in-law have been here since Thursday, and an aunt and uncle were in town and stopped by for an hour to meet the baby), and when the house cleared out ate a late breakfast of leftover quiche (we had an appetizer tray for dinner last night, with pale ales, a bottle of wine that never got opened, a fire in the fireplace, two Netflix discs of Modern Family, and more than one of us falling asleep in the living room before midnight. We still know how to rock it out, hardcore, as you can see.), took an afternoon neighborhood walk in the lovely warmth of the melting snow, then a slow, meandering city drive, and are beginning a quiet evening at home.
We maneuvered steep hills wearing ourselves and the toddler out, and I can't wait to move my body again. I never want to exercise so desperately as at the end of pregnancy and immediately post-partum. My body aches to be fast and fluid, in my command. I want to run.
Most of the time, let me assure you, I do not want to run.
And I really oughtn't to take up running before my six week post-partum check-up. I do hope that in a month from now I still want so desperately to run.
After our walk we came back for a quick lunch and then went out for a family drive, taking the easy route to putting the toddler down for a nap. We drove through downtown looking at lights, the giant tree they display every year next to ice skaters circling the rink, brick buildings hovering over our heads, humanity out in the streets en masse enjoying the unseasonable warmth of the day. Both kids slept peacefully while we wandered the city streets in my husband's car, staring out our windows in quiet contentment, weaving up and down side streets, through neighborhoods neglected backed up against those well loved, buildings swelling with light, heat and heartbeats interspersed with plywood windows and old graffiti fighting for territory. This city is my home, and the truth is, it's a version of the city I called home as a child, but with more hope. I breathed that hope in, quiet as a prayer while my children slept, breathing warm sighs into our car moving with stealth down streets of luck and ruin.
We came home to the place we make our own in this city we've chosen almost at random after a decade of flitting about. We settled in with my cup of tea and my husband's bottle of beer leftover from last night's bounty, still mostly untouched. The kids continue to sleep quietly, although the baby is starting to stir. I have time to write, and then edit one-handed with her tucked in the nook of my arm. My husband is on the couch, relaxing with the laptop his dad surprised him with for Christmas, the best gift he received by far this year.
I am greedy for the details of this day because I want every day to be as simple and exquisite as that day that finally drove me to begin blogging after almost a year of procrastination, so I would remember, have record, of the moments when the ordinary became extraordinary. I am greedy for more days as easy and magical as this first day of this new year, the second time I've been moved to jot down the details in remembrance of an ordinary day just splitting at the seams with simple happiness.
I think it was Anne Lamott who said that all prayers boil down to Please and Thank You.
Today is Thank You.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, and a deep inhale, and a hold, like you don't even want to exhale. You just want to pause here, for a little bit longer.