I followed a link last week that I can’t find anymore, but I’m still thinking about. It involved someone (I’m pretty sure a scrapbooker) making a leap year time capsule (which I can find many posts about, just not the one I was intrigued by).
I really like February 29.
It’s just...a strange day. An extra day. There should be something exciting happening, even though usually, not so much. Maybe February 29, 1988 something exciting happened. That was my last winter of gymnastics—I could still do back flips and giants and had just about perfected a double full.
February 29, 1992 I was a newlywed of less than a month. (A lot of change happened in those four years!) I was working at WordPerfect (it was still at thriving company! those were the days!) and almost finished with finishing my Associate’s degree.
1996 I was a stay-at-home mom with Haley getting ready to go back to school in the summer to finish my degree.
2000 I had finished my degree and had Jacob and Nathan along the way. Haley was almost 5, Jake was 2, Nathan was 3 months old. I was still a stay-at-home mom, smack in the middle of some of my most blissful mothering days, with no clue that disaster was going to strike that year (in the form of unemployment; it changed everything for us).
2004 I was doing my student teaching. I was assigned to a school about 30 miles from my house, so it was a lot of driving every day. I was tired and stressed and anxious and sad (still; always) that I had to go back to work instead of staying at home like I wanted to. I was baby hungry (nay; baby starving; baby famished) and frustrated with the world. I was also discovering I was a pretty decent teacher and that I really, really loved it.
2008 found me as a stay-at-home mom again, with Kaleb as my only little. Haley was almost 13, Jake was 10, Nathan 8, Kaleb still just 2. I kept busy by writing classes for Big Picture Scrapbooking. I was trying really, really hard to lose the twenty pounds I’d gained. Kendell hadn’t had any surgeries yet. I didn’t know that those were my very last days as a stay-at-home mom (I started working at the library in May). Those were good days, too.
2012 I was working at the library. That was the year I had a kid in high school, a kid in junior high, a kid in elementary, and a kindergartner (lots of driving to different schools!). Good times, but also hard: we’d lost Kendell’s dad and my dad by then, and I was learning how painful mothering teenagers can be. That winter and spring, Kendell and the boys spent a ton of time at my mother-in-law’s house, helping her clean and get rid of stuff so that she could move closer to us.
Which brings me to 2016.
It’s interesting, thinking about how much changes in four years in the life of a family. As I think about each time period, there are some experiences I am so grateful are past and some I wish I could have back. When you’re right in the middle of your experiences, it’s hard to see how things will turn out, and looking back helps me to realize that life has always had a mix of good things and hard things (even though sometimes it’s felt like only hard). Mostly as I look back what I find is that I am grateful for the people life has given me. I don’t have a fabulous life in the sense of wealth and impressive possessions. But I have a fabulous life because I have so many people to love.
I wish I’d made a time capsule every leap year day since I was an adult. Maybe not in the way of that blog post—with hand written notes and receipts and tags and recipe cards. But just some details, the smaller texture of how my life felt on February 29. I do have some journal entries, but none of them are as specific as I’d like.
I can’t help wondering, today, February 29, 2016, what my life will be like in four more years. What will I miss, what will I be glad has passed?
I hope on February 29, 2020, I will have finally found some success as a writer.
I hope my marriage has grown stronger.
I hope my kids will be doing well, functioning and thriving in the lives they are creating.
I hope I am healthy. I hope I’m still running and hiking.
I hope I still have this blog, I hope I remember to come back and see. These are some of the details of our life right now:
Haley is at college at USU. She’s studying biology with the goal of going to med school. She works in a pharmacy and is planning on a semester abroad in Spain this summer. She colors her hair black, loves black clothes & chunky boots & funky outfits. She’s driving the Prism. We mostly see her on Instagram and Facebook, and we text a bit back and forth. I am proud of her feminist bent and her courage and the way she’s working so hard to be on her own. I hope that she continues and fulfills her goal of becoming an OB/GYN. I hope life brings her good friendships and strong relationships.
(Pic stolen from Instagram!)
Jake is a senior at MVHS. He’s so ready to be done with high school. Not interested in serving a mission at all. He’s got a scholarship lined up at UVU and is taking the pharm tech courses at MATC. The only thing he loves about high school right now is his weight lifting class. He drives his silver Corolla, which he just bought new tires for. He seems to maybe be coming out of his teenage angsty period...he seems a little bit happier and friendlier these days. I’m proud of him for enduring; I know he feels stuck right now, in a life that has boundaries he wants to be free of. I hope the upcoming years are happy ones for him, that he stays his course, that he grows and learns from his mistakes, that he finds real, true friends.
(A rare image of Jacob...he hates having his picture taken, so I have to sneak sometimes; this is at one of Nathan's bball games and, actually...also a rare image of Kendell. Who also hates having his picture taken.)
