Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 In Review

Inspired by posts of others, describing their 2007 in review, I'll weigh in with my own:

Best Day: Hard to say. Still have 8 hours left to make this the one. Not hopeful.

Worst Day: August 1, 2007. Believe me, it was. I may need some therapy to get over it, seriously.

Best suprise: Being pregnant

Worst surprise: Miscarriage

Best moment: Despite the bad year overall, there were many. I think it's a tie: 1)sitting with my mom, making Christmas pies, despite her ill old times....knowing that someday too soon, this tradition will end 2) Riding the Vespa with my husband by the beach, feeling lucky and blessed and completely free, living only in that moment.

Best meal: Dinner at Le Caprice in London

Best Friend of the Year: Pam

Worst Friend of the Year: Me, unfortunately.

Best trip: London, for my husband's birthday

Worst trip: The one we didn't take.

Worst habit: Constant worry.

Best habit: Constant worry.

Best drug: Xanax (due to the afore-mentioned habit)

Best 'let-my-hair-down moment': Didn't have one, and that's a problem.

Best brush with fame: Wearing Daniel Craig's watch to the theatre in London. *sigh*

Best Lesson Learned: It's not all about me. In fact, none of it is, really.

Onward, to 2008! Happy New Year!

Without the Darkness....

Something to take forward into 2008:

A light shines brightest when it's darkest out. If it weren't for the dark, we might not even notice it. Darkness reveals the glory of the light, and makes it shine even brighter.

I'm going to think about this in my darker moments and marvel at the wonder of the light that shines to carry me through.

We are all lights in some way. And we all have the opportunity to shine brightly and illuminate the darkness around us. We have the opportunity to be a light for ourselves and for others. And the darker it is, the brighter we can shine.
Have a wonderful, blessed New Year. Find the light. Become the light. The real, true, forever answer is in the light.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Thankfully, It's Almost Over

One more day. One more day of the year I'd like to leave behind.

It was a year of ups, downs and much chaos.

It was a year where I experienced the worst day of my far.

It was a year where people surely decided I must be an idiot, because my erratic behavior went unexplained. But I could not talk about what was really going on. I still can't. Maybe someday when it is all over, I can.

It was a year of surprises and ultimate let downs. A year where I scratched my head and wondered why God sent me such challenges. Have I really been such a bad person? Is this something I deserved?
How incorrectly have I been living my life to have achieved such a result as this?

It was a year unlike any other. And I hope I can look back and recognize it as an anomoly, and not the norm from now on.

I don't want to relive it. I don't want to think about it. I don't even want to remember it. I just want to move on.
Goodbye 2007. And good riddance.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Through the Maze

It was an odd Christmas this year. I knew it would be. And I was hoping that once it was over, I'd feel better, but I'm not sure I do.

There's a lot going on in my life, none of it positive. Right now, I am busy trying to tread water and maintain, rather than succumbing to the negativity around me that wants to pull me down.

I have huge issues to deal with. Some of them I cannot speak of here. But a major '10' on my list is the health of my parents. I spent Christmas with them, mostly trying to care for them and give them some semblance of a holiday. This year, it was all about them, not about me at all. Oddly, that's the only part of the equation that made me feel better -- the giving without receiving. That aspect of it nourished my soul.

My father will soon be going into major heart surgery in January. In the meanwhile, he feels awful and is not himself. He is mostly struggling to deal with the meds they have put him on, which are making him sick and sleepy all the time. Certainly, Christmas brought little joy to him this year.

My mother, in addition to having to deal with my father's problems, has her own health issues. But my mother is the 'giver' in the father the 'taker' she is all about making sure he is comfortable and taken care of, often ignoring her own issues.

It makes me so sad to see them in this state. And because of the ugly situation which has occurred in my own life, I am not in the best position to swoop in like the superhero and save them. A year ago, I probably could have at least helped them more. But right now, my abilities are crippled. I'm only able to do so much, and I'm so angry that this current situation has befallen me, rendering me almost helpless, at the very time they need me the most.

I have always been an action-oriented, positive, 'do-something' person, very empowered, very much in control of my life. But right now, I'm working with constraints put upon me unjustly by something else. All I can do is tread water, and that is like a living hell for someone like me. The near-helplessness can be mentally crippling.

BUT I won't let it be. I do not know how to sit still. I am sizing up the constraints and looking for ways around them. I am determined to come out the other end of all this s**t with my head held high and my integrity intact. I know it won't be easy, but I don't know how else to do things.

I expect it to be an ugly, ugly year ahead at my house. Dealing with a lot now, a few of the top 5 things you don't want to have happen to you...all at once. I don't look forward to this year, except to meet it head on and get it over with.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Things to Ponder...

- Why is the 'e' key the only one on my keyboard that has almost completely worn off? Do I use more 'e's' than any other letter or just with that much more passion?

- Why do drive-through ATM/cash machines have Braille lettering on the keypad? How many blind people drive through to pick up some quick cash?

- Why do intelligent, driven, ambitious men almost always marry women who are none of those things?

- Why is professional golf split into the PGA (Pro Golfer's Association) and the LPGA (Ladies' Pro Golf Association)? Shouldn't it be the MPGA and the LPGA? Does one simply assume if you are a professional golfer, you are a man, unless otherwise noted?

