Old Year, New Year – Old Me, New Me

As we come to the end of my self-induced sabbatical, I’ve had time to reflect. I’d love to say I’ve had time to read -but that’s been hit-or-miss. What I’ve actually filled my days with are the following:

  • Stumbling ‘twixt bed and bathroom, mumbling incoherent threats to the piles I stumble around.
  • Thinking of a great story idea during 2 a.m. feeding, only to lament my motivation to write it during 3 a.m. still-awake-and-burping and curse my lack of hands during 4 a.m. walking-the-still-fussing-child.
  • Candy Crush. A lot of Candy Crush.
  • Catching the odd post from a friend about The New Year and a Word for the Year, determining to write my own, and ending up with ideas like ‘Sleep’ or ‘Chocolate.’
  • Becoming horribly depressed when I don’t sleep, then wondering what that was all about when I do.
  • Simultaneously resolving change to better my situation, and resolving sadness and sugar at the pointlessness of my situation.

But recovery is going well, for both of us. The baby is probably up a pound or two from birth weight. He’s a serious child who has not yet mastered his neck muscles or his roving vision. People tell me this is normal, and I’ve nicknamed the situation ‘crazy turtle eyes.’

I’m down a pound or two from birth weight. I’m a serious mother who has not yet mastered my abdominal muscles or roving parenting. People tell me this is normal as well, and I’ve nicknamed my situation ‘hunchbacked snail.’

In the between-times of cursing laundry and children, I notice my ageing body and failing memory more. “I’m old, Peter -ever so much more than twenty.” “I feel [fat], sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” …which is better than during the pregnancy, at the end of which I kept thinking, “No, Sam. I can’t recall the taste of food… nor the sound of water… nor the touch of grass.”

Clearly, when tired, I revert to movie quotes. I think my children are accustomed to the habit. If not, I at least make for a confusing conversational partner.

I’m not in the habit of declaring resolutions at the start. I’m the sort to resolve and break and depress cyclically throughout the year. I do know I’ve a few things I wish to accomplish overall:

  • Lose at least 20 pounds. Ideally, 40.
  • Figure out this hating homelife thing.
  • Read a book on parenting.
  • Read a book a month. Realistically, read a book a year.
  • Go to Europe.
  • Pay for the baby, the water heater, the Europe, the boys’ savings accounts, and our house-painting plans. This may involve robbing a bank, or blackmailing the boys’ orthodontist.
  • Finish my children’s picture book idea with my friend.

If you made it this far, I love you. (“Welcome to Costco. I love you.”) I would also appreciate if you’d do me a little favor: answer a question.

If you could pick one or two books you’d recommend to anyone, what would they be?

My recommendations come with a caveat and depend on the tastes of the person asking. I need a list, though, and trust the high opinions of those who got this far.


Gifs courtesy of GIPHY

©2020 Chelsea Owens

48 thoughts on “Old Year, New Year – Old Me, New Me

  1. I made it through but honestly haven’t read enough books to make a recommendation. I read all day but not for pleasure. When evening comes I am too tired to comprehend written words and must keep moving or fall (literally) asleep. Infant’s schedules are extremely tough on parents. Best to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jane Eyre (followed by the 2006 BBC mini series version) and The Woman in Black (followed again by the 1989 movie version, which is on YouTube). These are two of my personal favorites. If you care for something happier, The Night of Wishes by Michael Ende is another personal fav. 😊👍

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The book I would recommend is written by Katy Tur(journalist MSNBC). She tells her story of following the Trump campaign during 2015 to the time of the election.
    I started it and couldn’t put it down, I found it a great read!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. One of the books I recently read was “The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane” by Katherine Howe…
    About women healers actually…

    I remember sleepless nights well… You will grow into your role as your youngest and other children also grow… Remember to accept assistance when offered. Even if the laundry doesn’t get folded exactly as you might like it… take it!

    Be well and get some rest. ~Jules

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jules!

      I look into the book.

      I’ve a relative with laundry issues. I let my boys stuff theirs into drawers and only care on picture day. 😀 My concerns involve needing to dig through piles when I can’t bend over.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My hubby build me a folding table that also holds four rectangle laundry baskets…(tough through the years some of those spaces have been relegated to other storage.)

        You’ve got your other boys to bend for you, don’t you… Ah, yes bending can be an issue… just be safe and squat with your knees…

        You’ve got to get some of the older boys to help with laundry…and those search missions. 😉 I know easier said than done.

        Heal quickly and remember to breath ((Hugs)).

