Henry and I recently returned home from our winter voyage east. As much I truly enjoyed (and needed) our time with family, I'm quite relieved to be moving into the new year. I'm starting to feel settled into the new routines that the holidays lengthened the transition towards. Things are peaceful lately. Work is quickly steadying after several months of stress and frequent change. Henry seems settled, and is smack dab in the middle of an almost-painfully cute and sweet stage... one of those lovely developmentally stable windows. My time without Henry is also starting to feel more comfortable, less foreign, and even fun as I surprise myself with how much I enjoy myself.
I cook delicious food. I constantly listen to music. I find funny little projects to fill my time-- I've reorganized the living room and painted furniture... my indoor fauna is actually well tended, and my house almost alarmingly clean. I've kept "running running," as Henry would say. I think I'm going to train for another marathon, and I've already scheduled a half for February. I'm starting to have relaxed and even often spontaneous social time. Recently (after sleeping in!) I saw the new Star Wars (midday, on short notice!), took a run followed by a nap, and then had an evening out-- ALL IN ONE DAY. I'm not trying to say that my time was totally devoid of these things before, or that an abundance of self-focused time would even be necessary, but the freedom and stability feels like a relief and a chance to reset.
I'm pretty quickly approaching my 30th birthday. I don't get wrapped up in the sentimentality of many events, but this one feels significant. Things don't exactly look like I imagined and assumed they would. There is a definite sadness to the continued shedding of those layers, but I'm making my peace, finding my stride, and entering a new decade feeling strong and capable. I am happy with the woman I am at 29.999. I purchased a painting as my 30th birthday gift to myself. I came across it on the night I got confirmed in my job-- a moment that felt like a certain conclusion of my twenties. I was surprised by the connection I felt with the image, and it felt like a fitting gesture to myself.
She was painted by a twenty-six-year-old Seattle artist, who seems just undiscovered enough to be remotely affordable, and has turned me into the type that has a naked lady painting in her living room. Hello thirties.