I’ve written more Words with Friends than any other kind this week.
It’s the perfect thing to do during the commercials, while waiting for my Hallmark Channel Christmas chick flick to come back on, but it’s not getting me any closer to completing all of my last minute shopping or the 2016 Goal Crushing I gave up on, in November.
Instead, I focus on the holiday, the fun and the giving.
I’m combining all of those things and making homemade vanilla and yesterday, when I woke with a cold so bad I could barely talk, I pulled out three huge bottles of Deep Eddy vodka and began brewing my batches. I was lured to Deep Eddy because my vodka loving friends said it was good stuff and I fancied the label and the retro girl forever embossed on glass and a diving board.
Diving boards always reminds me of fear crushing.
Especially the high ones.
As I carefully split each vanilla bean open and dropped them into their beautiful amber jars with black shiny lids, I thought about Christmas and giving, list making and choice making.
I remembered how easy it was when I was young to come up with a Christmas list of all the things I wanted. As an adult, that’s harder, but I think it’s easier to jump start the process and the New Year by reminding ourselves of the things we know we don’t want.
There are so many things I want to do and on some days, nothing is at the top of the list. Even with Ruth Soukup’s perfect planner, I struggle with naming what I want. And maybe it’s not because I’m unmotivated, maybe it’s because I’m finding out how weird and strange it is to be in this place of contentment.
Where walking the dogs and finding the hugest acorn I’ve ever seen brings me joy for days. People will look at you strangely by the way if your weekly highlight reel starts with finding a giant nut.
But yet, it’s the exhilaration of the high dive that keeps me pumped.
The what if’s and the why not’s.
The excitement that comes with doing something you want to do, but are scared to do.
I know at the end of the year, I want to take back that no fear feeling my grand daughter displayed at our new favorite, Kinderpark.
She climbed the metal bars, walked across the platform and then, I don’t know what she was thinking, I guess because we usually help her glide down the pole, she determined and independently, reached over, swung her legs around the pole and then half slid, half fell, the rest of the way down.
Sure she busted her lip open and got blood all over everywhere.
Sure I was going to be in grandparent trouble.
But I told her we’ve all done it. “Grammy’s slid super fast. Natalie’s slid super fast and Mommy’s slid super fast.” She felt like she was in the club. Not that kind of club. I kept the conversation to firemen and stories of the north pole, because she’s four and sometimes my filter works.
It’s surviving the sting of a belly flop that causes us to climb the ladder and propels us to give it a go, one more time, knowing we can do better the next.
Just like my vanilla, it takes time to get that deep, rich flavor. Spill some, slurp some, but lick every drop.