        Liked by 1 person

  5. You’ve still got your sense of humor; that will get you through a lot of tough spots, Chelsea. I like the robbing the bank or blackmailing the orthodontist ideas. 😎

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope insurance covers some of that, or you might need to consider a life of crime. 🤣 (The good news is it might give you some ideas for a new book.) 😃

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Firstly, Happy New Year. You made it. Secondly, I love that Gollum gif. That’s pretty much my response to most of life. Thirdly, parenting is hard and not enough people admit that it sucks a lot. I blame Instagram. Fourthly, I’m reluctant to answer your question. Last time I recommended a book, it was for my book club, the book club shut down. It was Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett. There, I answered the question. Don’t hate me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 😀 😀 Thanks!

      One of my former neighbors has a goal of shaking up her book group every time. I hate to admit it, but I only just barely read my first Pratchett last year. I’m sure you won’t scare me off!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I really like Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson books. (If you saw the movies, DO NOT judge the books accordingly. The movies were a travesty.) Admittedly, they are Middle Grade-aimed, but a lot of adults also enjoy them. There, that’s 10 books for you right there. And you should be able to find them at the library if you aren’t looking to buy, though probably your boys would enjoy eventually.

    I’d offer to send some chocolate – because what doesn’t it make better (except canker sores) – but that might work against that 20-40 weight loss goal…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love chocolate (obviously? 😉 )!

      I read Percy Jackson back when it came out, though only the first. …as a side question, have YOU read the Ranger’s Apprentice series?


      1. Ranger’s Apprentice is on my Possibly to Read list – I’m assuming you’re recommending it?

        The Percy Jackson books, as they go along, will have you seeing places in the US in a totally different way (such as the Empire State Building in book 1). Utah doesn’t turn up until the Heroes of Olympus series, the sequel series to the Percy Jackson books.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I read three of the Ranger’s Apprentice; my boys read them all and the others he’s written in the same world.

          That’s true about Percy Jackson; I still think about Las Vegas differently because of it. 🙂


  8. Hi Chelsea, If you are looking for a recommendation for a parenting book, I highly recommend “Good Ideas: How to be Your Child’s (And Your Own) Best Teacher” by Michael Rosen.
    I wish you success with all you wish to achieve.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I was going to say don’t read a parenting book just trust your instinct and someone who you admire who has well brought up kids and tons of common sense and then I saw Norah’s comment…I trust Norah to give excellent recommendations …But I raised 6 children without a book or much sleep but we all survived and they are sane, grown up with great kids. As for books, I read nerdy books most of the time although I did like The girl who kicked the Hornets Nest series by Steig Larsson. Happy New Year 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Nothing in my book…Pun intended…haha…It’s easy and natural to feel overwelmed and that lasts untill they leave home generally…Only joking! But you can only do what you can do and everything else has to wait…sleep when they sleep if they are not regular sleepers…It’s hard work and early days yet so don’t beat yourself up just enjoy what you can 🙂 x

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  10. The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto is a great one. Peter and the Star Catchers might catch your humor. The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt is a great, easy, Shakespeare-rich, sarcastic young adult book. Aaaand as a parenting recommendation, I suggest Dad is Fat by comedian Jim Gaffigan or #imomsohard by those two YouTube funny moms. Both offer great parenting commiserations and don’t leave you with any stress about all the things you’re doing wrong. Audiobooks are a great substitute for a real book since real time and 2 free hands are hard to come by!

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  11. So, I am so far behind, but I enjoyed this. I also hope the funk goes soon, and I hope the new baby won’t be too hard…

    I like sci fi, fantasy, and historical fiction. If I had to suggest just 1 book ever, it would be “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell,” but it is intimidatingly huge and might drive someone who reads in spurts crazy. If you’d rather something shorter, the sci-fi novella “All Systems Red” was really fantastic (though I haven’t read any of the sequels because the money-grubbing way the thing was published pissed me off and I never got around to them as a result…). I also recently read D. Wallace Peach’s “Soul Swallowers” and its sequel, and those were fantastic – especially if you want something indie or super-cheap-on-Kindle.

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  12. Wow! You have a lot on your plate these days! When God told Noah to go out, multiply, and populate the Earth I’m pretty sure He was snickering all the while. Parenting is no small feat!

    As far as books go…hmmmm… that’s a hard one. You can never go wrong with classics and quite frankly, I haven’t read any current fiction in a while. However, I’ve been going back through the library and re-reading some of my favorite authors. I’ve most enjoyed anything by Tom Robbins, but particularly Still Life With Woodpecker.

    As for non-fiction, Donald Miller has remained one of my current favorites. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years is one I enjoy as a writer and Building a Story Brand has served me well also.

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