- Why do I wash and style my hair before I go to the salon to get my hair washed and styled?

- Why do men spend the first minute of a phone conversation talking about the weather in their respective locations? Is this a contest of some sort?

- Why do people bother to buy real diamonds? If you're rich, people will think they're real, even if they're fake. If you're poor, people will think they're fake, even if they're real. So, ultimately, what's the point? Buy faux; spend your money on something else.

- Why are diamonds considered to be rare? You can find them anywhere, in any shop, on any street, in any city, at almost any price. Is this really something RARE?

So much to ponder, so little time... all so very unimportant....

Monday, December 17, 2007

Her Soul Is Showing Through

They don't usually look like this until AFTER they've been in the White House for eight years. I can't think of ANYTHING that would convince me to vote for this woman.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

No Joy

It's less than 10 days before Christmas, but at my house, it may as well be a thousand days away. We're just not in the spirit.

It's been a high stress year, one I'd like to forget come Jan 1, 2008, and the stressful events have taken their toll. Christmas feels almost like a nuisance this year. It's going on all around us, but I can't get into it. Not this year.

I've taken care of some obligatory gifts so I could check off the box that says 'I didn't forget', but there was no real joy involved. In fact, I'm having trouble finding joy in most everything right now. And that's so sad, because I can usually find it, no matter how bad things seem. This year, it's almost an impossible task.

I won't be sending cards, won't be attending parties, won't be celebrating the season much at all. In fact, this year, I'd just like to curl up in a ball and hide out until it's all over. It's even difficult to bolster the enthusiasm for a hearty 'Bah Humbug'. I just want it to all be over soon.

I sincerely hope the rest of you have a wonderful holiday season.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

It's Only Natural....Unfortunately

My husband and I have some good friends (a couple) who are really into the 'natural' living thing. After having been perfectly healthy for 50+ years, for whatever reason, they've decided that somehow their lives will be immensely improved if they purge all chemicals from it. And that's what they're doing.

While I'm all for simple living and do a bit of the organic food thing myself, I'm able to keep perspective on it. I pick and choose what seems to have value as 'organic' rather than paying overblown prices for things where it likely doesn't matter.

My friends, however, have gone overboard with it. At this point, they will only eat 'organic', will only shop 'organic' and even take food to other people's homes when invited as guests, so they can eat 'organic' while there. (They do so under the guise of 'bringing the hostess an organic food basket gift', but ultimately, it is their way of showing up with their own groceries so as not to be subject to the "lesser foods" offered by the nutritionally uneducated.). Downright rude, I say...but maybe that's just me.

At any rate, I used to have them over for dinner quite a bit but am now paranoid to make anything for them, so dinner parties at my house have evaporated. I began to tire of telling them what was on the menu, only to have them show up with 'organic' ingredients and show me a 'new' way to make it. Read: 'You are a nutritional dolt, and we can't eat the crap you are preparing.' No thanks.

Their latest foray into 'natural living' now extends to hygiene products. While I believe things like deodorant and soap are examples of better living through chemistry, they have started to reject all hygiene products with those pesky chemicals in them, and that includes deodorant, which is now introducing a new issue: They stink.

Okay, THEY don't stink. HE does. And not all the time, but enough of the time to get noticed. In fact, he's become a little 'gamey', ever since he started using 'crystals' to deodorize himself rather than good ole chemistry-laden deodorant like the rest of us. Even worse is the fact that he brings all this up in conversation, extolling the virtues of these crystals and how fabulous it is to now be deodrant-free, as we sit listening, eyes watering, trying not to inhale too deeply. (Well, that's a bit overblown, but you get the picture.) And what can one do but sit there, smile and politely nod?

So now, I don't know what to do. They're the nicest people and great friends, and I've been willing to deal with this 'organic lifestyle' thing, as nutty as they can be about it....but I may have to start drawing the line when it comes to personal hygiene. Surely, the Mrs. will notice sooner or later and will remedy the situation.

Bring on the chemicals, I say.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

'Tis Better to...

It's time. Let the Christmas shopping begin. For other people, that is.

This year, we (my husband and I) have decided not to buy Christmas least for each other. We'll take care of his daughter and our parents as usual, but this year, we plan to skip buying each other gifts.

Why? Several reasons, but one is that we'd rather do something else with the money. Rather than rack our brains trying to figure out what to buy each other, when neither of us really needs anything, we've decided to make a special donation to a charity we learned about at church. No, it's not money for AIDS in Africa or one of those fashionably exotic foreign charities du jour. It's a charity organization here that helps every-day people get through life's every-day disasters. A helping hand for people like you and me, down on their luck, if only for the moment.

For example, last week at church, the leader of the organization reported that this past month, the group helped a single mother who had lost her job pay her rent while she looked for another. It had also helped pay some living expenses for an elderly Army veteran who was having temporary financial difficulty and had no family who could help.

These are the kind of people I really want to help. People who are out there trying really hard, but stumble a bit because life knocked them down for the moment. I want to help them get back up, to keep forging ahead. And I want to do that more than I want the latest handbag from Coach or the newest Apple gadget.

It takes so little to be an anonymous angel for someone down on their luck, and it can mean so very much. There but for the grace of God, go I.

This year, for us, it just feels better to try to make a difference in some small way. So that's what we're going to do.

Merry Christmas, all.