window bird

(photo courtesy johanna)

I’m lying in bed with my computer on my lap and a blanket draped over my head. Through the window, I see a patch of pale blue sky bisected by telephone wires, a spare scene. My tiny view of the world is clean and bright as only winter can be when the cold has wicked away every drop of moisture. I hear a squirrel loping over our roof and the faraway hoot of a train.

I can’t get up because the house is too cold. I can’t even get up to turn on the heater. Both of my girls are still in bed downstairs, even though it’s late morning. We’re all in bed together in our separate rooms. We won’t break the soft silence until we get too hungry. We are alike like that, appreciators of quiet, each of us tunneled under her covers with a book.

Today I will make buttermilk pancakes and begin to put the ornaments back in their boxes. We’ll drive over to my mother’s house for a cup of tea and we’ll probably do an art project with lots of glue and glitter. We’re halfway through the winter break, it’s 2013, and I have to get a job that pays, so I’m cherishing the simplicity of my world with the intensity of one who knows it’s almost over.

Happy new year to you. What will your 2013 look like?

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About Anna Fonté

Girl in the Hat, aka Anna Fonté, is an author who writes about invisibility, outsider status, everyday monsters, and her attempts to befriend the neighborhood crows. The things she writes want you to look at them.

39 comments

  1. You and I… we’re a lot alike. Samesies here in the NW, except we had waffles. Happy New Year to you and yours!

  2. It is cool and crisp here in the mornings. I lie in bed praying that no one will want me to fix them something as delicious as waffles or pancakes. Like you, I need a job. May 2013 be good to all of us! Looking forward to more of your posts!

  3. here’s to 2013 and paying jobs … thanks for letting me “climb into bed” with you for a while

  4. This prose is so crisp and yet so soulful at the same time. Like Jenni, I feel like we’re a lot alike. In fact, I have a story I’m shopping right now that starts much the same way. I feel you re: intensity of work…Do you know what kind of jobs you’re looking for? Kudos to you on a great post, and good luck in 2013.

    • Who knew that after all this work and education, all I’d really want in a job was part-time hours? Sad but true. All I want is a job with nice people that doesn’t keep me awake at night. Remind me why I went to school. (Best of luck to you too, Leah– especially on finding a good home for your story!)

      • I feel you, I do. Though I am still tortured by more worldly ambitions and am yet to have children myself, each new round of work success only brings a craving for less. I find myself truly content only when there are few emails and phones to answer or demands to meet or personalities to manage and when there is just my writing and my books and my family and my friends. While this of course is something most working people say (at least in some version), I think writers are the only ones who could truly maintain such a quiet lifestyle without going nuts.

        It’s not part-time, by the way. Not if you’re reading and writing and thinking and caring for a family. It’s part-time *paid.* Your education still counts. Or at least, that’s what I believe, as I envision a different sort of life ahead and wonder what it would be like to be my grandmother, who has always read and pursued her interests and loved her family and traveled the world and maintained her status as a fascinating woman without ever being a “career” woman.

        There’s nothing sad about it, as long as whatever you do allows you the time and the space to have the inner life you so crave.

        Yes, good luck in your hunt!

        • Less is more, for sure. Someone I know claims that life is cooking on a stove and that the burners represent family and friends and career and health and oneself but there’s only room for 4. I don’t want that to be true but few can afford a stay-at-home mother these days. And yes, you’re right, our grandmothers were fascinating creatures who always maintained outside interests and rich interior lives and it doesn’t have to be sad. Your comment made me feel optimistic. We owe it to our kids, especially daughters, to be complex and capable.

  5. Good Luck also. And a big hug!

    Mike

  6. Todd

    That sounds like what my wife must be thinking too. The new year is here, Bratrick is in school, it’s time to get a job. And…. it was 40 degrees here the other morning…. in L.A.! Where’s my goddam global warming! People say It’s gonna be tough finding a job in this economy, but I keep telling her it’s just a numbers game, keep at it. Also, forget responding to ads cuz there will be scores of applicants to compete against. Apply directly to companies that aren’t actively hiring and eventually you’ll find somebody who likes you and had been thinking about hiring. Good luck in your search too Anna! Think of it as an adventure with all the characters and situations you’ll be encountering… maybe you’ll find some interesting fuel to feed into your wicked writing machine!

    • A few months ago I applied for a job I thought was perfect for me, and I didn’t even get a call. Things have definitely changed since the last time I went job-searching. Unsolicited job applications sounds like an excellent idea, and right up my alley.(Does your kid answer to Bratrick? Just wondering.)

  7. Chère Anna, I just love your writing. Period. Bonne année!! Bisous de Lourmarin

  8. i too am getting a job…another job…and it has to play (ugh…). i’m actually at my current office right now trying to decide what to take home for dinner. and where to stop to buy coffee as we’re totally out and even thought I am supposed to be curbing my coffee habit i still have zero plans to go without tomorrow a.m. because if i have to come to THIS job, i want my coffee. (i know, my rationalization probably only makes sense to me.)

    here’s to hoping that you can find a paying job that doesn’t disrupt your morning routine all too much.

    • It’s all the routines I’m worried about. The morning tea, the drop-off at school, the 3.5 hours of writing time when both kids are at school, the pick-up, the post-school playing and homework. I will miss them all. But most people do this, right? I mean, I am a grown-up, right, and who can afford a stay-at-home mother these days? How in the world do you do it?

      Maybe I’ll start drinking coffee. Maybe that will help!

  9. I can so relate to burrowing under a blanket to stave off the morning cold. I do that too, often with the cat and the computer competing for limited lap space.

    I wish you luck in the dreaded job search, a difficult and demeaning task in the best of times.

  10. I found my son that way this morning, in a tunnel of blankets with his Kindle glowing and his eyes glued to the screen. I’ve been writing in the pre-dawn hours, so I suppose you could say I’m sunk in, too.

    Have I mentioned how I adore you, chickadee?

  11. Lovely image Anna. Happy New Year.

  12. how nice, we ended our 2012 with an art project (a very small one)

  13. What a sweet, quiet way to start the new year. Happy new year, Anna.

  14. Lovely. Looks like we will be job hunting together for that part-time job that doesn’t keep us awake at night! Keeping my fingers crossed for both of us. And a great year ahead to you, Anna 🙂

  15. Very wistful… My 2013 will consist of no mortgage, 4 day weeks instead of 5, lots of meditation, photography, travel, a new kitchen and I hope a most suitable, sensitive, late 50-ish man.. . I can be assured of the first 6 but the 7th is very illusive indeed..

  16. macdougalstreetbaby

    Beautiful imagery, Girl. I could hear the quiet from here. Happy new year. I hope it’s been good so far.

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