Smooth Sailing


Life right now is…excellent. I can’t remember the last time I had a year that felt like solid 10. Maybe 2008? Between babies and job stuff and health stuff, every year for the past very many has been complicated in ways that are challenging. But this year, things are kind of coming together.

I feel guilty saying it, because I know that so many other people are having a rough year. Marriages going through rough patches, loved ones buried, jobs lost. “It’s like survivor’s guilt, only not,” I said to Anna Maria the other day.

“Thriver’s guilt,” she said, proving herself, once again, a great wordsmith.

Most of the time, when things are going well, I’m the kind of person who gets anxious. Waiting for the other shoe to drop. Wondering what I’m just not aware of yet that will destroy me.

But right now, I’m very much at peace with all of it. I know it won’t last indefinitely, but I’m not trying to see around that next bend. This is very out of character for me. Maybe this is who I get to be now. This is easier, and about as effective.


JC and I are having fun together. We’re both tired all the time, still, and busy, but life doesn’t feel ridiculously overwhelming anymore. We have conversations about things other than kids and goats and house renovations (although we still spend a lot of our time and energy on those things). He has been so supportive of all the work I have going on, both paid and volunteer. He’s more committed to my happiness than I am. I can’t begin to express how much I appreciate that, and how I couldn’t do any of the things I love without him. I hope I’m anywhere near as supportive. I do encourage him to play a lot of D&D…

The kids are in a very nice place right now. Silly, yes, and still a bit prone to flipping out for no discernible reason, but easier than they were. They play together a lot. She asks him to do shows for her. He asks her to read (make up words to go with pictures) to him. I’m happy that we decided to homeschool this year, because seeing them be best friends is the greatest thing ever.


Silas is suddenly an asset. I don’t have to remind him every time to put his laundry in the hamper and his plate on the counter (I still have to, sometimes, but I think it’s less than half). He can get himself out of the car, dress himself, plan what he needs to bring with him for an event, help Petra get her shoes on, let the dog out. Little things, but not having to do them for him after years and years of having to frees up a bizarre amount of mental space.

4-DSC_6630-001Petra is still in that toddler phase when they have oppositional defiant disorder and refuse everything you put in front of them, but I sense that she’s getting bored with it. I can see the light at the end of that tunnel. She thinks she’s five, and surprises me by acting like it much of the time. Petra is teaching herself to zip her own jacket and buckle her own car seat. We went out to breakfast with my friend the other day, and she and Silas were both totally fine. No fits. No demanding to leave. No interrupting, even! A year ago, I wouldn’t have believed it. Six months ago, I wouldn’t have believed it. They’re awesome, and I am so lucky.

1-DSC_6611My business is going so well. I have clients I’m excited about, including my first professional Rails development gig. People are contacting me with possibilities I hadn’t thought to consider, and I’m in a position where I can decide what work I want to do. Suddenly, potential clients seem much more comfortable with my unorthodox business. When I say, “I help people solve all manner of problems creatively,” they no longer cock their heads to one side and raise an eyebrow. Instead, they start describing their problem. And sometimes I’m the right person to help them, and sometimes not, and that’s okay.

My stage management software is *thisclose* to being ready for a beta, which is something I’ve been working on for years. I’ve been using it myself for a while now, but I’m nearly ready to share it with the world. I can barely contain my excitement.

And, of course, there’s the art, the real work. Duchess started the year off right, and gave me the confidence to start seeking more of that kind of work. The kids were a big part of that decision; they did so well with our Michigan trip that I feel confident to try to get more of that kind of work with other companies. Of course, that will involve not sucking at query letters, but hey, I’m having a good year, I probably can figure that detail out.


And it’s finally, thank God, spring in Virginia. I heard all the birds show up. We’ve got the beginnings of some daffodils in the yard. Things are coming together.

I hope your year is going superfantastic too. You deserve it.



Aili Written by:

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *