the calm after the storm

Things have been a little…how to say this? Busy is a bit loaded these days, nuts is on the vague side, topsy-turvy is probably the most accurate, but it sounds a tad lame, doesn’t it?

Oh well. Let’s go with topsy-turvy, for lack of better, cooler options.

Things have been a little topsy-turvy around here lately.

It started when we seized on Dave’s first weekend days off in forever and opted to camp out at my parents’ house in Connecticut, sifting through a sea of boxes and bubble wrap and then driving back a carload of wedding gifts deemed fit to flood our tiny New York City kitchen. We swapped out the fancy new plates for the old chipped ones, fancy new pots for the old not-so-much-nonstick-anymore ones, and boxed up all the castaways for Meg.

Have I mentioned that my best friend Meg just started residency at this hospital, the one Dave works at and the one we live right next door to? Oh, only a hundred times? With multiple exclamation points? I’m a little excited. She’s training to be a pediatrician here and living right across the street — but first, for two weeks, was living right here with us.

She got home from work every evening in her predictably adorable outfits and arrestingly professional white coat and we chatted about our days. We all sat down around the table together and ate big dinners that I, for the first time in months, felt genuinely motivated to make – big batches of gazpacho and roasted eggplant and a plum cake which, unfortunately, may have unintentionally lacked oil (whoops.) We used placemats and serving bowls. Meg and Dave said everything was delicious, even the cake without oil. I packed up the leftovers for lunch and turned my back on my love affair with Wendy’s fries for a few days.

Life was lovely — who doesn’t like presents and in-house best friends and meals that make you feel like an actual adult? — but also, like I mentioned, a little topsy-turvy. Boxes and suitcases and stray socks were everywhere. Cooking for a crowd every day left me a bit self-conscious and frazzled. Francine, for one, was convinced we were moving. She donned that same “what the fuck” expression she wore when we left Philadelphia and made a run for the door every time we tried to head out with boxes in hand. She started waking up at 4:15 a.m., 4 a.m., 3:45 a.m., intent on playing with Megan. It was endearing, but also supremely annoying, for all parties involved. We didn’t get much sleep.

And now it’s kind of over. I mean, it’s really just starting, the part where my best friend and I share a zip code for at least two years and I use china plates with a boy who’s signed up for a hell of a lot longer than that. But the lack of chaos, it’s pretty strange.

Because when I sat down and actually thought about it, I realized we’ve been in this state of motion for a while. Pressing rewind brought up that trip to Hawaii, that wedding, that move to New York, that endless brooding over whether to move to New York (or maybe California or maybe Boston), that engagement, that engagement freak-out, that year of travel and, hmm, that move to Philadelphia that really started this whole thing off. It’s been kind of a crazy few years.

Some of the stuff was scary and overwhelming. But it was also almost universally  joyful, even if it didn’t quite feel that way at the time. And it was all pretty…big, at least in the scheme of my little life.

So it’s unfamiliar now, this feeling of not having anything on the horizon. I think you may have gotten the drift that we’re not planning to have kids anytime soon. The fellowship application process that Dave would normally have to start prepping for now actually got pushed back for this crop of internal medicine residents, meaning we don’t have to think about where we’re moving or what specialty’s he’s doing for another year or so. (And besides, it’s already pretty clear that we’re probably staying in New York and he’s probably going to be my Dad. Sigh.)

There’s no big milestones to look forward to, no catastrophe to plan for or big party to pine for. It’s a little disconcerting and it doesn’t quite fit my personality. I get bored easily. I like having big projects (especially those that involve tulle and lots of cake.) I like dashing off from one thing to the next.

But I also like cooking for my friends and drinking cold beers on hot rooftops and walking along the East River with my dog (especially when she spends her nights asleep.) And I have lots of little blips dotting the space from here until the next big marker: birthday parties and beach weekends and PTO days we’ll figure out some use for. I’m starting to suspect that I could get used to this. I’m starting to suspect that it will probably fly by anyway, and we’ll be back to the life changes, the big milestones, the topsy-turvy, before you know it.


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