Monday, February 6, 2012

Right Smack Dab


The day was drippy, foggy, soggy, brown. There's just not much pretty happening in February, at least not at first glance.

Lately I feel like I'm way down deep in the middle, that steep crack between everything that I've been and all that I might want to be. I crave a slow-down. I want more meaningful time with my family, more date nights on the couch with the guacamole bowl in the middle. I want the grip of obligations to loosen, let me breathe. At the very same time, I'm starving for some action. I'm clamoring for the stretched out days when nine o'clock pm feels like its own kind of beginning.

I want to stay at home and never leave. I want to drive all night just to show up somewhere new. I want to cook a feast from scratch and eat out just because I can. I'm beat-up sweatpants and skinny cords; a stack of novels and reality TV.

I blame the month.

It's not that I dislike February. It's got Valentine's day, after all. But isn't it obvious to you and me and the postman and the bus driver that it's really little more than a bridge? I sweeps us out of December's gift wrap, it rescues us from the clutches of January's solemn vow to do some cardio and stop eating pie before bed. For that, we are thankful. But here we are, and what it feels like is stuck. It fits like a stall. We see Spring up ahead, the collective melting-off of Winter's edge. But we're not quite there.

It's hard, the here. It's no accident that February is the shortest month. We can only take so much Middle.

So what's the solution? How do we grab her by the ears and claim her as our own, as something we can love, something we might even revel in a bit? How do we hunt down her charms and burn them into our hearts?

First thing, we re-frame our expectations. February will never be June or October. She doesn't look so hot in short-shorts and she's fiercely allergic to burning leaves. Let's let her off the hook. She doesn't have to enrapture us like the other months do. She's got her own appeal and she's ready to show off.

Next? We stir together all of her almosts and not quites. We sift in some antsy and crack the shell of lazy. We bake it just long enough to see that we've got here is the best of every dang thing, topped with red sugared hearts.

We can waste away the grayest day and know that tomorrow will be perfect for getting things done and wearing lip-gloss while we do it. We can spend hours with American Idol and a heart-shaped paper punch and not suffer a single lick of guilty.

Can we do it? I'll try if you do. Maybe we'll both notice that the drear takes a wild turn for the romantic, moody haze of a life well-loved.


37 comments:

  1. I adore you. I just do. I love that you're putting it all out there for us... you sweet thing.

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  2. yes, my thoughts exactly! except - my goodness, you have this ~ "She doesn't look so hot in short-shorts and she's fiercely allergic to burning leaves. Let's let her off the hook."
    down-to-a-science! that about wraps it up!
    blessings,
    olivia

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  3. Oh, I've never cared for February myself! I try to like it, but it's the month where I'm just sick and tired of winter and depressed that Spring is still far away. Still...count me as one who will try my best to embrace it right along with you. I want that "moody haze of a life well-loved."

    Rock star stuff here, my friend! The month of love or not, I. Love. You!!

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  4. I love these words... You make February feel fun, vibrant and perfect. In it's own right... it is.

    I'm grateful for here.

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  5. I wish I could "like" other people's comments. Hmmm, if only facebook and blogger could merge. Anyhow, yes, February. Used to feel that way about it too, but then last year I was blessed with my little baby boy on the 12th, and now we're preparing for his 1st birthday party this weekend. Gives me something fun to break up the month!

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  6. girl, i'm already doing this... watched The Voice for two whole hours tonight. ; ) february? bring it on.

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  7. I'll try. :) Lovely simply lovely. The whole entire post in pin worthy. I mean, who knew why Feb. was so seemingly long & short in number.

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  8. Aaaaah. Loving this. :) Hunting down her charms right now. The Love Haze. Bring it.

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  9. You are awesome with words...God Bless

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  10. loved how you put this. every last word. who knew february was so enchanting? truly, i think i'm in love with it now :-)
    also, i so appreciated your words over at amy sullivan's, in her "letters" book. as an adoptive mom------"thank you." your piece in there was beautiful.
    have a blessed day!
    steph

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  11. love this! Thanks for sharing ;)

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  12. You pretty much summed up Exactly how I feel too. Here's to making Feb awesome!

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  13. I just love this post. February has always been a rough one for me and I've never been able to ariticulate why. I think you just did. It's the middle. And I must not like the middle.

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  14. High five to that, sister. :-) Plus, February means I get to see YOU!!!! :-D

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  15. And that for me is exactly why February feels like the longest month of the year, that and the weather induced inversion that settles over the valley covering it in a hazy, soupy, pollution filled fog, that wraps itself around my brain stem and refuses to let go until March comes roaring in. But I'll try not to let her get me down this year.

