cookies and stress and how i just realized what is missing from my life


i’m sorry.

i’m not, actually.

this is a post about Things Regarding the New Year. and such. everyone’s doing it, so here’s me. writing this post.

this year had so many changes. i feel very certain that the chapter for 2013 (in the inevitable life story that will be written about me) will be titled Tess Grows Up, A Lot. i mean growing up both in terms of life events (moving to a new city, moving in with my boyfriend, and starting the job that i hope will be my career) (though let’s be honest here: after today at work, i am reconsidering a significant number of life choices, including whether or not i want to get my lady parts ripped out as a special NEVER HAVE KIDS OMG treat to myself), and handling Scary Fucking Things, like mom’s breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

yeah, i swore. if your kid reads this blog, i’m kinda worried that you don’t monitor their internet activity.

anyhow. so i’m thinking through what 2014 should be, and while i cannot control lots of things – like cancer, or what child might vomit/cry/get snippy with me – i can start to re-root myself in things that i love.

i bought a really snazzy and REALLY expensive planner for the year. it’s purty. i’ll introduce it later. don’t worry. over my break (glorious, sweet break, i can TASTE YOU) (YOU’RE YUMMY), i plan to sit down and write out some life goals.

i really love to write. that’s been true since i was little. in our guest room, there is a folder full of mortifyingly earnest efforts at being a child prodigy (does the world of literature have those? i think i wanted to start that trend). as a shy kid, writing was my escape and my voice, all in one. today it is more my escape, and i’d like to do it justice by turning this blog into something more structured and organized and real – thus, the swearing. i know my life well enough that i am positive that weekly writing plans (as in, write about X on mondays, Y on tuesdays, and Z on wednesdays) will not work. life bubbles over and falls out of control, and when it does, i won’t be guaranteed to sit down and do what needs doing for a weekly plan. but starting with a monthly plan – i can do that. it will begin with organizing a bit more – and nudging myself towards having a structure that is reliable. i might even pencil in a couple of hours each weekend to write for the week – perhaps three days of planned posts, and the rest of the week is up to fate. we’ll see.

i also really love to bake, and i haven’t done that much at all since moving to DC. i whipped up a batch of chocolate crinkles (from this blog, run by my fabulous friend lily) as a treat for my co-workers, and oh, y’all. i felt stress melt away as chocolate and sugar became one. it was magic, and i nearly cried over the oven with happiness.

2013 is also the year i became a woman who cries at everything.

anyhow. at the risk of my waistline expanding eternally, i’m getting back into baking this coming year. i miss it. i’m really good at it. and, like writing, it is a therapy for me – to make something, to feel successful after a day in which i cried in front of people i respected, and to (truth time) feel in control.

finally, running. the last therapy in the trifecta of Things That Make Me Feel Better. 2013 was the year i became a runner, and i don’t want to lose that. i am officially running the Cherry Blossom 10-miler, and have set two running goals for 2014. i want to run a half-marathon, and i want to run 4 other races (the 10-miler is one of them). i want to find fun races, ones that remind me why i love running, and so am taking suggestions.

that’s what’s in store for 2014. of course, this time in 2012 i was probably setting similar goals and getting all geared up for the new year, and then just 20 days in, my mom had cancer and our world was flipped upside-down. so life throws curveballs. 2013 firmly reminded me of that. and i think, as a result, it prepared me a little bit more for how to handle them.