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Jan 06

New Year, New Feet

I’m not a New Year’s girl. I don’t like drinking, and even before I had kids, I was never comfortable with the whole partying atmosphere. So I mostly ignore the holiday. New Years Eve, to me, is what Christmas is to most Jews. Not my holiday and I’m kind of confused and a little irritated that everyone expects me to celebrate.

But it’s a nice segue into this blog post, as I’m thinking about two different topics. One being the relationship between my daughters and one being New Year’s Resolutions. Because the girls vaguely recognize New Years, they decided on a night with pedicures, foot peels. The skin on their feet seemed fundamentally unchanged, until the night before last. Because now it’s peeling all the time and last night, they curled up on the couch and peeled each other’s feet.

Jessie and Julie haven’t always had the easiest of relationships. They are so alike in a lot of ways, and so very different in others. They’re both competitive and intense, and empathetic and emotional. Covid – when we were all home together all the time – did not improve their relationship. What did was Jessie moving out to go to college. Now that they aren’t rubbing up against each other all the time, there’s this space and freedom to genuinely enjoy each other, and to sort of celebrate and embrace the similarities and closeness.

I don’t expect that their relationship will be sunshine and roses forever – but I do think that they have grown into a relationship that will hopefully stay this way for the rest of their lives. They know each other so well, and they genuinely love and like each other. I envy them, because my relationship with my sister isn’t anywhere near as comfortable and familiar.

I don’t make New Years resolutions – but I do make birthday ones. Sometimes. When I remember and am in the mood to think about it. I find that this year, I am. I’m in a milestone sort of place, as I approach 50. I’m still wrapping my head around that. Everything is in a new place now – I’m still actively mothering, but general caretaking is starting to take more of my time. In laws, parents, nieces – I’m still raising the kids I have, but Jessie is going to start her senior year in college next year, Sam is going to be actively going to Perkins and starting to transition to more independence. Julie is starting high school. Mothering looks different for me now.

So I’m processing things – wondering what my life looks like for the next half. I take care of people – it’s my thing. I did it as an eldest daughter, I did it as an aunt, I did it as a mother. And going forward, I’m probably going to continue along that path. Even my job – I take care of babies for other people, and then I go take care of my in laws, or pick up my kids. Caretaking is my thing – and I definitely derive a lot of personal meaning from it. But is there space for more than that now? And if there is – what do I do with it?

I suppose on some level, I should start thinking about what I want now.

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