What ISN’T making it into 2017 (and the sled behind the snowmobile)

Last night Matt had to meet me at the highway and pulled Jude, our groceries and me in the sled behind the snowmobile for nearly a mile, the distance of our driveway. Lucy came along for the pick-up (she had been waiting at the Dome House for our arrival) and she and I sat together on a cushion in the back of the sled with our arms around each other. I couldn’t see her mouth, because it was tucked away behind her parka, but I was smiling the whole time. I’m sure the novelty of these types of things will wear off, but right now we love it. Even (or especially when) we are stuck.

I’ve been packing up our house in town and getting it ready to rent out. When I posted the pictures on Facebook, a little part of me was heartbroken, “We’ve worked so hard to build this life and it’s tidy and beautiful… who would choose NOT to live here??” But I packed. I sorted and tossed and donated and organized. My word for 2017 is CLEAR.  

I was introduced to the “word of the year” concept several years ago in a yoga class by one of my closest friends, Emily Brown. She probably doesn’t remember this, because we weren’t friends yet and I was just another student in the yoga class she was teaching that day. But I never forgot it and have borrowed this tradition every year myself. It’s my version of a new year’s resolution.

For me, CLEAR is not just about the verb--to clear away, to clear out or to remove in order to make room. It’s also the adjective--free from darkness, obscurity or cloudiness; sharply defined; of a pure, even color or tone. And the idiom, “in the clear” absolved of blame; free. And probably a million other uses that aren’t obvious to me, yet.

But back to the verb form, to clear away. As I packed up our things to make room for a new family, here are the things that aren’t traveling with us in the new year… there simply isn’t room in the sled behind the snowmobile.

  • My kids’ play kitchen. If they want to play kitchen, they can play in my kitchen. We are all in this together and we don’t really need to fake it with pretend things. Let’s just use the real shit. AJ is old enough to cook anyway, and we all know how good our 3 year-old is at cracking eggs from my last post. Cooking is self-sufficiency.
  • Doing it the “right” way. Instead, we are going to follow our intuition and “feel” our way through the year. Keep our principles at the center of our decisions and act responsively, though not reactively.
  • Showering routinely. I am underfunctioning and find that I just don’t have to make the effort all the time. Underfunctioning is VERY healthy for this overfunctioner. I’m getting rid of the striving, doing it the best and giving it 110% all the time. Good enough is better than good enough, if we are doing it for the right reasons.
  • The “apps” running the background. You know how your phone gets drained of power quicker when the Weather Channel and email and Pandora and Facebook and Safari and Youtube and Pokemon Go (if the kids have my phone!) are all running the background? Yeah, we are clearing our apps. There is nothing wrong with any of these apps, we just don’t want them running all at the same time. It’s draining. One at a time.

Here is what IS making the cut in 2017:

  • My grandma’s silver and my crystal wine glasses. For everyday use.  Yes, on the ranch. Things just taste better when they are served with love, or with something you love.
  • My salsa and Latin dance music. I use it to clean, to concentrate and to motivate. My best friend in college was Puerto Rican and I miss our days of going out and DANCING. I read somewhere to make a list of 20 things that you love and the last time that you did them. This is one of my 20 things.
  • Writing. For the love of all things holy to me, writing as if my life depended on it. Because it kind of feels that way. Writing letters, cards, writing these posts and even flirting with a book. I have so much to say and share and it doesn’t even matter if no one reads it. This stuff HAS to get out. Writing for the sake of writing.
  • Whatever else is packed in all those boxes in the back of the horse trailer that almost didn’t make it in yesterday. In fact, Matt got stuck and had to pull the truck and trailer out of the 18” of snow at the ranch with a tractor. We agreed last night, exhausted, over dinner, that we probably didn’t use our intuition yesterday. School was cancelled (TOTALLY unheard of), the windchill was almost 50 below that morning and cars were twisted sideways and stuck all over town… basically any time you turned off a main thoroughfare (those are the only streets the city plows), you ran the risk of getting stuck. And Matt said, “What? We thought we were better than that? That somehow we could overcome the weather with sheer determination? Who do we think we are?”
A book Matt was abandoned this morning to get the kids ready to go outside. Not staged. None of this is staged. Hence, the dusty side table.

A book Matt was abandoned this morning to get the kids ready to go outside. Not staged. None of this is staged. Hence, the dusty side table.

As we were packing the trailer yesterday, Matt also said, “I’m glad it’s really cold,” and it was, 11 degrees below zero, in fact. We had to shovel a path from the house to the horse trailer. He said, “The horse and cow shit is frozen, so it won’t stick to the bottom of the boxes!” Now THAT is making lemonade out of lemons. Or maybe pie out of horse apples. And I love that it’s not uncommon for people here to use horse trailers instead of U-Haul’s. Welcome to Wyoming and life on the ranch.

By the way, here’s what was happening right behind me as I was writing this post:

Uploaded by Black Market Farm on 2017-01-07.
My intention is to document as accurately as possible and then try to create meaning out of this crazy-ass journey (isn’t that true of all of us?). By connecting and sharing our story, we might find a common thread here; we also have a unique opportunity for a life that friends and family are genuinely curious about. I don’t sugar coat, but I don’t catastrophize either—it’s all happening somewhere in the middle. If my writing is half as entertaining as the actual adventure, I’m doing my job and creating our family story to share for generations. I suck at baby books.

*I don’t have an editor and most times am lucky to get this posted, let alone fine-tune the writing. If you see something, say something! Grammatical or spelling errors are like having something stuck in my teeth. I’m doing the best I can—send a message and help a girl out! :)