Nathan is a sophomore at MVHS. He just finished up the basketball season and hasn’t decided yet if he’ll do track. One of his goals is to have a 4.0 throughout high school—6 (out of 16) terms so far, he’s achieved that! He’s trying to heal from his ankle sprain and his unhappy knees. He drives whatever anyone will let him drive and would really like his own car. I think he’s learning from watching Haley & Jake; he is a pretty calm kid (although he does have a bit of a potty mouth) and likes to be involved with lots of people. I’m proud of him for persevering through a rough basketball season (three injuries and only a few wins), but more for the goodness he brings to the world and our life. I hope he stays true to himself—I hope life and experiences don’t change him.
(And #12 makes the shot!)
Kaleb is in fifth grade. I am coming to accept that he will never love school, except for the friend part. He loves his friends, but right now he is having some struggles with the kids on our street. Avery is his best friend; he spends every Friday with his cousin Jace. His favorite TV show is Hey Jessie! and his favorite band is One Direction. He’s very particular about his hair and his clothes and he can’t wait for soccer to start next month. It is so hard for me to believe that he is growing up. He’s definitely more tween than little kid these days. But he’s still sweet! I’m proud of him for being a good friend, even when his friends aren’t, and for how he always wants to help people. (Whenever we see a homeless person on a corner, he wants to stop and give them money.) I hope his heart stays like that—kind and caring. I hope he’ll always give me hugs.
(We are soda rivals but we still love each other!)
Kendell is almost (finally!) done with his degree. He has two classes left. He’s still recuperating from his heart surgery—this has definitely taken longer to heal from than the first. He’s still working at Microfocus (which used to be Novell; just last month they changed the sign on the building, which was one of the most traumatic and sad things ever) but I think he’d like to find new opportunities. He drives the white truck he inherited from his dad. I’m proud of him for continuing to pluck away at his degree, even if it’s taken him a long time. I hope he finishes and I hope he is done with surgeries for a good long while. He’s had enough.
I am sort of a mess right now. I’m seeing a PT for chronic back and hamstring pain, and I’m still bothered by my three-year-old ankle injury. Plus something is wrong with my second left toe. My finger is still swollen and a little bit numb from smashing it in Wendy’s van door. I’m running much less than I want to and I’m fatter than is healthy. I’m also struggling a little bit with depression this winter—right down in the lowest part of my black place. But spring is coming, and I feel inordinately grateful for the return of color and light and warmth. I mostly drive the FP (fat puma) because of car pool, but I think it is the waning days of our family needing a minivan. I’m still working at the library and I just started doing the collection development for the poetry & essays sections.
The world right now: American politics (if Donald Trump is the president in the future I will be so disgusted with our country), the environment (they did just manage to fix that big methane gas leak in California, but the Indonesian forest fires are still burning, the drought is still intense, except for when it’s snowing three feet, and people are still denying that climate change is A Thing), gas is at really low prices (I paid $1.49 for a gallon last week) but butter is expensive. Last night was the Oscars and I think Mad Max won a lot of awards (I HATED that movie).
Some little details: Using the Canon 60D. Samsung S6s and a big cell phone bill right now. Just replaced the furnace & air conditioner; need to replace the roof; would like to replace the counter top and refinish the cupboards & floor in the kitchen. Brooks GTS 16s. Mom just moved down the street from me; I’m still upset I didn’t get the pink rock. Snapchatting with Becky & Cindy. Watching The Vikings, The Walking Dead, and Chicago Fire. Listening to a lot of Florence + the Machine, Adele, and my old standbyes. I love my purple flowery Raybans, the jeans I bought at Dillard’s New Year’s Day sale, wool socks, long cardigans, running skirts, my silver watch. Thursdays are sacred. Salted caramel anything, especially Ghirardelli squares. Facebook & Instagram. Relief Society secretary at church (although I wouldn’t complain if they released me). The Rack is opening next week. I need to clean out my closet, get the pink chair recovered, find a spot for Grandma Amy’s old sewing machine, finish Nathan’s quilt, declutter everywhere, figure out some good options for the shade flower beds, start hiking the Y again, put about 300 scrapbook layouts into albums, really reorganize my scrapbooking & quilting supplies. My hair is the longest it’s ever been right now, but I’m getting frustrated with it.
Trying to be happy within my 40-something body. Appreciating the way that wisdom seems easier to find. Sometimes feeling like everything in my life is just too damn hard; other times feeling like I’m incredibly blessed. (Both things are really true.) Just really wanting: the kids to find happiness and to be OK. Kendell to be healthy. My mom to be safe. Myself to do.
Wondering what will change in the next four years.