The Studio Audience

Happy New Year! As I write this, on my desk are two brightly-coloured paper hat, two Hawaiian leis, and two noisemakers that the boys brought home from an early New Year’s Eve party. Picture loud, family-friendly dance music and what appeared to be several thousand – although it was probably only twenty – children all blowing into noisemakers. When we left my husband said that he suddenly had a headache, which, no kidding. But a good time was had by all, and meanwhile, I was asleep by 11:15.

I know we are all supposed to loathe January, with its cold and dark – although, less dark than December – but these first few days of the month, I love. I love the feeling of new beginnings, although September always feels much more like a new beginning to me. January resolutions tend to be continuations of September resolutions, which is okay by me. I have the usual health and fitness resolutions – no specific goals, but a continuation along my path – and also such goals as “read more,” “buy less stuff,” “less social media,” “pay attention,” and “notice the moment.”

One of the reasons that I think many people are anti-resolution is that their resolutions are much too specific or too overwhelming. Small steps add up, people! There’s no need to go cold-turkey on everything you love, but maybe, just maybe, add a few small things that will improve your health and welfare. That’s my take on it, anyway. If there are ways that can make me a better person, why wouldn’t I try them? Resolving to be kinder, more aware, and to give the people I love more of me.

I also have a resolution just to make that damn dentist appointment already. I loathe going to the dentist, I hate that it takes up a whole afternoon, I hate trying to fit it into my schedule, I hate having my teeth scraped while silently staring into that overhead light, and most of all, I hate hearing that I use the “wrong” kind of floss. I FLOSS EVERY DAY AND I WILL NOT USE THE NON-DENTAL-TAPE-FLOSS, YOU CANNOT MAKE ME. I also am trying not to feel overwhelmed with a) my younger son getting braces this month and all the related appointments that go with it, b) parent meetings for my older son’s absolutely insane winter camping trip, c) HIGH SCHOOL PARENT ORIENTATION NIGHT, HOW DID WE GET HERE, LANDSLIDE, d) everything else that happens in a normal month. When can I fit my slightly-overdue dental appointment in? Maybe I should wait until February.

Today is my first day back at work since December 21, and it has been so lovely having this break with my husband and kids. Our house has been so relaxed, we’ve all caught up on sleep, and all those little jobs around the house have gotten done. My husband and older son took down all the outdoor lights and decorations, and our front yard now looks extremely desolate. Between Christmas and Halloween, it’s been a while since we have had an empty yard. Not to mention that in the right season, my garden adds some lovely cheer to the front of the house, but now, thanks to Chinooks melting snow, it’s just a mix of brown grass, dead plants, and dirty snow.

Well, I’m not going to complain. The weather has been very mild for January, so I’d rather have melted, dirty snow than what January usually has in store for us. The kids have been using the trampoline, which really says something. I brought groceries in without wearing gloves, which says more.

Oh, I’ve enjoyed this break so much, I don’t want to let go. Before the break an equally-burned-out friend of mine (HI JAN) said, “I just want to drink coffee and watch a movie” and I totally related to that. My entire goal this break has been to get up and drink coffee in my pajamas for hours, which I have done every day. What a treat! No rush to go anywhere or do anything. It’s a beautiful thing.

Eat your heart out, Jan, we also watched a movie yesterday, Spiderman: Homecoming, which was pretty good and I only fell asleep a couple of times. That’s a big win for me; I think I deal with onscreen action/ conflict by falling asleep. Also, it really challenged my perception of Aunt May; Marisa Tomei looks great, but I really disagree with those pants.

We have also been watching the occasional morning game show, such as Price is Right and Let’s Make a Deal. I tried to explain the Monty Hall statistical problem to the kids but it turns out there are no longer goats involved in the new Let’s Make a Deal, or a second door being opened, so the statistics don’t work anymore. The Price is Right, though. That show hasn’t changed and it’s still as exciting as ever when the little mountain climber comes on or they announce that Plinko is the next game or that the next prize is a NEW CAR. We even saw one guy get $1 on the big wheel and then he went on to win a sweet Showcase Showdown, and we were all screaming with happiness like we were actually in the studio audience. Wouldn’t it be nice to cheer on other people as they just go through life, like we were in a studio audience? Being happy for others as they succeed, sharing in their disappointment with empathy when they do not. Life goal: to be in the studio audience.


  1. jeanine goranson says

    ❤️❤️❤️ will be sitting right beside you in the studio audience my friend!

  2. The past two New Year’s Eves we’ve gone to a party at a neighbor’s house, left early and gone to bed around our usual time while the kids have stayed up until midnight. When we went to bed, they were on their separate devices, in different rooms. It didn’t seem very festive or much like sibling bonding, which made me wonder why exactly we were letting them do it.

  3. I too have been taking a very relaxed “pajamas as long as I want” attitude toward this winter break. It’s nicer than I anticipated (I anticipated boredom on the part of the child and irritation on the part of her mother).

  4. bibliomama2 says

    I sort of thought I would take a few days of break and then get some stuff done, but I ended up taking an extra-long break, which I think I needed so I’m trying not to feel guilty. I like the getting-back-to-routine-ness and slower pace of january, it’s usually my brain that hijacks my mood, so I’ll just keep on keeping on and hope for the best. I’m totally with you on resolutions – no cold turkey, just trying for more walks, more vegetables, less social media and more kindness. NO DOOR NUMBER TWO ON LET’S MAKE A DEAL IS BULLSHIT. And Eve’s friend Davis did Landslide in her set at a local restaurant in early December – made me think of you. Oh, and thumbs down for the dentist, absolutely, and anyone who flosses should be exempt from getting told they use the wrong floss.

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