One Day I Will Rule the World

World Domination, Babies and Middle Eastern Dance

January 27, 2010

One Day.

So I managed to have a pretty good birthday. Two people made me tear up because they surprised me with such thoughtful gestures.

The night before my birthday, Ian was doing last minute laundry. And he put a load on right before we went to bed, saying he’d have to set his alarm for the middle of the night so he could get up and move it along so it would be dry for when I got up. He does this frequently, I told him he didn’t need to and I could find something to wear, but he figured he needed clothes in there for the kids in the morning too. I didn’t think anything further of it.

He got up around 4:00 and as he was on his way back to bed, Hannah woke up crying. So I got up with her, gave her a cuddle and a glass of water and settled her back in around 4:30. But then I never managed to get back to sleep before my alarm went off. So, prickly-eyed, I got up and stumbled my way through my morning ritual. Came downstairs and took my pills and started making lunches without turning more lights on than I had to. So when I turned around to face the dining room, I was very confused that a) the table was clean and b) there was a shadowy figure of a plant on it, which I clearly didn’t remember from the night before. I turned on the light and Ian had left me a pretty wooden tray with a hyacinth on it and a scattering of cherry-cordial-kisses. And I was like, “oh wow. I better run upstairs to kiss him goodbye and say thank you” because I only come back to the bedroom for kisses goodbye about half the time, because it seems cruel to wake him before 6:30 unnecessarily. So by the time I was halfway up the stairs I was sniffling with emotion because the whole thing was such a surprise. Seriously. I don’t even know when he made it to the store. I’ve been at work too much for him to get out to do anything, he’s always stuck at home with the kids. I suppose he might have taken them with him to shop for me. That’s a whole new level of virtue, right there.

Other than that it was a quiet, ordinary day. Except that my phone would buzz every so often to let me know that someone had left me another FaceBook birthday wish (Thanks FB  birthday wishers! I know there are a couple of you who read this. And I meant to come around to everyone’s wall and say thanks, but I was so exhausted at the end of the day from having got up at 4, that it didn’t happen.)

And the other thing that made me sniffly was my little cousin’s birthday present, which was this post.

For the record, I was vegetarian for longer than a month, thanks. She also should have mentioned that I taught her how to fake-burp. Good life skill. Also probably why she went into acting. (You’re welcome.)

But a little more seriously, do you know how hard it is to grow up in such a creative family. And especially when you’re a repressed, left-brain-dominant person who always thinks there just has to be a “right” way to do everything. Like, it’s not that I’m not creative. It’s just that I’ve always held my creativity firmly in check with perfectionism and a refusal to take risks. Also, I spent my early years getting married and having babies and then struggling to support those babies. So I didn’t do much about a creative lifestyle.

Now that I have the time (hahaha. I mean, okay well, some time) and space to be a little more creative with my life, I feel like I’m so behind my whole family. Everything I do, I feel like I’m clearly just mimicking, lagging behind the talented people in my family who have been in touch with their creative selves from way back. “Oh, my mother would have chosen those colours.” “I’m going to sew a sundress, like Meredith would do, only probably not as good.” “I’m going to settle into my house and decorate it, only with less warmth and creativity than Judith would because I don’t have the time for creativity, and with less elegance than Alison would because I don’t have the confidence to take my own decorating direction.” And don’t even get me started on writing. No matter what I’m trying to do with my life, I feel lost in the shadows of my talented family, who have seemed to be in touch with their creativity for so long. When one of them says they look up to me, I’m left marveling, a little.

Yeah, okay, whoops. Choked up now.

Anyhow, that’s all. My birthday had just little things. A hyacinth, cherry cupcakes, a home-cooked supper, an early bedtime. But also, warmth and emotion and the chance to reflect on how ridiculously my family makes me feel loved and how I love my family ridiculously much, even if they are always showing me up. GAHD.

2 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. haha well
    a) I’m not good at sewing. at all. I just make stuff up and then it falls apart or it doesn’t.
    b) your mum has superior colour-choosing skills, she’s magical like that
    c) this is just silly. I do not feel like I should even have to remind you of all the wonderful things you make and create but I will mention how I cannot bring myself to crochet because yours was so much better. Also, belly-dance costumes, anyone???
    anyway, I’m glad you liked your gift, happy birthday!!

  2. Alison

     /  2010-01-28

    I’m TOTALLY seconding point c above. You are way more in touch with your creativity than I am (I can’t speak for anyone else). I think I saw my creativity out of the corner of my eye a while back, wait, no, it was obviously something else.

    Possibly, you are more in touch with your creativity than you even realize.

    You know, one thought that calms me down about this sometimes is thinking about how my brain can generate more creative projects in a short space of time than I could ever possibly execute. I honestly think this is one of our problems: our brains run so fast that there is no way we can keep up, so we always feel behind. Oh, and second, I think about Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks. They are crammed full of creative stuff he never got around to doing.

    And tell Ian he made me tear up too.

    Love you ridiculously much.


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