Today is a day to finish the year strong.
Today is a day to exhale. Seek release, give relief, rest.
Today is a day of beginnings and endings.
Today is a day to have fun.
Today is day to seek warmth and spread joy.
Visit babies, surprise neighbors, put off setting up Christmas tree because it’s not due yet.
Twenty one years ago I spent the evening and the night staring into my newborn daughter’s eyes. She wasn’t tired, so I wasn’t tired either and we stayed up hour after hour the entire night just the two of us in a cold hospital room lit only by the blue light that comes from putting the hospital tv on the tv listings channel.
Although she was due on 12/20, she arrived 12/17, skidding into the world right before my birthday.
The universe’s timing is perfect and all but seriously she took over my birthday cake game like the USSR took over Eastern Europe during the Cold War.
For decades it seemed silly to order a cake for myself when there was always cake left over from her birthday.
No big deal.
I resigned with the veil of saint motherhood to a life of stale cake mixed with ice cream, a treat any day, but never what I wanted since the only cake I ever want/wanted/will ever want for my birthday is carrot cake.
Over the past few years it has become a tradition for Zack to pick out something funny to surprise Zoe with on her cake. Last night Zack tried to make something she’d like but Publix rejected “Happy Birthday Now You Can Buy Us Alcohol” and I had to improv.
After creating her vanilla/lemon cake I ordered her a posh charcuterie board and almost completed my order but then a voice inside me said “order yourself a carrot cake.”
It’s the same voice that sings along loudly to Ariana Grande’s “Seven Rings” - I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it.
It’s the voice inside me that begged to try the “Reacting to the Past” historical role playing games which have lead to the most fun and also highest success rates I’ve ever had in the classroom.
So I listened.
I ordered myself a carrot cake with hummingbird filling and cream cheese icing and my name written across the top.
I only want a piece, I don’t even know who else will share it with me, but having it in my fridge makes me the richest woman in the world (after Ariana Grande)
No one knows what the future holds, but I am damn sure mine will not include stale cake flavored with the hope someone else will bring me what I want despite the fact I can just get for myself.
Today is a day to put things together.
Today is a day for pleasure.
Today we celebrate relief.
Exhale effortlessly, sleep deeply, practice perpetual pacification.
Today is a day of big meetings about tying up loose ends and making path forward.
Take care big and small details, find balance, embrace freedom.
Today is a day of freedom; freedom from some things and freedom to do other things.
Today is a day to celebrate ending of beginnings.
Bring treats, shine warmth, laugh and let go.
I have three days of work left, if talking about the Cold War and playing “Reacting to the Past” games counts as work.
Time to reflect on what worked (playing games in class!) and what didn’t (allowing students to earn points so quickly that some of my strongest students finished the class weeks before Halloween).