feelin’ groovy

Slow down, you move too fast. You've got to make the morning last…

Lately, I've been focusing on trying to capture the essence of that song. Weekdays, it seems to be easy since I rise before the birds. My yoga mat spread across the living room floor, I welcome each day with stretches, a few dozen crunches, push-ups and meditation.

Then I hope Virginia wakes in a good mood because we're in the throes of the terrible two's, which as I learned with Isabella really kicks in as they near three years old.

The weekends are a whole other story. Those 48 hours are like a never-ending search for the holy grail, trying to carve out peaceful quality time as a family. Most weekends it feels as though we miss the mark on the peaceful part, as we diffuse tantrums, finish up homework and watch the clock move at warp speed, gobbling up the last minutes of daylight.

Turning back the time last week helped some. Approaching the weekend with a different strategy does too.

This Saturday I shrugged off the laundry hamper, erupting dirty clothes all over the bathroom floor. Speaking of floors—those would have to wait too. It would be at least one more day before they meet their fate with a mop and bucket of water.

Today we seized the moment, and went into Astoria for breakfast. Nothing fancy, just a diner under the el. The kids watched low-flying airplanes, make their descent into La Guardia as we drove down the BQE en route to a quick meal, fingers crossed that the youngest member in the car would not force an emergency evacuation.

And then we made our way to Socrates Sculpture Park. The Mr. and I have been going there for almost 16 years—as long as we know each other.  How lovely are these "snow angels" embedded in the ground? 

Socrates07

As we stared across the river, glancing at the city, the Mr. pointed out that we were also looking at Roosevelt Island. Can you believe I'd never been there? Honestly, it's probably the last place anyone who grew up in Brooklyn would've thought to visit.

So we loaded into the car, and in less than five minutes we were there. He couldn't believe it was my first visit. I've added riding the tram roundtrip to my bucket list. I mean. It's amazing how many things I will probably never see and do in my own city before I die, simply because of its sheer size and volume of activities.

RooseveltIslandTram03

All this brought me back to a few nights ago. The Mr. showed me a cool project called The Wilderness Downtown. I promise it's worth downloading Google Chrome to properly view it. At one point a message pops up on the screen, asking you to write a postcard to your younger self.

I stared blankly at the screen. There's so much I could share but changing just one nanosecond might mean I wasn't standing there next to the Mr. Suddenly the tantrums seemed worth it, and there was an odd meaning to all the struggles that came before.

So I left the screen blank.

I went back to The Wilderness Downtown today. I stared at the screen again at that same moment. And then it happened. I realized what I would tell myself if I could go back in time.

I typed the words 'it gets better".

And then tears streamed down my face.

And I was happy, because today proved that it really does. Tomorrow can only hold more promise of the same.


6 Comments

  • Barbara | VinoLuciStyle

    Jennie,
    I love reading your words that acknowledge how much good is in your life; your daughters, a loving husband and friends near and wide who openly adore you. Even more I love how you are finding ways to let those experiences of TODAY define your life’s journey and not let yourself forever be stuck in the pain of the past.
    I don’t share my story as openly as you do but you seem to have the words for both of us…those would have been perfect words to have heard as a girl.

  • Denise @ Creative Kitchen

    You are a talented & gifted writer! Your writing struck a chord within me. I can also relate to the fact that weekends are such a fine balancing act: family time, me time, couple time, household chore time, etc. It can be hard to get the right mix. Sometimes we hit a home run, and sometimes we strike out!
    There are times where spontaniety strikes & we really have a great time. My girls are older though and it’s hard now that they have such opinions on where we should go & what we should be doing. 🙂
    Denise @ Creative Kitchen

  • Amelia

    Lovely post. I have been trying to live in the moment as well. It is harder to do then you think. Worries and thoughts crowd in listing all the things you could be doing. My goal is to finish one action or project at a time. Multitasking just means that I have 8 projects half completed and my house a wreck so I am simplifying. Finish one project before I move on to another, clean one room before I sit down with my pup each night. Slowly getting my life back in order.

  • Jennie

    Barbara—I know how deep our connection goes, and knowing I have someone like you cheering me on definitely helps.
    Denise—I’m waiting for the day to come when the girls roll their eyes at our choice of activity.
    Amelia—You are so right about focusing instead of multitasking. I’ve realized that holds true for me too lately. I’d rather see a few things through, than have the whole juggle come crashing down.

  • Elissapr

    What a beautiful post! As someone who just turned 50 – your words ring so true for me. And I can tell you with confidence, that this second chapter of my life will be even more fulfilling that the first – now that I’m older and wiser, of course…

  • Lydia Romanin

    I came across your site via Chef John’s Foodwishes blog. I LOVE your writing style. It is different than other cooking sites, in that it is also deep and thought-provoking. Thank you for being vunerable to us. I will continue to come back to your site. 🙂
    JP’s note: Lydia, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave such a sweet message. I look forward to “seeing” you around this neck of the virtual woods.—Jennie