Wine with a neighbor

I thought this week would never come–but here it is; the end of the semester. And much to my dismay, another year is about to come to a close and I am no where near meeting my goal of writing…daily.

I am constantly out of time. Lately, when I get a moment of silence I’ve caught myself reflecting on how over time I’ve watched my personality (in the MBTI sense) morph. Old me documented everything in a planner, my own custom calendar document and an Outlook calendar. New me– just sticks to Outlook.

Old me would memorize appointments for the following day prior to logging off at the end of the night.

Old me planned and prepped meals.

The list goes on– you get it.

I have become SO MUCH MORE chill. And I’m not sure why? Is is that I am a one woman office now? Or, that I am a new Mom who has learned that she can’t get caught up on the little things–you simply won’t survive. Or perhaps it’s that I’m no longer in constant pain.

Things are different. I’m not complaining, but I’m wondering “why?”

Last night I was on my way home from the gym and grocery getting. My neighbor invited to me come have a glass of wine while he decorated for Christmas. Despite feeling like I was completely out of time, I made a point to take the time to visit while he placed family heirlooms on his perfectly trimmed live tree. We sipped wine and filled each other in on life, while beautiful orbs of light danced across the tops of what I call his “dueling pianos”. I sat Indian style atop an ottoman, sipping my wine, as he told me the significance of the day’s date and week. The date was an anniversary of sorts.

In a bit of a wine mood– I rattled off some of my upcoming projects involving my college’s Lutheran identity and explained a bit of my own ideas regarding the afterlife that involve Jung’s theory of synchronicity. My neighbor remarked that he wasn’t familiar, but knew what I meant when I defined what makes a moment synchronicit. We both sat, with what seemed to be a mutual understanding that we haven’t had one of those moments in a while.

Then out of nowhere my neighbor says, something about numbers and that his most significant numbers are 8-22. I grinned and blurted out, with one hand waving a glass of wine and the other over my heart “THAT’S MY BIRTHDAY!” And if anyone knows me, I take great pride in being a Leo, but also a Leo-Virgo cusper.

The hair on my neck and arms stood up, and I looked at the painted, family portraits displayed on the living rooms walls and felt a mixed sense of superstition and glee.

My neighbor’s tree.

One thing my neighbor and I have in common is a sense of urgency to cling to tradition and preserve things to stay close to the people they represent. For example, my live tree is decorated with my Grandma’s wooden, vintage ornaments. My neighbor’s home is filled with significant treasures, especially those that represent his mother and father.

Sometimes in a world filled with electronic devices, blue light, constant meeting reminders and excel documents a girl needs to sit down with a glass of wine and a good story teller. Last evening surrounded by paintings, pianos, an organ, a beautiful black cat and my endearing neighbor I remembered things that I had long forgotten about due to the selfish ego of work needing to occupy all of my head space.

Why does this oddly feel like I am setting up a scene straight out of Goodnight Moon? #momlife

Like my neighbor’s mother, I had an aunt who was a painter. Her paintings can be found in my home and almost all of my relative’s homes.

My mother was a music teacher, and I grew up playing a baby grand piano.

My beloved cat, that my aunt picked up for me from a shelter while she was battling cancer, was a black cat named Snoop that snuggled me through 15 years of highs and lows.

And here I was surrounded by these things that made me visit a place of deep nostalgia. In the dark appreciation of the person I was once before work consumed about 92% of my identity, I sat starkly wondering if the childhood I knew would be anything like that of my son’s.

I arrived home to a house warmly lit by our Christmas tree. The very tree that this year as a mother to a toddler seemed like more work to put together than joy. But as I withdrew to my upstairs, and took one last look at our tree, I relished that I was still partaking in a rich tradition that took me back to a memory of being a hopeful little girl, drunk on the smells of a fresh-cut pine tree, wondering what this season was all about.


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