#417: Joining the Club

Hand holding ultrasound photo with side profile of Baby’s head
Detroit, MI

Julia and I hit a milestone: Our 20-week anatomy ultrasound was completely and utterly normal. We’re preparing for Baby’s arrival but also trying not to over-prepare, which I guess is the trick of doing anything new: You don’t want the idea of how it should go to override your responsiveness to how it is actually going.

We’re lucky to have support from folks around us. Most of our friends who were planning to have kids are already with child(ren), and we are the beneficiaries of their wisdom (and old baby stuff). On Saturday K and M gave us eleven bins of things their five- and three-year-old have outgrown, much of it passed down to them from another couple.

It’s kind of like getting a first tattoo: You find yourself joining a club of people who’ve all gone through the same semi-strange experience.

It’s also NOT AT ALL like getting a tattoo.

After much ado last month about making my routine more adaptable ahead of Baby, I’ve fallen, oddly, into a more-regular morning writing habit. I might as well take advantage of my self-determined schedule while I can? The codename for the new novel is MAPS, and my writing music has been a playlist of lofi video game albums that I made for a Dumpling Club co-working session in December. An hour every day for fiction is my limit at the moment, with weekends off for house projects. In case you were wondering.

I also enjoyed reading journalist/filmmaker/artist Adam Westbrook’s post about his own routine – art before breakfast! – so much so that I’ve bumped my own morning writing session pre-brekky. In constant flux, these routines.

Speaking of: Wim Wenders’ Perfect Days is my new favorite film of 2023 – and possibly of this decade so far. We saw it last night, and at first I was convinced that it was about how even if you do the same exact thing day in and day out, each day is inevitably, uncontrollably new.

But two-thirds of the way in, the thematic scale grows. To what, I won’t say. Just that since seeing Perfect Days, I’ve been thinking about how the phrase “life got in the way” – a phrase I’ve used plenty, especially when talking about my routine – should, each time it’s uttered, provoke a question: In the way of what?

Or to paraphrase a favorite piece of media from the previous decade: Routines aren’t the thing. They’re the thing that get you to the thing.