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  16. Cheers to feelin' the love of February!
    I am not a person that likes to plan all my weekends full of outtings, but February has sort of ended up that way....catchin' up with old friends, seeing my regulars and meeting new ones! Who would have thought that this is what February had in mind for me!
    xxoo
    hpatterson

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  17. February is my son's favorite month because it's just a hop, skip, and a jump from his sister's birthday at the end of Jan. to his at the beginning of March. Cracks me up! I'm with you on the drearies, though, come on winter, get some gusto. Give me a snow day with snow around long enough for the kids to play in for pete's sakes!

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  18. Considering I spent the day on the couch with tissues near by and a terrible pain pounding in my head, I totally feel you on the February drearies.

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  19. Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog. You completely and totally rock. I love what you've said about February, and for me, it's the longest month of the year, hands down. Except that it has my favorite holiday of all in it. I know Christmas is supposed to be my favorite holiday, but it isn't.

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  20. you nailed it...february is totally a bridge!!!

    love that I'm not the only one in total turmoil at times ...stay at home...go out to dinner....read a book....watch brainless tv....

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  21. yep...gotta crack the shell on lazy....that is EXACTLY how I feel at this time of year.....how did you know?

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  22. love it! embrace the lazy/homebody days this month brings on, and at the very end of it is Jack's birthday so that's always nice to look forward to :)

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  23. YES! Pie before bed (again)...if there's any left over from breakfast. Otherwise the guacamole is an option. Your writing is all so yummy.

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  24. Sign. I feel the same way about February. I love your writing . . . it's pretty :-)

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  25. Your blog is one of the few I take the time to comment on because the writing is so great. You have a way...as they say.
    Have you ever written a book? You should!

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  26. I am not sure if I have even commented on your blog but I have been reading it daily for quite some time and I just couldn't not comment. Your writing is incredible! You can put into words the thoughts we all have and thoughts that we never knew we had in such a way that it makes me go...."yes, that is exactly how I feel but couldn't find the words to express it". I have a-ha moments all the time reading your blog. Your writing, your blog and you...what a gift to us all. Thanks for being so real and awesome. ~Jena

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  27. loved, loved, LOVED reading this totally real "that's just the way I feel" post. your writing make me smile, somewhere deep in my soul :) love ya!

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  28. "the drearer takes a wild turn..." -- yes! Let's hope.

    I'm there, too--in the Middle--and it's achingly painful, and I feel more than a little bit crazy with all my wishy-washy self. Right there with ya.

    I just love how you defined February. Your thinking makes me smile, girlfriend. ;)

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  29. Really nice post. You describe this "in between" time so very well. I believe the word "ambivalence" captures it perfectly. Pulled in both directions simultaneously. I have been loving, LOVING your blog. It's a treat I look forward to each day : )

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  30. Awesome!

    Wild February...I'm going to enbrace this...
    Well, I'll try! ;)

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  31. Take care Shannon, I hope your Valentine's Day makes February worth it.

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  32. You nailed it! This is so my February.

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  33. Febraury is so different for me, since I live in a warmer climate. Our last frost date is the 15th, and it looks like we are long past getting a frost. In mid-February, I set out tomato plants in the garden.

    Today the children played outside barefoot and ate homemade chocolate pudding popsicles.

    February is the time before the hot. Spring is short here--very short. Most of the year is summer. Spring is 3-4 weeks, it seems, before everyone is boiling hot.

    It is starting to be beautiful here, and today I turned off the heat, because I know it won't need to run again until late November/early December.

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  34. Reading your post made me realize we filled February with some celebrations: a toddler birthday and our 18 year marriage anniversary. Not really planned out but I see how that helps me get through the month!

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  35. Dang!

    You have a much better way of summarizing the despair (for me) of February than I do. It's why my hubby and I leave for vacation...it's a brutal month in Minnesota in general..a lot of nothingness. We found that when we waited until March for vacations, we both felt desperate and weird by the time we left "It's almost TOO late by that point! The life had left me." -actual words I have uttered.

    I've tried many things. What has worked: Our mini rehab in our kitchen that we're finishing up (started pre-hubby's surgery last fall), some American Idol viewing, Lifetime Movie Network, reading and saying "Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!" A LOT.

    It doesn't have to make sense.

    Are you watching Celebrity Apprentice?

    xxoo~

    TT

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